Before you get started in affiliate marketing, you need to have certain things in place in order to have great success. Most people, especially beginners, rush through the process of trying to make it big with affiliate marketing too soon.
It’s like before they learn how to crawl -> walk -> run, they try to run. And, that’s not how you will ever succeed with affiliate marketing.
You’ve got to master the basics, get your foundations in place. And, that’s going to be the key to success with affiliate marketing.
So, this is going to be your very first step. Alright, let’s get to it.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is the art of promoting other people’s (or company’s) products and services, for a commission from the sales you generate for them. Every single company (or business) nowadays has an affiliate program, that you can sign up to.
You can find them at the footer (or bottom) of their website. You’ll find it written as “Affiliate Program”, and when you click them, you can sign up to their program and become an affiliate for them.
Some companies (or businesses) don’t have an affiliate program themselves, instead they host it on a affiliate network. So, if you join these affiliate networks, you’ll be able to get started in affiliate marketing. You can go ahead and apply to promote these affiliate products.
This is how you can get started in affiliate marketing. Your success starts with having the following things in place, as they’re essential to your success.
Here are 11 things you need to get started in affiliate marketing:
1. Right Mindset.
Most people get into affiliate marketing thinking it’s an easy game, but the truth of the matter is, it isn’t. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
Without the right mindset, you’ll fail like the majority of the people on the internet. It’s not as easy to grabbing a product link and sharing it on social media, and asking people to purchase through your link.
Sure, it can work if you already have an audience on social media and your audience trusts you.
That’s why you can see all the fashion and fitness bloggers do so well in this space. They use the products themselves and they recommend it to their audience. In this case it works, because you show your audience how to use it while you use it daily in your videos, posts, stories, etc.
But the affiliate marketing business model in general is easiest to get started with, than other business models. You just apply to become an affiliate, grab your unique affiliate link, and start promoting.
If your audience trusts you, you will be able to generate sales for that product, and in turn generate commissions.
So, the right mindset to get into affiliate marketing is, you will only promote products you trust and believe in. You will not promote products just to make money. If you recommend a bad product, the next time you try to promote a product, don’t expect your audience to buy through your links.
2. A Stable Internet Connection.
A stable internet connection is required if you want to expect success with affiliate marketing. This is a pre-requisite for any online business in general.
Since most of your business is going to be online, it is vital to have a solid and stable internet connection. This will help you build your business with ease.
In the initial stages of your affiliate marketing business, you will need to do a lot of heavy lifting work. And, a solid and reliable internet connection will make your work easier. How many times have you used a slow-loading internet connection and gotten frustrated with the speed at which things load or save on your computer?
In order to build a solid business, your internet connection is the backbone. It’s through your internet connection that your website will go live, people can access your products, you can build an audience on social media, and so on.
Later, when you get to the high-level version of your affiliate marketing business, you’ll be building sales-funnels, landing pages and driving traffic. And, at that stage having a solid internet connection will matter a lot, because you’ll be running a lot of campaigns. You don’t want your business to fail at that stage.
I hope you get the idea that having a reliable, solid and stable internet connection is mandatory. Get them at high-speed uploads and downloads from your local internet service providers in your area.
3. High Performance Laptop or A Personal Computer.
Today, most affiliate marketing businesses are run online and everybody has a laptop or a PC. It’s very hard to build an affiliate marketing business on a mobile phone.
Getting a high performance laptop or a personal computer is mandatory if you’re getting started in affiliate marketing.
Top brands like Apple, Acer, HP, Dell, Lenovo and Asus should be fine to get started with.
Here are some specifications that I want you to look at when purchasing a laptop:
- Hard Disk Space: Above 500 GB.
- RAM Processing Space: At least 8GB RAM.
- Graphics Card: A Decent one should do. (Helps with video editing)
- Battery: Double-check the battery that comes with your laptop, make sure that it is original and can last for 6 to 8 hours.
These are the essentials when it comes to grabbing a laptop for your affiliate marketing business. If you already have a laptop, use that, but eventually you’ll want to upgrade to a smooth functioning fine laptop like the MacBook Pro’s.
4. Find A Brand Name.
An affiliate marketing business should have a brand name. Brand names are the names through which people are remember you and your business.
An affiliate brand name is going to help you build a memorable business and also grab a cool domain name, that you’ll be using for your website.
Here’s how you can come up with a cool brand name:
- Make sure it relates to your niche.
- Open leandomainsearch.com to find your domain.
- Use impossibility.org to find cool keywords for your domain name.
- Always look for .com domain names.
- Check if no one is using the same brand name all across social media.
Having a cool brand name will help people to easily find you and your website. They will keep coming back for more, if you give them good content.
The best way to come up with un-forgettable brand names would be to play with words, brainstorm, and pick one and see if they would look good on a big screen. Think of your brand name as a company name being printed on a backdrop where all the other companies are printed with their logos. Now, does yours stand out?
Until you find that domain name, keep looking for it. It will come in handy when you set up your website and social media handles for your business.
5. Solid Reliable Web Hosting Service.
Once you find a great domain name, you’ll want to set up your website. Having a website is going to be a great indicator that you’re taking your affiliate marketing business seriously.
Owning a website where you’ll be publishing content about various affiliate products is mandatory. It is one of the the most essential things to get started in affiliate marketing.
In order to get approved for affiliate programs or affiliate networks, they’ll ask you for your website address. In case, you don’t have one, they’ll not approve your request to join that network.
All websites are hosted on a hosting service provider. They host all of your content and data related to your website. The hosting service provider will take care of your website loading online when you connect your domain name to it.
