ultimate_how_to_affiliate_marketing_guideIf you’ve ever been curious about affiliate marketing or wondered whether or not you could build a real passive income business online, this post is for you.

In this Ultimate How To Affiliate Marketing Guide I’ll show you how you can build a complete, working, and profitable affiliate business from scratch, in just a couple of weeks.

In addition to the material below, I also highly recommend you sign up for this free introductory course from Wealthy Affiliate.

That said, here it is:

The Ultimate How To Affiliate Marketing Guide

Lesson 1: An Overview

Firstly, you need to understand an overview of what affiliate marketing actually is and it’s a real way to make money online.

What It Is

At it’s core, affiliate marketing is just the act of recommending one product to another.

Personal recommendations are by far the strongest way for a brand to reach out to new customers. It’s also one of the oldest ways, through simple person to person marketing.

Think about it this way: if you see an ad for a restaurant in a newspaper, will you go eat there? Maybe, maybe not.

What if your best friend just told you it’s the best restaurant in town? Then you’re way more likely to go.

Affiliate marketing is just person to person marketing in the digital age.

People are looking for information about products and are trying to solve real, everyday problems they’re facing (whether that’s where to find better business accounting software or choose new soccer cleats).

Affiliate marketers provide simple, easy to understand information about those products in a way that connects with the user. If the user clicks a link from an affiliate website and then makes a brand purchase, the affiliate website earns a commission for referring that user.

Brands want customers. Customers want to find the right products for them. Affiliate marketers provide the missing link.

What could be simpler?

Why It’s a Huge Opportunity

Affiliate marketing is the best way to build a real business online because it represents such a huge opportunity.

The affiliate industry as a whole represents roughly $4.5 BILLION annually.

That’s four and a half billion dollars that are paid out in commissions to websites that refer prospective customers. Websites that aren’t that difficult to create, and are relatively easy to learn how to build!

Additionally, the market is so huge because affiliate sites solve a major problem: brands are always looking for new customers. People are always looking to solve an individual problem.

If you can provide real value on a website in any industry, you’ll be able to turn a profit using affiliate marketing.

Lesson 2: Choosing A High Performing Niche

Yes, you read that correctly. Affiliate marketing is a viable option in any industry.

That said, some markets are better than others.

To choose a good niche, I really have two main suggestions: follow your interests, and follow the money.

Follow Your Interests

Following your interests means that you pick a niche that is something you’re passionate about.

In order to be successful with affiliate marketing, it’s less about finding “the perfect opportunity” and more about finding a good opportunity that you’re going to be interested in for a while. Running a successful affiliate business isn’t an overnight project, it’s an ongoing commitment.

Your interests are key not only to keep you motivated but also because that’s where your real value lies. If you pick a niche in which you yourself are a participant and customer, you’ll be able to identify with your readers and provide them information that they actually want to know.

That will help you build trust, and trust will lead to better conversions.

Follow The Money

The other tip is to follow the money.

While this may seem like it counteracts the idea of following your interests, the fact is that you can find good, high quality products to promote in just about any niche.

All I mean by follow the money is to make sure you have a clear idea of what affiliate partnerships are available in your niche before you start.

Competition tends to even itself out in relation to commission and product price, so it can be just as easy to earn $X from multiple small sales or a few larger ones.

Lesson 3: Keyword Basics

Affiliate marketing works because of what’s known as the long tail effect.

The long tail of internet marketing means that there are literally billions of different phrases that users search for each and every day.

It’s impossible for any single company to target all of the long tail variations within their niche, which is another part of the reason they rely on affiliate marketers.

As an affiliate, your keyword research is going to consistent of finding search terms that have a high volume to low competition ration.

These tend to be terms that are really, really, specific.

A good way to think about it is: every blog post should target 1-2 very specific search phrases.

For example, if your niche is on Rome Travel, a target phrase might be:

  • 10 Best Paintings In The Vatican Museum, or
  • Guided Walking Tour of the Coliseum

Compare that to broader, likely more competitive phrases such as:

  • Best Rome Hotels, or
  • Rome Museums

Lesson 4: Writing Content That Solves Problems

In case you didn’t get the gist from what I wrote above:

Affiliate marketing is about solving people’s problems.

At the heart of this is your ability to write high quality content. “High quality” means content that is both original and informative.

Put Yourself in the Reader’s Shoes

The best way to get into the habit of writing good content is to put yourself in your reader’s shoes.

Again, this is why it helps to choose a topic you’re interested in, since you can more easily imagine solving the problem for yourself, as a prospective user.

If you can solve your readers’ problems clearly and articulately, you’ll be able to gain their trust. This means that your job is not really to sell to your users.

Don’t Oversell

People are smart. They usually know when someone is trying to sell them on something. Not only that, but the second they suspect they’re “being sold to,” they lose interest and try to escape.

This is the exact opposite of what you want from your reader base.

You want them to engage. You want them to read more. You only want them to buy a product you recommend if it’s right for them!

Lesson 5: Creating a Plan That Works

Finally, as an affiliate, one of the most important things you can do is to develop a solid plan and then stick to that plan.

Of all the affiliate success stories out there, there are dozens more failures. This isn’t because building an online business is difficult, it’s because people lack the focus and motivation to see their projects through to completion and real earnings.

If you stay focused and keep taking goal-oriented actions, you will be able to succeed with internet marketing.

In order to create a plan that works, you need to be able to set realistic, achievable goals that are centered around actions you can take.

I have another post outlining a good 6 week schedule if you’re not sure where to begin.

Conclusions and Where To Learn More

I hope this Ultimate How To Affiliate Marketing Guide has helped clarify what affiliate marketing is and give you a leg up on how to start building your business.

Before I wrap up, I really want to stress that affiliate marketing is a real, viable way to build a profitable business online, and that it’s something that works extremely well in the long term.

This is not a get rich quick scheme or a path to overnight success. This is a proven method that can lead to real earnings IF AND ONLY IF you’re willing to commit to building your business.

If that’s the case, then there are plenty of great trainings and resources out there that go into more detail.

My number one recommendation is Wealthy Affiliate, to which I personally attribute much of my success online.

Think link above has a full review, or you can click here to learn more about their free training.