How to Start an Affiliate Marketing Blog?
The book called “The 4-Hour Workweek” has sparked many exciting ideas in people’s minds ever since its release. More people are looking to build themselves a passive income stream than ever and who can blame them? Nobody can resist the idea of having thousands of dollars as passive income every month, but few actually make it there. It’s true that you can make all that money with a few hours of work every week, but there’s an incredible amount of work to put in during the initial phase of your project.
So you can forget about the get rich quick plans and focus on putting in the work that’s required to create that passive income stream for yourself. The good news is that if you’re willing to put in the work and effort that’s required to start your new online venture, you can definitely make some good money off it. Once you grasp the feeling of making your first sale, there’s no stopping that burst of motivation. It will motivate you to keep making more and to stack all that sweet cash in your pocket.
The affiliate marketing business doesn’t change much over the years and the formula to success is pretty much the same as it was before, regardless of your niche. Once you’ve established what product you’ll be promoting and you built your website, your only job will be marketing your blog and generating traffic. Writing good advertisements and good posts for your blog is also an important skill to master which requires plenty of practice, but you’ll catch on soon enough.
In this article, we’re going to break down what makes a good affiliate marketing blog. We’re going to share the major steps of the process and break those down to individual tasks you have to handle. An affiliate marketing blog is made up of a few very simple ingredients, so if you pay attention here and take action, you’ll be well on your way to building a solid one. So, without further ado, let’s get down to how you can start an affiliate marketing blog right now!
Choosing a Niche
Choosing a niche is choosing your business and revolves mostly around personal preferences and possibly something you’re knowledgeable or interested in. You’ll have to decide what kind of website you’re going to build before going out there and targeting people with it.
If you already know what you’re going to produce content around and what kind of products you’ll promote, you are one step closer to success. But if you still don’t know, take your time and do your research, because this is one of the most overwhelming steps in the process. You can easily get caught in the paralysis of analysis, so be sure not to rush it.
We’ve come up with the following questions to help you with this part. At the end of this section, I’m also giving a list of the 10 best performing niches on the web, so it’s made much easier for you.
What are You Knowledgeable or Interested In?
If you’re passionate about something like interior design, plumbing, outdoor activities or clothing, than the choice is pretty easy to make. It’s a lot easier to work on something you already have knowledge in and passion for. If you can find at least a couple of these, than you’re set to further your research.
What Do You Think You Could Write 50 Blog Posts About?
To build an authority website you’ll have to be on your toes in the content creation process. The topic of your choosing should have enough depth to it, so that you can write plenty of content for it. This is important from a SEO perspective and for the user as well. Writing high quality and useful content is what gets people on your site and what will spark enough interest for them to click on your affiliate links. The more high-quality content you have on a topic, the more likely it is that readers will take you seriously enough to buy the products through your site.
Is there Enough Money and Interest in Your Chosen Niche?
Having passion for something is one thing, but you won’t get far with it in affiliate marketing if there isn’t enough money in it. Sadly, money always trumps passion if you’re looking to make a profitable endeavor. If for this reason you’re suddenly left without a niche, then look around again. If you don’t know enough about anything else, you can always learn about it if it makes you money.
I shouldn’t have to stress the importance of interested readers who are coming to read and acquire knowledge from your site. If they have the will to buy some products too is what will finish the job, so target a niche that has people with a strong buying intent if you can.
What Kind of Affiliate Programs Can You Use in Your Chosen Niche?
Not every product can be sold through Amazon’s affiliate program, so there’s plenty of searching to do once you’ve established your niche. If there are plenty of affiliate programs you can take part in and promote their products then it’s awesome. If there aren’t any than you’ll have to look for a different niche, because you won’t make any money with it without a proper affiliate program.
The Top 10 Best Performing Niches
As I mentioned, there are some great performing niches that have good money involved. Look through them and maybe you’ll find your own along the way. Just keep in mind that these already have some pretty solid competition so you’ll have to bring your A game to compete.
