Before we continue I would like to be very clear that there is no right or wrong way to do or be successful as an affiliate marketer. What I have found from my own experience and research into successful internet marketers is this: – “They Have A Plan”. Very few actually started with a plan; however there is common piece of advice they all seem to give “Plan”.
My plan to start affiliate marketing is based on my experience and is not meant to be a follow by number formula to follow and gain instant success. My plan is meant to be a guide to show a logical flow and the thought process to help you devise and follow your own plan to success.
Part 2 of How to Start as an Affiliate Marketer
Just to recap from “Part 1 of How to Start as an Affiliate Marketer”, here is the end goal.
“I wish to start an online affiliate marketing business, that within 6 months will run consistently earn $1,000 a month whilst only taking 2 -3 hours a week to maintain.”
To find out what we need to actually do we need to do a little analysis of the points in our goal.
- Earn $1,000 a month:- Sounds easy, but let’s do a little maths to see what we need. In order to keep it simple, we are going to assume we make a commission of $20 on each sale; therefore we will need to make 50 sales each month. Doesn’t sound like many, 10 or so sales a week, but there is a catch. Not everyone buys so we need to look at what percentage of people seeing you offer actually buys. Typically this may be around 3% (Note many factors can affect conversion rates). In a nutshell we need to show our offer to 1,666 people with a conversion rate of 3% to make 50 sales @ $20 commission to earn our $1,000.
- Within 6 months:- From our first goal of $1,000 a month we now know we need 1,666 people to show our offers to, however they are all not going to buy every month in fact unless we can communicate with them, they may never buy from us again. Therefore we need to build our traffic/subscriber base from let’s say 0 now to 2,000 in the first 6 months. That’s approx. 333 people a month or 84 people a week and we need to maintain that on an ongoing basis.
- Taking 2 – 3 hours a week:- Once we have expended the time and effort to start our business rolling, how do we maintain this drive? It is easy to see that unless we have systems to automate what we need to do maintain our momentum it is going to be an ongoing time consuming process rather than 2 or 3 hours a week. These systems, processes and tools are often called the backend of the business.
Let’s jump straight into my plan to start affiliate marketing. Remember the order is not critical, just what I believe to be a logical flow. Make it your own and here is my favourite saying, that I apply to most everything I do “If you don’t have a Plan B, you don’t have a plan”.
Choose Your Niche
You may hear the term “evergreen” when speaking of niches. This means markets that will be around for a long time. Very few people would disagree that the Big Three are:-
Of course these are very broad, and it is matter of drilling down within one to:
- Find the audience you want.
- Ascertain what their problems are.
- Find appropriate products that can help solve their problems.
- Present solutions by promoting these products to that audience.
There are of course endless others, with hobbies, pastimes and activities also such as golf, fishing music, gaming, gardening and travel to name a few. Look for something you love and are passionate about. It is easier to become an authority in your niche if it is something you already know.
My recommendation is to limit yourself to one or maybe two related niches or sub-niches first. Choose good products with a range of pricing from low end to high end. Stay focused on these first, and get them earning before taking on a new challenge.
Domains, Web Hosting and Email
The domain name you choose serves two purposes. Firstly it’s like your identity, a sense of you, your brand or niche. The WeightLossGuru.com TheBassPlace.net StevesAffiliateMarketingBlog.com.au and secondly it’s you internet address. This is how your audience will find your website or blog.
I do not want to get into all the technical aspects of these three, but I just would like to point out you can buy domain names and not have web hosting, a website or associated emails. You may find and buy some domain names you wish to use at a later date.
Since we are treating this as a business, it is important we consider all three together.
- Register the domain name to identify us and our address.
- Setup hosting for our website or blog at this address.
- Setup emails from our domain to be professional.
My recommendation is you whether or not you are going to setup a niche specific website, a blog or a comparison review type site, use WordPress as your CMS (Content Management System) particularly if you are going to some of the work yourself as you grow your business.
A large number of hosting companies offer maintained WordPress sites to make it even easier. All you need to do is add whatever themes you like and plugins for functionality and add the content.
Many thousands of sites are run on WordPress, from individuals to major corporations. WordPress has thousands of themes and plugins to assist you, and best of all many are free. It is easy to use and there is an absolute abundance of information at there to assist.
Let’s face it, not a very subtle pun, but never the less any plan to start affiliate marketing must leverage Facebook. The audience is massive; its acceptance and usage among all generations is remarkable.
A Facebook Page costs nothing to setup and in fact offers a host of marketing insights that can be used to great effectiveness when we learn about “The Facebook Pixel”. Facebook advertising can be used to great advantage is inexpensive if done correctly and targeted. Do not worry about this too much for now, as with everything we are touching on there is always and advanced side and do not bog yourself down trying to perfect everything at once.
Once your website has a theme and your authority over it, it is easier to build your Page that either fits in with your website or compliments it. Groups and Sales Groups are also marketing opportunities that we will need to consider. There is no limit to the amount of Pages you can create, however I would suggest just sticking one for now and do it well.
Engagement with can be further increased with Facebook apps that you can use to integrate Call to Actions and forms to capture email addresses via your autoresponder service.
Facebook I have treated separately as I believe it should be looked at first in the order of social media. Twitter can be setup and worked on at the same time. It is important to have a strategy for your social media campaigns as they can be very effective at driving traffic to your website, blog or even direct to landing or sales pages.
Other Medias to consider are Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope, and LinkedIn. Personally I use Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and I have just converted to Pinterest Business. There is a bit of learning involved with all the various different Medias and some may suit your style more than others.
To conserve time in the initial stages concentrate on mastering Facebook and Twitter first and incorporate the other Medias into your plan to start affiliate marketing as time and experience permits.
“The money is in the list”, boy I would love a dollar for every time I have heard seen, or had that pitched to me in one sales letter or another. Sounds very clichéd but the fact is, it’s very true.
Whilst this is the fifth heading in my plan, this definitely one of the most important subjects you need to devote serious time to mastering. The website is needed for your landing pages, content and opt in forms that will be utilised throughout the web site, which fuel the autoresponder.
My plan to start affiliate marketing looks to building a long term relationship with my subscribers, therefore in the beginning the focus is on list building and offering value rather than sales. In fact until you sell products of your own, as affiliate marketers, we are pre-selling and directing targeted traffic to the sales page of the vendor. This list is our greatest asset.
I have referred to the “backend” of our business, where we can continue building our lists, growing a relationship with subscribers and promoting our offers. This “backend” is supported by our website and landing pages and opt in forms. The engine of the back end of business is an autoresponder, which can send emails we have pre-loaded, to our existing list, new subscribers or new customers completely on autopilot.
As a business, the autoresponder service you choose is worth spending money on. Take the time to study and learn all the features available as this is the one thing that will automate 90% of your business. If you do not master this, you will spend too much time working in your business.
For this most important choice, I recommend Get Response and they have a 30 day free trial period for you to test drive their forms and autoresponders.
Summary of Plan to Start Affiliate Marketing
Whilst attractive incomes may be one goal, for many a desired outcome is to regain a life. Time is a valuable commodity, and my goals have always been to maximise my profit and attempt to minimise the time engaged in making it. The catch cry “Work – Life- Balance” is often far easy to say than achieve.
In Part 3 of How To Start Affiliate Marketing, we will look in more detail of some of the more important aspects in our plan to start affiliate marketing.