Anyone with a decent-sized blog, website, or social media presence has eventually asked “how can I start making money off of this?” Chances are, whether you run a beauty channel or a podcast, there’s an advertising partner out there that’s right for you. Below, we’ll explore how to start affiliate marketing.
Here’s a quick breakdown of affiliate marketing for beginners. Advertisers want to reach new customers with ads and offers. Those advertisers pay individual creators or even large-scale publishers of content a commission to steer customers to their website. The content creators (“affiliates”) are responsible for coming up with engaging ways of serving those recommendations to their audience.
Affiliate marketing is well worth considering for any digital business. But it isn’t easy—you’ll have to come up with a workflow timeline, regularly create trending content, and stay productive throughout.
You can’t become a successful affiliate marketer overnight. It takes time and effort and a little bit of luck. Here’s how to get started.
Choosing your network
When getting started as an affiliate marketer, there are some simple steps you should take to protect yourself. First, choose an affiliate network and advertising partners that you trust.
Affiliate networks are services that connect advertisers with affiliates. Apple, Amazon, and Google all have developed affiliate programs, and there are many more to choose from. If you’re starting out in affiliate marketing, it’s better to choose an established network early on than to try to deal with individual advertisers and products—that can come later.
Once you’ve chosen the advertisers you want to work with, make sure that you vet the product that you’re marketing. If you’re going to be steering customers toward a product, you want it to be something worth their time. The only thing you have is the trust of your readership, and if you blow it on a substandard product or one that doesn’t fit their needs, they may be less likely to click through to your advertisers in the future.
Build up your own brand
Once you know who your advertisers are, your focus should shift to making your audience excited about that product, and to translating their excitement into clicks. Make sure that you’re producing high-quality content that keeps your subscribers coming back to your page.
If you find that you’re having a hard time writing blog posts, try out Ulysses, a robust writing app that can help you eliminate writer’s block. If you’re looking for a way to bring more structure to your posts, consider Manuscript for outlining. And if you just need some inspiration, News Explorer can help you find the best trending news for your topic.
You should also try producing video content, which works very well for affiliate marketing. You can always squeeze a new video out of each product you’re marketing by doing a sponsored review. Capto is a fast and easy way to record screen video on your Mac.
Another great way to turn your audience into an affiliate marketing resource is to offer incentives for them to join an email list. With services like Mailchimp, you can serve them content (and links to your advertisers) right to their inboxes. This direct approach will also let you see how successful your marketing attempts are by letting you track the clickthroughs.
You’ll probably need to scale up your website along with your content. Use RapidWeaver to build out the website you deserve without writing a line of HTML. And use Yummy FTP Pro to transfer and backup as many files as you want quickly and securely.
Over time, you can develop your strategy based on how different approaches perform. If you’re interested in making money at affiliate marketing, you can’t neglect the email list.
One more piece of advice for beginners: manage your expectations. Unless you already have hundreds of thousands of devoted followers, you probably won’t generate enough money to quit your day job just yet. Don’t be taken in by get-rich-quick promises from disreputable affiliate marketing courses.
Done right, affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick idea. It’s a make money from something you already do without doing much extra work idea. It takes time to find the right fit and the right approach. Anyone who tells you otherwise isn’t being honest.
Making money as an affiliate
It’s easy to get started in affiliate marketing. Making money as an affiliate marketer takes a little more doing. If you approach it with patience, determination, and reasonable expectations, you’ll likely end up turning a profit.
Just remember that it’s all a factor of how much your followers trust your recommendations. If you steer them right, they’ll keep clicking through your ads, and you’ll keep getting paid.
Why the Secret of Successful Blogging May Surprise You
I filmed a video earlier today.
I showed off some of my newfound flexibility due to doing deep yin yoga daily for over a year.
But the video explains a deeper blogging lesson.
This is the secret of blogging success guys. Said secret may surprise you. Or it may not, depending on where you are on your journey.
You can watch the video here.
You may look for shortcuts to blogging success. I did.
For years I figured if I worked harder and cut corners I would discover the secret, or magic bullet, yielding quick blogging success.
After falling flat on my face for years I finally uncovered the secret to successful blogging. Shocked me a bit. I waited to be featured on Oprah to get my big break. I swung for the fences. Turns out, blogging success finds those bloggers who do simple, seemingly tiny things daily.
I know this idea may shock you because you probably believe retweeting this blog post and publishing a comment on this post means little. But tagging me on Facebook and sharing this blog post – even though it seems like a tiny, insignificant action – leads to all types of exciting possibilities. Even if we do not make friends after the first time you share a guest post of mine, we may bond after you share a guestie of mine. Maybe I retweet your latest post to my 50,000 plus Twitter followers, in response to your kind share.
Guys; I retired to a life of island hopping through smart blogging because I:
- retweeted blogger’s posts
- commented patiently on blogs
- published guest posts
- published posts on Blogging From Paradise
- broadcast live videos
- published videos
Does this sound sexy? Not really. I love blogging. But engaging in simple actions over years gets boring sometimes.