- Weight loss and Workouts
- Dating and Relationships
- Making Money Online
- Hobbies (Golf, Outdoor Activities, Hiking)
- Blogging, SEO, Online Courses
- Gadgets and Technology
Look at Your Niche from a SEO Perspective
I highly suggest that you look into how to do keyword research before finally deciding to build your blog on a specific niche. It’s good to know whether people are searching for your topics in Google or not. If they are, it will only provide proof that your chosen niche is in high demand and it will be easier to get traffic to your site. If not then there are some things you should reconsider, but the niche might still be good to work with.
Search For and Research Affiliate Programs
When you know what kind of niche you will be working with, it’s time to start scouting for affiliate programs. If you followed through with the previous points of the article, you probably checked out a few affiliate programs already. It’s time to check out more and to dig a lot deeper. Each affiliate network has different requirements to comply to and operate within a different system, so there’s a lot of reading to do before you choose one.
It’s really worth investing plenty of time into finding the right affiliate program, because this is where you will be getting your income, so you’ll want to make the best possible choice. Here are the main things you should look at when choosing an affiliate network to work with.
What Kind of Marketers Use The Program?
It’s important that you see the popularity of your chosen network and to read about the approval of others who have been using it. It’s important that you make sure that other marketers have worked and succeeded with the affiliate program of your choosing, so that you know the likely hood of success for using your program.
How Much Commission Does it Offer For The Products?
Each program has a specific amount that it will earn you after selling one of its products. The higher commission you get, the more money you will make. Take these for example:
- Amazon offers different commissions for every different kind of product, so it really depends. These commissions range from 1% to 10%, which isn’t too much, but there is still some money to be made.
- ClickBank only offers digital products, but their commissions are a lot higher. You can get 10%-75% commissions for most of their products, which will make you really good money once you get the stream going.
- For other digital and physical products, go for at least a $30-$50 commission. Take web hosting for example. A lot of commercial hosting providers give you more than $50 for getting them a new client.
Do You Care About the Products?
In order to be successful in affiliate marketing, you have to be knowledgeable about the products you’re selling. They also have to be relevant within your niche and of high quality.
You have to believe in the product in order to sell it, because you’ll have a hard time pitching it to your blog’s readers. Being knowledgeable will also build trust with your readers, which is monumentally important if you’re looking to sell them stuff.
Choose Your Affiliate Products Wisely
In an ideal case, you’ve chosen a niche that has plenty of products to sell and through numerous affiliate programs. In that case, you have plenty of products to offer to your community but don’t work with too many products at once. Go with two or three for the start. You first have to establish yourself as a trustworthy individual before pushing your products and asking them to buy it.
The first step of your product promotion efforts is buying the product yourself. You’re definitely not obligated to buy each and every product you promote, but by owning and using the product you can promote it more reliably, and this is important when it comes to establishing trust with your audience.
Build Your Website
Once you have decided on your niche, found yourself an affiliate program and products to promote, the theoretical and research part of the process is done. It’s time to get your hands dirty and start building your new blog from scratch. Luckily, it’s pretty easy and doesn’t require any extensive technical knowledge to do. But coding skills will definitely come in handy if you have some or you know somebody that has.
The more time and attention you devote to each steps here, the better blog you’re going to build. But you can fly through them too and have your blog up and running within the next 24 hours. How you choose to do it is up to you, here are the steps you’ll have to take in their simplest forms.
Purchase a Domain Name
It’s time to get creative and brainstorm a bunch of domain names for your new website. In an ideal scenario it should be something that can be associated with your niche, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. The most important thing is to make it as catchy as possible and for it to have the .com extension.
There are numerous domain name services on the web, through which you can see if your chosen domain name is available and buy it if it is. The most popular ones are GoDaddy and NameCheap. But you can also use the domain name service provided by your hosting provider.
It’s really simple to do. You just search for your domain name, find it, buy it, done. Usually a domain name costs around $10, but it can cost more, all the way up to $500 to $1000 or even more in some cases.
Get a Web Hosting Service
Hosting is the space where your website will be stored. The space you rent there will be your very own little island on the internet. Hosting services are pretty inexpensive these days, with awesome hosting services being available from around $3 to $5 per month.
