Having said this all motivational and inspirational stuff the most important question is do you have the spark for affiliate marketing?
Following signs can be a litmus test to know if you should start affiliate:
- You are interested to create a revenue stream based on your hobbies or interests.
- You wish to build an online following and create unique and engaging content.
- You like creating partnerships with your favorite brands and promote their products to your viewers or readers
- You have an entrepreneurial mindset.
Let’s Get Started. But how?
Even the top affiliates where once beginners so don’t hesitate you can also excel in it.
Following are the most important steps in your affiliate marketing journey.
- Picking your Niche.
- Building the platform.
- Content Creation and Publishing.
- Selecting appropriate marketing channel.
- Joining an affiliate marketing network.
- Consistency in Content.
1.Picking Your Niche
Your selection of right niche lays the foundation of your affiliate venture.
So extensive brainstorming and research for selection of your niche is required.
The reason why merchants or businesses will pay to an affiliate is that they want to reach and engage with specific segment of people who are their potential customers. Clear idea of your niche or micro niche enables you to build a sound affiliate platform. Creating unique and original content that meets your audience’s interest becomes easier with clarity of niche market.
Rules For Picking Your Niche:
- Identify your passion.
Your hobbies, experiences, learnings, interests and life accomplishments, your past and your current endeavors can give you a basis to pick your niche. If your niche matches your passion, you will never get bored and will make best of your content.
- Never go for high competition niche.
Low competition makes wins easier. As in high competition niches other content creators are working aggressively so it gets much difficult for beginners to create unique content, attract audience and to get clients.
- Do what you are expert at.
You should consider your academic qualification, profession, designation while selecting your niche because search engines like google also give importance to author’s / creator’s expertise.
Niche related to your expertise make it easier for you to exercise authority while creating content and thus attracting clients. For example, if you are a dentist and cooking is your hobby you can choose niches related to both but you will be considered an authority on dentistry related niches by merchants, audience and search engines as compared to cooking.
- Check the niche trends for future.
While choosing the niche you should also consider future of niche you select.
There are many trend analysis tools such as Google trends which can help to analyze past search trends for future forecast.
Activity to do.
Write down following questions on paper and ask these from yourself.
- Out of my favorites or interests, what niche is not being served or is undeserved currently?
- How can I give new perspective or angle to that niche?
- How can I make the best use of my passion and skills / expertise to create best content on my niche?
2. Building The Platform
After you have decided niche and product that you will cover, you need to build a platform that will showcase your work. That platform can be a website or a blog. Domain name gives you a branded identity. Website platform requires some investment but there are free options as well like BlogSpot, blogger etc. But proper website (not the free one) gives better impression to both the audience and merchant.
3.Content Creation & Publishing
You had selected niche according to your passion and expertise; now the core of your work starts. You have to create content (video or written) and keep publishing regularly. The most important thing in content creation and publishing is planning. How you will give new perspective to topics related to niche and how you will spread content over the year calendar, that all needs to be planned strategically.
4.Selecting Appropriate Marketing Channel
Once you have setup the platform you need to decide appropriate marketing channel. There are number of social media channels which you can use for marketing. You choose channel as per relevance with your niche and audience. One or multiple channels can be used for promotion of your content.
- Social media can be used as content platform itself as well as a channel to bring traffic to your website.
- Facebook and Instagram are effective for Fashion, Apparel, Entertainment, Arts etc.
- LinkedIn can help consultants and professional B2B service providers in a great way.
- Pinterest is perfect media for sharing creative design ideas.
- V loggers and travelers use YouTube.
One can succeed in affiliate marketing without joining an affiliate marketing network. Its is not necessary but helpful. Affiliate networks are networks where affiliates and merchants connect with each other.
There are many affiliate marketing networks which offer variety of products and services, these networks are mostly industry specific. So, to maximize your affiliate you have to choose appropriate network that best fits your niche, audience and target product.
Here I am giving list of affiliate programs that I have worked on and found them productive.
- Commission Junction (CJ)
- Amazon Associates
- eBay Partner Network
- Rakuten Affiliate.
- Click Bank
- Etsy Affiliates
Success Factors in Affiliate Marketing.
- Give top priority to your audience.
- Focus on quality content.
- Ensure content uniqueness and content authenticity.
- Be consistent in content publishing.
- Prefer quality leads over quantity.
- Prefer merchants with higher conversion rates.
- Track search trends.
- Track your efforts.
Sharpening Your Sword; Skills For An Affiliate Marketer.
For success in affiliate marketing, you need not only consistently creating and publishing the content but also consistently improving and growing your skills.
Following skills helps in successful affiliate marketing, that shall be acquired and improved.
- Writing Skills
- Market Research
- Videography and Photography
- Communication and Presentation