In this day and age, more and more people are making affiliate marketing really confusing and they will tell you that you need to have 15 different pieces of software, purchase the latest hardcore 'hack' and of course, only ever promote 1 product, on 1 platform and that is it.
I guarantee that the stand checklist that you will see floating around the internet will look something like this;
- You MUST pick a niche first
- Decide on a platform that you MUST stick too at all costs
- Choose a product to promote (and ONLY ONE)
- Find traffic (You know...just find it)
Of course, finding traffic can only come from that secret hack, you will need the 15 software tools to help you promote that product and the platform you have to join has a sign up fee or requires some mental VPN to get onto it.
Well, what if I said that it can be so much easier than that, and there really are just 5 simple steps to get started in affiliate marketing. Yes, 5, and I will deep dive into each one, explaining how to do it all below.
Choose your niche
Ok, the first one is pretty similar, or exactly the same, but let's be realistic, you need a niche to help you unfold the rest of these steps.
Do not get caught up on this step, you can always change in the future, it doesn't matter what route you take later on, you can swap out a niche if you find out that you don't fully understand your audience.
Choosing, or picking a niche, also means that you are choosing an audience, someone or a group of people who like that niche. For example, hikers who are into the 'outdoor niche' or maybe they are into the 'sports niche'.
Don't try and complicate this step, you don't need to get down a granular level at this moment in time.
Pick A Style Or Traffic Source
As you might have guessed, I switch this up a little bit from this point onwards. The reason is that any niche, product or platform can be retrofitted to fit in with a different traffic style, so it's not a huge error if you go down the blogging route, then decide that actually PPC is for you.
There are usually 4 or 5 traffic sources that most marketers agree on;
- Search Engine Optimisation (Blogging or Vlogging)
- Solo Ads
- Facebook, Google or Bing Ads
- Network or Social Marketing (Facebook Twitter, LinkedIn)
- Social Media (Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok)
You are not stuck with only one traffic method, so never box yourself into 'just blogging' or only 'buying solos', mixing and matching certain styles can be really beneficial.
A great example of this blogging and email marketing. You will notice that many bloggers have email capture forms, or certain links on their websites.
You can add pop-ups or lead generation boxes like this to a website, allowing you to gain additional income or traffic from these subscribers.
Whatever method, or style that you choose, always give it your 100% best. Eat, sleep and breath that method, until you believe you have mastered it, or understand how they work.
I would always checkout a number of YouTube videos, Facebook Groups and even articles to help you understand what the particular method involves. I wouldn't suddenly drop $1k+ on a course that only shows 1 method, you might regret it later.
Note - If you decide it's not for you, for example you research, test and realise that you don't enjoy creating videos, and your method is TikTok...then cut your loses. Don't be afraid on doing so.
Lastly, when choosing a style, be sure you think about your audience and where these people may spend their time. There is nothing worse than choosing geriatric fitness as your niche, and TikTok as your traffic style.
Pick A Few Products
The following two steps, may come across as backwards to many people, but you may end up repeating these a few times, especially if you are new. Do not let this get too you, it's all part of the process.
Depending on the traffic style, or the method, you can sometimes get away with having more products to promote. A good example is an Amazon affiliate blog, you could write 10 - 20 articles about 10 - 20 different products, all within the same niche, and potentially earn money on any of those 10-20 items being spoken about.
The same can be said about YouTube, whereby each video can be talking about a different product, or even pitting products/services against each other.
Whereas, if you are into TikTok or networking via Facebook, choosing 1 or 2 products makes a lot more sense, as it means you can focus on finding the right audience, and you can understand that product.
Personally I like to have a number of different products up my sleeve, when I speak to people via messenger, so I will have something to fit any agenda, but, in the words of Jacob Carris, the 1-2 Jab works really well.
To find yourself some products, use search engines and use queries such as ' Niche + affiliate program' or 'best affiliate programs for Y'. A great example would be 'The Best High Ticket Commission Programs'.
Join A Program
This can seem a little backwards, or as some would call 'chicken and egg', but you usually need to have a few products in mind before you go and try to join either their affiliate program, or the platform that they may be on.
I usually tell people to wait until this point, because a lot of people get caught up on this moment and they simply give up.
Gather up the different products, services or tools you have found, and have a look at the platform that they use to run their affiliate program, some will be self contained, others will use larger marketplaces such as ClickBank.
When signing up to a program, if they ask for details about yourself, don't be afraid to provide them. Some may ask for past experience, how you intend to promote it, or even list sizes. Be honest, and explain if you are just starting out and the traffic methods you intend to use.
Another reason why it's a good idea to have a traffic style under your belt.
If you are denied, or they put you on a waiting list, don't be discouraged, it happens, and you will find plenty of other platforms, be sure to checkout the ClickBank Alternatives if you are struggling for platforms (or products).
Another trick is to look at competitors, for example if you are turned away from ClickFunnels (if that was your product), but you really want to offer funnel building or marketing eBooks to people. Then you can look into GrooveFunnels, BuilderAll or any number of other funnel building alternatives.
You have decided on a traffic style, you have found a product and they have accepted you as an affiliate, then the only thing left to do, is to get started.
May seem baffling and odd that I add it as an actual step, but you may be surprised how many new affiliate marketers simply don't bother actually pushing the go button.
Be daring, take that step and let's go! Remember, if you don't get on with the chosen style, or traffic method, you can always go back through these 5 simple steps to get started with affiliate marketing.
Can You Think Of More Simple Steps To Get Started In Affiliate Marketing?
It doesn't have to end here, if you have more ideas and steps that you think would be useful for something just getting started, then drop them below and share the wealth!
I started this blog around 2017, after realising that I wanted to let people know about all the different ways someone could make money online. From DropShipping, Affiliate Marketing, Network Marketing and more.
This blog has now grown to review and explain a variety of different tools and platforms, in the bid to help you.
This blog contains affiliate links, and I will get a commission for purchases made through these links. It doesn’t change anything for you and will on occasion save you money! Enjoy, James.