Many people shuddered at the thought of setting up a blog.
But guess what? It is actually pretty straightforward. The real challenge, however, is how to maintain a blog.
There are plenty of online guides showing you how to set up a blog already, so over here we will be focusing on how to really DO IT instead.
What Is Affiliate Marketing
For the sake of those who have no clue about affiliate marketing but accidentally stumbled upon this post, I will give a brief explanation on what affiliate marketing is all about. Feel free to skip this section if you are ready for more.
One of my favourite definitions of affiliate marketing is by Pat Flynn. Here’s how he describes it:
“Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or companies’) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.”
Usually, there are three parties involved in affiliate marketing: the merchant, the affiliate marketer, and the customer.
First, you have the merchant.
It all started with a merchant looking to broaden the outreach of their products/services. In order to do that, the merchant started an affiliate program, by offering a commission in exchange of sales brought upon by affiliate marketers. In order to do that, the merchant needs to assign a unique affiliate link to each of its affiliate marketers.
This is where affiliate marketers come into the picture.
With that unique affiliate link, the affiliate marketers can now promote the product by blasting their links everywhere. Some do it via blog post (the most recommended way), some via paid ads (which is a bad idea, amount spent on paid ads can easily exceed your profit), or some via social media (which is free, but not a good long term solution if you are looking to build passive income).
Now comes the potential customer – someone with a need.
Let’s say person A is looking for a solution for his back pain, and he does a search on Google. Coincidentally, you have written a review of an amazing product that helps to alleviate back pain. Person A stumbled upon your post, convinced by your review, followed your affiliate link and ended up making a purchase. That’s it! You just make some money off your affiliate blog!
Now you can see why having a blog is superior to any other methods. Once a review is written and published, you can literally sit back and watch your commission rolling in. That is a great opportunity to build up passive income.
How To Do Affiliate Marketing With A Blog | Step-by-Step Guide
1. Pick A Niche
The first and most important step is to find a niche for your business.
A niche is a highly specialized market. For example, a niche product could be something like an organic hand lotion. As compared to normal hand lotion, organic hand lotion has a smaller market but also less competition.
Ideally, there should be only one niche per blog (e.g. organic skincare products). And you should only deal with one blog for a start, at least until your blog has reached a critical mass of roughly 100 posts with steady traffic flow.
Here are some do’s and don’ts when choosing a niche (a summary from How To Choose A Niche For Affiliate Marketing):
- You don’t have to ‘love’ your niche, but you shouldn’t hate it either.
- Find a profitable niche.
- Make sure there are sufficient affiliate products associated with your niche, you don’t want to run out of products to promote.
- Avoid high competition niche.
- Select a niche that is too broad.
- Select a niche that is too neglected which no one else is interested.
2. Set-Up Your Site
There are many resources on how to set up a website, so I will not go into detail here.
In fact, this guide shows you how to do it in 30 seconds. Personally, this is how I set up mine (kernelaffiliate.com) too, although I took more than 30 seconds to do that (trying to finetune the look etc), but I honestly think that this is the easiest way to get started.
3. How To Promote The Products?
Now time for the crucial part – how exactly should you write?
1. Write Reviews
People go to search engine all the time looking for product recommendation and reviews.
That is where affiliate marketers come in and provide their value.
Show your audience the good and bad about a product, give them your own insights – whether you think the product worth the money, if there are better options out there – show them how to get it, give extra tips on how to use the product best, be honest and always think from a consumers’ perspective. At the end of your post, give a clear recommendation and reason behind it.
That way, you can build up a trusting relationship with your audience and they will be more likely to follow your advice.
2. Lifestyle Blog
This is more of a story-telling kind of blog.
Show your audience how you have spent your day, what is your hobby, what made you happy/sad today, and incorporating products recommendation in your blog.
Let’s say, you have spent a whole afternoon out at the beach. It was a hot day but thanks to your ‘double-walled insulated water bottle’, you get to enjoy cool refreshing drink the whole time! Show your audience how great that feeling is, and insert a photo of your well-loved water bottle together with your affiliate link.
Another example – assuming that you are a cyclist. Describe how your recent trip went, what are the useful gears for your cycling trip, how do you plan to upgrade your equipments and what do you think is the next essential upgrade.
3. Best Of… Blog
‘Top 10 best rice cookers in 2019’, ‘Top 9 best smartphones in the world’…
Posts like this allow you to post many affiliate links in one article. I have seen affiliate marketers creating sites with entirely ‘best of…’ posts, and they swear by the result.
Watch out for your word count though, too many affiliate links in a short article can get you penalized by the search engine. As a rule of thumb, make sure you have at least 200 words for each product links that you drop (of course, the longer the better).
4. Creating Tutorials
‘How to set up a WordPress blog, ‘How to make money online without paying anything’, ‘Step-by-step guide on how to become a freelance writer’…
If you know something that someone else doesn’t, you can put together a guide teaching people how to accomplish it. Show them what tools or products used, and post your affiliate links together with it.
Tutorial is an effective way to draw the audience to you, especially when you are able to give clear and easy-to-follow instruction. Provides tips or shortcuts whenever you can, this shows your authority in the subject matter and can boost the audience’s confidence towards you.
5. Comparison Posts
‘Blue Yeti vs. Blue Snowball Condenser Microphone – which one is better?’, ‘Xbox One S vs. Xbox One X: Which one should you buy?’
Comparing a few similar products that people usually thinking about – either one or the other, is a good way to engage your audience.
Posts like this, however, may require deeper product knowledge as you need to compare and contrast the strength and weaknesses of each of the products. It is best if you have tried both so that you can make a fair comparison.
4. Keyword Research
Whichever style of post you choose to write, remember that your title is as important as your content.
Create attention-grabbing title helps with the click-through rate, and having the proper keywords in your title helps to improve your ranking in the search engine, driving more traffic to your site, and enhancing your marketing effectiveness.
Select keywords that are low in competition with relatively good search volume. That way you are avoiding competition with the big brand names and it will be easier for you to get ranked.
p/s: You also get 2 websites hosted for free under Siterubix subdomain.
By now you should have a clear idea on how to start an affiliate marketing blog. There are so many people trying to dip their toes into affiliate marketing but give up way too early. Don’t be like them, be the 5% that actually press on and succeed!
If you want to find out more about how I do affiliate marketing, join me at the link below (it’s free, no worries).
Frequently Asked Question
1. Why is there no one clicking on my link?
Read through your own blog and ask yourself, if I am the reader, will I click on the link? If not, why so?
Could it be :
- The link is not obvious enough?
- I sounded like I am doing hard-selling (too eager to sell a product and lose focus on how to help people)?
- I myself am not convinced about the product and I showed my doubt in my writing?
- I did not provide valuable information to my audience?
- My site looks too ‘scammy’?
- My blog is just too new and I haven’t build up the trust with my audience yet?
Once you have identified the problem, you can then try to solve it.
2. Why other people seem to achieve a better result faster?
Try not to compare with others, some could have engaged paid ads (and who knows how much they have spent), or the help of social media influencer. They may not always be honest with you.
3. What are the secrets of success in affiliate marketing?
Patience and content.
Do you know that 95% of the newbies failed to succeed in affiliate marketing?
People started out thinking that affiliate marketing is an easy way to make quick money, And when their affiliate business couldn’t lift off as fast as they expected, they gave up.
The truth is, most people just gave up too early.
There is a saying ‘persist beyond the point where most people have given up, that is the time you will succeed’. Don’t stop at one inch before your gold!
And make sure you create a lot of content – insightful content, not just superficial product information. And don’t be a perfectionist – it is better to publish content frequently (2-3 times a week) than waited a month to publish one masterpiece.
4. Do I have to purchase a product in order to do a review about it?
No, you don’t have to.
However, you have to do extensive user experience research and make sure that you understand the product inside out. Make an effort to dive into the products you are affiliated with. People don’t come to your site reading things that they can easily find elsewhere, they come to your blog to understand your unique take about the product.