Can you make money just by sharing your experience and giving advice?
What if I tell you that is possible and people are doing that? Look at folks like Pat Flynn, John Chow, and Neil Patel who’ve built their affiliate empire on a simple formula, TO GIVE HONEST ADVICE. And you’re being here on this page confirms that you want to start affiliate marketing, too.
Great! Before you officially call yourself an affiliate marketer, you first need to setup an affiliate website. But way before doing so, you need to select a niche!
Don’t worry! We’re here to guide you through each step needed to get into the affiliate marketing world.
Affiliate Marketing Overview
Since you’re new to affiliate marketing (or maybe, have a little knowledge) let’s take a quick look at what it is.
In simple words, affiliate marketing is promoting a product on your blog and earning a commission whenever anyone purchases that product on your advice.
Now let us describe affiliate marketing in a detailed way to help you in understanding it in full context.
There is a manufacturer, there is a consumer and there is you (the future affiliate marketer) who the consumer trusts. The core idea is to share an honest review about the manufacturer’s products so the consumer can make the right decision with respect to the purchase.
Since you wrote a fantastic post that talks about both positive and negative aspects of the product, people can read it at any given time. And you’re not required to stay online as your words work for you and make money for you. (This is how you earn by advising people on something, remember?)
In other (and simpler words), whenever someone is redirected to the manufacturer’s website (and places an order), you get a cut from that sale.
How Affiliate Marketing Works?
You got the big picture, right?
Let us give you a more detailed timeline of how you earn an affiliate commission.
In order to understand the affiliate marketing ecosystem, you must familiarize yourself with its lingos (the essential elements) without which everything would sound an alien language to you.
The whole affiliate marketing world consists of 3 individuals!
- Merchant – A merchant is the one offering a certain product (both tangible and intangible) for generating profit off every sale. He could be anyone from a large organization selling branded clothes to a small vendor offering top-up cards for AT&T or Etisalat, maybe.
- Consumer – A consumer is the lifeblood of affiliate marketing because the whole process depends on his one click on the ‘Order Now’ button. This being is constantly seeking the best deal for fulfilling his need and eventually stumbles upon your blog post containing affiliate links.
- Affiliate Marketer (YOU) – Now comes the most active part of our puzzle (affiliate marketing) who shares his knowledge, experiences, and pro tips on a specific topic (that we call niche). The affiliate marketer writes in-depth blog posts (or creates detailed video) to suggest a few products of the same nature to help the end consumer in finding the best deal.
In order to set your affiliate sales on autopilot, you must select a niche that you have studied deeply. You start your affiliate blog, promote it in likeminded people, and create a devoted reader-base that is actually interested to read/watch that content. And there are high chances 1 out of every 3 readers would click on the affiliate link to buy the product (as they’d be reading your post with that intent all along).
Steps to Select a Niche
Congratulations for enlightening yourself with the key aspects of starting an affiliate blog. Now, let’s move towards the actual step for selecting a niche and starting your affiliate marketing journey like a pro.
# Research Different Niches
In order to be an affiliate marketing superstar, you first need to decide on a niche. Because everything that you’d ever do to promote your affiliate blog would be influenced by that niche.
First, start brainstorming some ideas, some categories that you enjoy writing (or discussing) about. For that matter, you can take help from Google and see the volume of searches for each topic that you’ve listed as a prospective niche.
Or, you may take help from a data aggregator website such as Alexa or Quantcast. There, you can evaluate what companies are in top searches and also mark down the industries, too.
That primary data would help you in defining a certain category that you can further refine. Next, you need to go deep into the selected niche to understand what kind of queries people have and how you can answer in a more trustable way? To do so, you may opt for websites like Quora or niche forums where people post questions and get answers by fellow members.
# Check Commission Average
Once you list down a few niches, you need to check their commissions. This is because you don’t want to make pennies out of the hard work you’d put into your affiliate blog, right?
So, do check what’s the average commission you may earn on every sale.
- If you opt for non-tangible products, we recommend you to access an affiliate marketplace such as Click Bank where you can search for different categories.
- And if you want to sell both tangible and intangible goods, Amazon is the best place to conduct market research about commissions.
Access their affiliate marketplace section and type the phrase related to your niche. There, you can find a few listings having the accurate commission across the product’s name which is enough for you to make a call and select the niche.
# Evaluate Searches
Once you finalize a niche and know what commission average it offers, the next step is to plan the traffic.
Let’s suppose you finalized health as your primary niche and now you want to plan the topics (or say, the sub-niches).
You can take help from Google’s keyword planner (which is still FREE) and generate different topic ideas along with concluding the search volume. You need to go a little deep into the niche and type it in the planner for generating different topic ideas.