Once your website is up, you do not want it to go down. That’s why, investing into a solid reliable hosting service provider is paramount to your success. We recommend Bluehost over every other web hosting service provider.
6. Install WordPress.
Once you get setup with our recommended hosting provider, you can install WordPress right from within their control panel (referred to as CPanel). You do not have to go to WordPress.com or WordPress.org.
WordPress powers over 68% of the websites in the world. The reason why we recommend WordPress is its easier to build a website and create content on it for your affiliate products.
Most people, especially beginners make the mistake of picking Wix, Weebly or Squarespace. Those are just website building platforms. They’re not meant to host content for your website.
WordPress is a content management system (called as CMS). And it’s build to do more than just publish content. You can design a stylish new website, publish blog posts, create landing pages, build sales funnels, etc.
With WordPress, you’ll build a website easily – which means you do not have to code. Whereas the other platforms aren’t built for an affiliate marketing business – you’ll probably have to code.
One of the biggest perk of installing WordPress is that you do not have to code, which is great. You can install it with a single click with our recommended hosting provider, Bluehost.
7. Set Up A Fast Loading Theme.
Now that you’ve got your website hosting account, installed WordPress on which you will build a website, you’ll have to pick a fast loading WordPress theme.
Setting up fast loading WordPress theme allows you to save time than having to manually code a website.
When you install WordPress, you’ll be presented with an option to install WordPress themes, you can choose to pick them there or install the ones we recommend.
You can also install or change your WordPress theme at any time right in the backend of your website.
Here’s why having a fast loading WordPress theme helps in affiliate marketing:
- Your website will load faster than your competitors.
- Your blog posts or product reviews will rank higher in Google.
- People will stay on your website longer. (Slow loading websites is a turn-off)
- As you add more information, your website tends to slow down in load speed. (Having a lighter theme helps).
There’s no argument here regarding picking a fast loading and responsive theme. Over 90% of your visitors will come from mobile. You do not want to have a bad image on your ideal customers, do you? – Pick a fast loading and mobile-responsive theme.
8. Publish 10 Blog Posts On Your Blog.
Once you’ve gotten your website set up and your theme installed, you need to start creating blog posts. Blog posts are how your audience is going to get exposed to what you are doing in your business. Blog posts are how people who are looking for specific product reviews on google are going to discover your website and purchase.
There is a simple reason why we recommend to publish 10 blog posts on your blog – You won’t get approved to any network or affiliate program if you don’t have content on your website.
Most networks expect a minimum of 10 blog posts before they approve you. Amazon associates, amazon’s affiliate program has a 10 blog posts minimum requirement. Go check it out for yourself here.
Your blog posts can be about your business, about products in your niche, etc. Anything that will convince affiliate networks to see that you’re legit and your business is worth something.
9. Create Social Media Accounts & Share Your Content.
Once you’ve created your 10 blog posts, you’ll want to create all your social media accounts on all the social media platforms. This is just to make sure your brand presence is everywhere.
Owning social media accounts, will help you acquire traffic from those platforms. Customers can see the content and visit your website, read our blog posts, subscribe to your email list and buy your products or affiliate products.
Here are the social media accounts you need to create:
- Facebook Account.
- Instagram Account.
- Pinterest Account.
- Twitter Account.
- Reddit Account.
- YouTube Channel.
If there are others where you think your audience might hang out, you’ll want to create an account there too.
After your created your social media accounts, you should share all your 10 blog posts. If it accepts a blog post, share the link, if it requires an image, create an image to post and share about these blog posts.
If the platform requires a video content, create a video and post it. This will help you get that initial surge of traffic and help you get discovered.
10. Apply For Top Affiliate Networks.
Once you’ve done sharing your blog posts on all your social media platforms, you’ve got to take the next step. It is to apply for the top affiliate networks and affiliate programs. It is an essential part of getting started in affiliate marketing.
There are these top affiliate networks and affiliate programs which you can search on google. You’ll have to look for your affiliate program depending on your niche.
Here are the top affiliate networks that host most affiliate programs: (mostly called a marketplace)
Likewise, there are so many affiliate networks in your niche.
You can find them by using this search query:
“niche + affiliate program” – where you enter a niche that you’re in instead of the word niche.
Example: “fashion + affiliate program” You can also search for a “specific product + affiliate program”.
11. Sign Up To An Email Service Provider.
One of the biggest ways to make it big in the affiliate marketing world is through your email list. Every successful business has an email list, a list of customers, if you will.
In order to build a customer base, you’ll need an email service provider. An email service provider allows you to build a list of your ideal leads, prospects and customers.
You can’t do that with traditional Gmail or Yahoo or any other email client.
In the affiliate marketing world, your ideal client or customer, won’t make an instant purchase. You’ll have to collect their lead information and follow up with them. Most of the sale happens in the follow-up.
Unlike traditional email lists, an email service provider allows you to do the following:
- Follow up with your ideal prospects and customers on automation.
- Build a list of your ideal lead and prospects.
- Mass email them at one shot.
- Segment only the engaged ones and communicate with them only.
- Filter and segment them based on purchase behaviors.
There is so much you can accomplish with an email service provider. A company’s value lies in it’s email list – List of customers.
Most beginner affiliate marketers get started without these basics in place. The reason for your affiliate marketing success lies in getting these basics right.
If you follow these 11 things, you’re off to a great start in affiliate marketing. The reason why we compiled them into this extensive list is so that we can share what’s the right way and what others are failing to share with you.
If you have any comments or questions, let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading!