A lot of the lessons that I write involve topics that assume you already have some experience with affiliate marketing, so I wanted to write a guide for beginners on how to start affiliate marketing in the year 2022.
Modern, up-to-date information is important because the tactics that worked 5 or 10 years ago may not be as effective today.
This course is going to teach you about the essentials that are needed to begin including your own website, a domain name, and web hosting. I’ll also talk to you about earnings and monetization options. At the bottom of this guide you can find a list of frequently asked questions that are helpful for brand new affiliate marketers.
Affiliate Marketing Websites
A number of years ago, beginners could get started with affiliate marketing without actually running their own website.
Although it is still possible to start like this today, there are actually a few different reasons why you will want to own your own website for affiliate promotions.
I’ve detailed the three main reasons below:
1. Affiliate Marketing Restrictions – The #1 reason why you should have your own website to start promoting affiliate offers is because of restrictions that are commonly found all over the internet today. When affiliate marketing was first getting started, spammers jumped on the opportunity. The result from this chaos left behind cautious websites that want to avoid these problems. A variety of websites, like forums or even sites selling paid advertising, actually have restrictions against promoting affiliate offers through direct links. There are even affiliate networks that may prohibit it as well. The easy solution is to get your own website and build pages on it to promote affiliate offers.
2. Free Search Engine Traffic – When you start your own website that you use to create new pages of content to promote affiliate offers, that content can actually generate free, targeted search engine traffic. Search engine traffic is possible without your own website, but the volume potential is generally much lower compared with running your own site. When an affiliate site is built to target a specific niche, it provides a boost a search engine power that can provide a lot of traffic when the site is built properly.
3. Customer Loyalty – By running your own affiliate marketing site, it gives you the opportunity to build reader loyalty that can actually result in repeat sales. Email marketing newsletters can also be used to amplify this strategy, which can give the affiliate a way to continuously contact their site traffic. If a site offers some type of value to its visitors, it can boost reader loyalty to a point where conversion rates are multiple times standard levels.
There are a lot of beginner affiliate marketers that will avoid starting their own website because they believe it will cost too much to do it. Sure, it is not free to run your own website, but if you have been avoiding this because of the cost, I want you to know that it is well worth it.
How to Get Started
First, I want to talk about the basic needs and costs of running your own website. Unless a specific type of paid software is required to build a site, there are only two costs associated with starting and running a site – most sites can be built for free using WordPress.
• Domain Name Registration – I highly recommend to go for a .COM domain name, regardless of what strategy you use to pick that name. If you want any hope of name/brand recognition and/or reader loyalty, you really need a .COM domain. Other domains can work in isolated situations, but those websites are generally not trying to sell something like you will.
You can get started with your own domain for less than $10, which will pay for a full year of registration. Depending on the company you use, coupon codes may be available. Personally, I pay $7.67/year for all of my domains, although there are low quality registrars that offer it for even less. I use the company that I use because of the large number of domains that I own, the customer service, and the easy transferring options that they offer (not something available for your first registration though). Budget registrars have been known to present problems in a variety of situations that I simply wish to avoid.
• Web Hosting Account – Many web hosts sell their accounts on a yearly or monthly payment plan, so you can choose one to best suit your budget. The most effective way to make money as an affiliate marketer running your own sites is to group 10 – 20 domains on the same hosting account. Many hosts today will let you host unlimited domains for the same price, so it’s obviously more cost effective when you are running many sites. There are a lot of options for website hosting, but you really do not want to cheap out here.
High speed, non-crowded servers with great customer service are things that you do not want to sacrifice here to save a couple of dollars. Be willing to pay up to $9 or $10 per month for a lower quality website hosting account or $25-$50 for one that runs faster. Faster sites can provide better search engines and result in higher earnings, but it can be tough to justify the expense when your site doesn’t earn money yet.
With a single domain name, you may be paying up to $130 per year to run that site for hosting and domain fees. However, if you build 10 domains on that hosting account, each domain will only cost you around $20 per year to run! The total cost to run 10 domains for a year may be around $200 total at a minimum, but the operating costs per site go way down as you build more sites. This allows you to build small niche websites that may only make a few dollars each day, but combined it can be a very lucrative business.