You may categorize your primary niche (which is health) into
- Best skincare products
- Best protein shakes
- Stress relieving techniques
Now, when you put these phrases (or similar ones) into the keyword planner, you’ll get new topic ideas for your affiliate blog. Along with that, you can also get search volume to consider a keyword phrase for the inclusion in your blog’s topics.
Start Creating Content
Now that you’ve all the right ingredients with you (I mean you’ve decided a niche and a few topics) its time to start your affiliate marketing journey.
Understand your readers and design your post into that format which they deem as comfortable and easy for digesting the information. Plus, you need to put the affiliate links in strategic places right where their interest develops to go onto the main website and place the order.
Because all your efforts are useless if your affiliate blog fails to generate a sale.
So, once you decide a niche and start creating content, you constantly need to monitor for your reader’s behavior for optimizing the blog in a sale generating machine.
Some Popular Niches
If you’re feeling overwhelmed from the above (virtual) tour of the whole affiliate marketing journey, we’ve some suggestions to make. Try researching one of these niches and go deep down in whatever interests you.
- Digital Marketing
- Personal Finance
- Movie & Music
- Pet Care
- Fashion & Beauty
- Travel & Tourism
The above-mentioned niches are the high-paying ones that you can further refine according to your interest if you’re confused about selecting a primary niche at the start.
You’ve a full understanding of the affiliate marketing world, you’ve a roadmap to start your journey and you even have suggestions for top-paying niches. But before you leave this page, here are the key tips that you must memorize and apply to everything you do while starting an affiliate blog:
- Never seek the inspiration for selecting a niche outside when the answer is inside your head. The first rule for starting an affiliate blog is to look for your hobbies and incorporate the above-mentioned steps to find something you truly enjoy. Because its not a one-time gig that you’re going to start but a marathon that requires time and patience. And if you start an affiliate blog by copying someone successful, you may end up in exhaustion and disappointment. So, always follow your heart when finding a niche in order to enjoy your work.
- Never fall for lucrative commissions if the niche is already saturated! Because you’ll face a lot of competition (with little chances of success) if you opt for a high competition niche. Pick a niche where there’s little competition in terms of creators and promoters so that by the time you reach the apex, you can establish yourself as an authority in the industry.
- Along with a low competition niche, you must select a niche having multiple sub-niches. This would help you in creating different flavors of content on your blog and double the chances of sales. For instance, health can be segregated into many different focused-niches that you may link with each other for generating the link juice and benefiting your SEO. Or in other words, if one topic fails to get you a sale, it’d at least redirect the reader to another one where there are high chances of generating a sale.
How to Make Affiliate Marketing Website With WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular website builder in the market. Many top brands use WordPress for their websites and eCommerce stores.
There are 2 types of WordPress and it’s important to know the difference. WordPress.com is a hosting solution and WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform.
We have explained the full difference between this two in details, check out our complete article on the How to Start a WordPress Blog?
You will need to use self-hosted WordPress.org for your affiliate marketing website. It’s highly flexible and works seamlessly with third-party resources and other WordPress plugins.
Before you start, you will need a domain name for your store’s website. Your domain name is your website’s address on the internet, such as amazon.com or pixel2pixeldesign.com.
You will also need web hosting. Your web host stores all your affiliate marketing website’s files, such as your product review pages and images.
We recommend using HostGator. It’s one of the most popular web hosting companies and HostGator gives you 99.9% uptime guarantee and easy cPanel to install WordPress.
For Pixel2Pixel Design users, HostGator offers a fantastic deal. You can get a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and a 65% discount on web hosting when you sign up.
We have also written a detailed article on HostGator Hosting Review you can also check this article first before purchasing HostGator hosting.
Best WordPress Theme for Your Affiliate Marketing Website
We recommend using Astra. It is a modern multipurpose WordPress theme for all types of websites. It comes with several ready to use website template that you can use to get started quickly.
It supports drag and drop page builders to create and customize landing pages. It’s fast, lightweight, and easy to set up even for absolute beginners.
Astra offers full-width page templates, responsive font sizes, multiple header options, different blog layouts, and much more to help your site look great.
You can also use their Astra’s pro add-ons to get access to their ready to use template that you can import and build your website within a minute.
You can also read our detailed review on Astra Wordpres Theme and check out all the premium features that you will get with Astra Pro WordPress theme.
So, this was all! Start your affiliate marketing journey with the right footing and always remember the tips you just read. Plus, always remember the drill i.e. research, refine, and redo until you find the right niche for your affiliate blog.