The HostGator Cloud service performs really well and would definitely be perfect for your blog. It’s a high speed package for $5 per month and the company also offers a complimentary customer support that you can trust.
Once you have your domain name and your very own little space on the web, it’s time that you have a website too.
WordPress is the most famous content management system in the world, which is perfect for running a blog and any other website for that matter. It is free to use and is very user friendly. So even if you don’t have much technical knowledge, you’ll be able to run your blog very easily.
Installing WordPress doesn’t take much of an effort. Most hosting providers offer a one click install for it, so all you have to do is locate its icon and click. You can also install WordPress manually, but this is a longer process and requires some IT skills. Once you wait for it to install on your server, your site will be up and running.
Choose and Install a Theme
The cool thing about WordPress is the fact that it’s ridiculously easy to use. You can make your website look completely different every minute if you want to, thanks to its simplified theme system. All you have to do is download a free or a paid theme and activate it through the themes menu.
WordPress has hundreds of thousands of themes to choose from, so knock yourself out. There are many free ones, but if you really want to build a high-quality website, you should buy a theme. They usually cost around $60 and they’ll definitely serve you much better than a free theme would.
Once you have your theme, you’ll have a number of customization options you can use to arrange your website the way you want it to be. Once everything clicks into place you’ll have yourself a well-designed website that people can visit to read your posts and see the content you make.
Produce Awesome Content For Your New Blog
Now that you have a website up and running, it’s time to make something out of it. Here comes the hard work part I’ve mentioned in the very beginning. Creating content is the most time-consuming part of the affiliate marketing business. Writing something that’s high-quality and useful to the reader. This is where the overused phrase “content is king” comes into the game.
In this section, I’m going to talk about various types of blog posts that you can write and use to promote your affiliate products.
Do Product Reviews
Writing product reviews is one of the most straight forward ways for showing off affiliate products and providing your audience with something useful. It is one of the most common models for affiliate marketers and has made billions to people all over the internet.
The concept is simple. Choose a product within your niche, try it, analyze it and write your review about it. Be upfront and honest about what you liked and disliked about the product and share as many personal opinions as possible.
Most people today read at least one review before they go out and buy a new phone or any other kind of product. You can definitely leverage that by producing some great reviews.
Write Top Lists
Know the best products for solving a particular problem or have a list of the best books of 2018? Make a blog post about them. Top lists are a great way to catch your audience’s attention and to show off numerous products at the same time.
Here is a good example: 25 Reasons Why You Should Use WordPress
Answer Common Questions and Address Common Issues
You can actually research what people are asking most of the time and what kind of problems they need solutions to. A great tool for this is MOZ’s keyword explorer. You just have to write in a specific question or keyword you want to target and it will hit you with the results. You’ll see the monthly search volume, what kind of posts have been written around the topic and more.
There’s plenty of data you can extract from doing keyword research and it will help you write posts that attract plenty of attention from your readers.
Tutorials and Guides
Actionable information that helps people learn new skills or do something better is always greatly valued by any audience. A lot of affiliate marketers provide a free product, like an e-book to stir up some interest within their audience and get them to subscribe to their mailing list. If the product you provide is truly high quality, than it will bring plenty of traffic to your site too. People are always looking to learn new things and to read something that’s actually useful, so take advantage of it!
Short term, seasonal content is good to achieve short term goals. You should definitely make Christmas specials and create content based on what season it is, if your niche demands it. But evergreen content is very important to have on your blog. It’s something that people will come back to and a content piece that you can always market and expect to get traffic on. Evergreen posts have the longest shelf lives.
These are usually lists of useful tips that help a user accomplish specific goals. Like a guide to adjusting your car’s spotlight. That would be an awesome piece if you’re working in the car parts niche. Cars will always have spotlights and someone will always want to adjust theirs. See what I’m getting at here?
Always Go For Quality Above Quantity
This isn’t a post type, but important to mention all the same. A well-written post that is deeply valued by your audience and gets shared frequently has the highest value. It’s much more valuable than 10 other poorly written posts that don’t really have a purpose and are there to just be there. So, in order to get the optimal quality out of each of your posts, follow these tips:
- Be conversational and establish your own unique writing style. Figure out what you want to say and how you want to say it. What kind of impression do you want to make?