Affiliate Marketing Earnings
As you can see, starting niche affiliate marketing sites is really just a numbers game. Figure out a strategy that you can use to build sites that can make money each month. The amount of money really isn’t important. Even $30 per month from a site is good in the beginning ($1 per day average). Over time, you can easily grow a site to earn hundreds or thousands monthly.
Once you have that strategy, continue to build more sites or make existing sites larger. Each new site that you build will increase the amount of money you’ll make each month, and it will lower your monthly maintenance costs per site.
It is literally a win/win situation for each new site that you start, assuming you have a good strategy to make each of them profitable.
The possibilities of how you can make money with an affiliate marketing site are nearly endless.
Selling physical goods with a company like Amazon offers a lower commission rate but generally higher conversion rates.
Digital products such as those found on Gumroad, ClickBank or JVZoo offer a higher commission rate with conversion rates that are often many times lower than physical goods.
Sites like Commission Junction have a variety of types of products to promote. Other advertising alternatives can pay you for traffic or even leads.
One or a combination of these can be used on a site to maximize the money it can make on a monthly basis.
There is not a single rule to follow for all sites, so you will need to approach each niche in slightly different ways. Methods that work for one industry may not work for another.
After learning how to start affiliate marketing, all you really need to do is find your first domain name, register it, and then start a web hosting account.
Then, just start building pages on that site to target a specific topic and an affiliate product on each page.
Remember to keep each site focused on a specific niche to increase search engine ranking power.
The three articles below are excellent next steps for beginners. The tactics I discuss in these posts teach a lot of the essential skills and knowledge that you’ll need to build successful sites.
- Amazon Affiliate Niche & Product Research
- How to Improve Amazon Affiliate Websites for a Bonanza of Traffic & Sales
- Timeless SEO: A Search Engine Ranking Strategy Immune to Algorithm Updates
Frequently Asked Questions
Can affiliate marketing be a side hustle?
Yes! That is one of the biggest advantages. You can work during your free time and on your own schedule. When you have a 9-to-5 job, evenings and weekends are the perfect time to devote to your side hustle to increase your total annual revenue. Over time, you may even build up enough monthly earnings to replace your real job. It’s a great choice for someone that just needs to earn $100 – $1,000 extra each month to help their budget.
Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?
No, it isn’t a pyramid scheme or a scam. Real companies want to sell their products and services online. By building your own website and sending visitors to those companies, you get paid a percentage of each sale that you refer. Someone clicks on a link on your website, completes a purchase, and then you get paid. That’s the end of the transaction, so it’s impossible to be a pyramid scheme as long as nobody else is involved in the equation besides you, the company, and a customer.
Can affiliate marketing be a career?
Absolutely, but it does take a lot of time and hard work to reach the point where it can provide a full-time income. Beginners shouldn’t start expecting to turn it into a career. First try to do it as a side hustle to make some extra cash each month. After a couple of years, it’s possible to create enough content and websites to grow your income to a level where it can pay your bills. It takes a lot of dedication to achieve this goal because it won’t happen overnight.
Can affiliate marketing make you a millionaire?
It’s possible, but not very likely. Large websites that are grown daily for years can achieve enough popularity and recognition to earn a million dollars. There are a lot of long-time affiliates that are able to make six figures annually. Some social influencers with extremely large audiences also have the potential to make millions. However, it’s difficult to plan to become an influencer – some people just get lucky or have rare qualities that skyrocket them to fame and riches.
Who can start affiliate marketing?
Anybody can be an affiliate. It’s free to join most networks to get links to promote. Running your own website is the most effective strategy, which does cost around $15 per month in domain and hosting expenses. It’s possible to start this type of business for free on social networks or a variety of third-party websites, but your options are more limited without a website. Anyone can create a website these days. Technical knowledge isn’t needed using WordPress.
Are affiliate marketing course really worth it?
There are a lot of paid marketing courses that really aren’t worth the money and just contain basic, rehashed information. This website, SideBacon, contains an immense amount of free training that can teach you more than courses or coaching that sells for $1,000+. Start here and gain experience without spending money, and then decide if you need additional help that would be worth paying to receive.
Where to learn affiliate marketing for free?
This website, SideBacon.com, can teach you how to make money as an affiliate, and it won’t cost you a penny. Even a complete beginner can learn everything that they will need to be successful. A wealth of knowledge and in-depth walkthroughs are available on a wide variety of subjects that will help you get started and improve your revenue over time. New training is released daily to provide continued education that helps both newbies and long-time experts.