- Add relevant and high quality images and infographics to each of your posts.
- Add a video to your post if there are any relevant ones regarding the topic you’re talking about. Plus points if you make your own. Remember that video is one of the most powerful content pieces you could produce and most people rather prefers to watch one than read extensive posts.
- Use a readability checker on each of your posts. Though Yoast SEO has its own readability checker, there are others you can use as well. Check out the Flesch Reading Ease tester or Readable .
- Write about things you know and seek to turn ordinary things into extraordinary. This works much better than trying to say something mind blowing all the time.
- Take your time to produce quality, there’s no need to rush it. You can accomplish a lot more with a post you’ve worked on for a week than writing one every day. Well, depends on how good your writing is and a lot of other things. But this is usually a good rule of the thumb.
Marketing Your Blog and Building an Audience
They say that you have to spend an equal or double the amount of time on promoting your content than you did on creating it. So, if you have spent a week on creating a post, you should spend at least one week or maybe even two weeks on promoting it. There are plenty of ways to go about marketing your blog though and that is what I’m going to talk about in this section.
Use Social Media To Promote Your Posts
One of the most common ways of building an audience is through social media. Almost everybody uses their favorite social media platform for content discovery, which is why it’s great for gathering new readers and building relationships. Depending on your niche, industry and audience, you can either use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram or Pinterest.
Create a social media profile for your blog, promote your posts on it and start gathering an audience.
Use Some Of These Awesome Tools
Tiberr – This is a great tool that will help you find the comment sections of blogs that work with the same keywords as you do. You can then write into their comment sections, adding a link to one of your posts. It’s a great way to get your content in front of eyes that are already interested in seeing it.
Buffer – This is one of the most awesome social media marketing tools, as it lets you schedule your posts and keep track of them. It can handle a multitude of social media platforms, making it easy for you to keep your audience updated from one place.
Blog Post Headline Analyzer – Your blog post’s headline is the first thing all of your readers will see on social media and any other place they go to scout for content. It’s your first impression, so analyzing it and making sure that it’s as powerful as possible is important all the way.
Emotional Marketing Value Analyzer – The marketing value analyzer is also a tool for examining and evaluating your headlines. It will give you a transparent chart on how powerful your headline is and tips about where you can improve it.
Grammarly – Grammarly isn’t exactly a marketing tool, but if your text is filled with misspelled words and other spelling errors, that definitely won’t be good for your marketing. Grammarly is awesome at helping you detect and correct any flaw you might have made in your text. It’s also free to use!
Always Make Your Posts Purpose and Audience Clear
These two are what drive the content and context of your writing forward. A clear understanding of your audience and the subject at hand. You’ll have to know who your audience is, what kind of questions they have, what challenges they face and what they want to achieve.
The best way to find this out is by doing keyword research and seeing the monthly search volumes of individual questions. You can use the MOZ explorer, Google AdWords or Google Trends to find out more about what people are searching for.
Practice Good SEO For Each Of Your Posts
Good SEO practices are one of your main marketing tools when it comes to an affiliate blog. You’re missing out on a lot of visibility if you don’t keep SEO in perspective. Follow these basic SEO principals to make sure your post’s basic SEO is always in check.
The first and most important thing though, is that you download the Yoast SEO plugin, because it’s simply awesome. It will give you a SEO evaluation and remind you of all the things I’m mentioning here.
- Add your keywords to the alt-text and title of each image you upload within a post.
- Add your keywords into the post’s title.
- Add your keywords in the post’s meta description
- Add your keywords to the first paragraph of your post.
- About 80% of your post has to be written in active voice, because passive voice is a lot less powerful.
- Most of your sentences should be less than 20 words, so they are always easy to read.
A single post isn’t nearly enough to talk about every knot and jolt of running an affiliate marketing business, but it’s a start. If you haven’t launched your blog yet, that’s fine, do all the research you need and start when you feel ready.
I hope we helped you learn something new through this article and that you enjoyed to read through it. Hope to see you in the next one!