Shocking, right? Didn’t you think I’d say being featured on Virgin led to stunning success? Fat chance. I got some pub and a nice branding boost but business was pretty much as usual after the appearance on Virgin.
My big blog traffic flows to Blogging From Paradise through little blogging actions I take daily. Big blogging success is a tabulation of tiny, seemingly insignificant actions that lead to huge success if you engage in these tiny actions over years of your life.
Floors most bloggers, who are too cool to comment on blogs or to promote other bloggers. You are dead in the blogging water if ego calls the shots because ego looks beyond the simple and humble blogging actions that build empires toward some big time, major league feature on major media outlets. You whiff 99.99% of the time and even if you score, business may increase but not to insane levels, in most cases.
Successful blogging is just year’s worth of tiny, simple actions, summed up, to create something eye-popping.
Publish a blog comment. Publish a blog post. Tap a retweet button. Feature a reader or blogger on your blog. Answer a question on Quora. These actions lead to something special if you generously engage in these activities for 5-7 days weekly over years of your life.
Successful blogging is hitting single after single, not swinging for the fences, trying to hit a home run every time. You will strike out most of the time. Even if you clear the fences and knock it out of the park, your success surge will be short lived.
Keep drilling those singles guys. Broadcast live on your Facebook Page. Help folks by answering a few questions on the Warrior Forum.
You probably didn’t think a guy could retire to a life of island hopping through these tiny actions but wow did they ever add up over time, leading to something awesome.
How to Drive Huge Traffic to Your Blog
Spend the next 5-7 years of your life helping people.
But first; learn blogging inside-out. Follow advice from a blogging mentor. Invest in a good blogging eBook. Invest in a blogging course.
BIG traffic numbers flow to:
- persistent bloggers
- generous bloggers
- patient bloggers
Huge traffic numbers flow to bloggers after said bloggers rendered generous service for years. Short cuts do not exist in the blogging game.
24,000 Podcast Listens in 2 Days
My friend Alonzo Pichardo and I recorded a podcast on his channel.
We chatted about how to find the right online business for you.
This podcast has registered 24,000 listens in 2 days.
Listen to the podcast here.
How do you get 24,000 listens on your podcast over 2 days?
Spend 10 years of your life learning, serving and connecting.
Most bloggers never bother learning. Insane, right? Some learn but serve little, greedily wanting big money after publishing 2 blog posts. Other bloggers learn and serve but never network, building no friendships, struggling to drive traffic because no successful person does it solo.
There are a few bloggers like Alonzo and I who devote our lives to our blogs and businesses over a decade. No; not for a week. Nope; not for a month, or for 1 year, or 5 years. A decade. 10 years.
Alonzo built a huge following over that time by helping people. I built a decent-sized following over a decade too.
Alonzo and I built up the:
to be able to chat on blogging and internet marketing topics with ease over 30-60 minutes. 24,000 people or thousands of people registering 24,000 listens would not show up, listen and share this podcast if we did not have some serious skills and knowledge in discussing this topic.
These skills were developed over 10 years. We built our tribes over 10 years.
If you want huge blog traffic numbers you simply:
- learn how to blog from pros
- practice writing
- create helpful content
- build meaningful connections
for 6-7 days weekly, over the next 5-7 to 10 years of your life. Big numbers reflect generous, intelligent, persistent, focused efforts. Small numbers reflect stingy, unintelligent, impatient, unclear efforts.
Show Up Even When You Do Not Feel Like It
I recorded a video on Facebook today.
I discussed a core concept that leads to huge traffic numbers over the long haul.
You can watch the video here.
Successful bloggers who drive serious traffic show up daily. Even if their traffic numbers seem non-existent in the beginning, this crowd believes in themselves, generously helps people and keeps serving every day over years of their lives.
Struggling bloggers show up only a few times weekly or monthly because they publish posts and network only when they feel 100%. I am a happy dude. But I rarely feel 100%. No human does. My neck feels stiff. I feel tired. But I already created 6 pieces of content today at 3:07 PM. After I publish this blog post I will have created piece of content #7.
I direct all readers back to Blogging From Paradise through those 7 pieces of content. Can you see why I drive some pretty heady traffic numbers to my blog? I create and connect freely on a daily basis. Even when I do not feel like it.
If you want to help a bunch of folks and dream of big traffic numbers, begin helping people now. Do not worry about stats. Do not sweat outcomes. Help people by publishing posts to your blog. Promote other bloggers. Comment genuinely on blogs in your niche.
Help people daily for years. Do not stop helping when numbers do not seem to be rising. Do not panic. Believe in you.
See these mini lulls through. You too will drive big traffic to your blog.
4 Successful Blogging Lessons Cats Teach You
Cats seem to follow me all around the globe.
From Istanbul to Thailand, to Fiji to Bali, to Costa Rica to New York City, I find myself living with cats.
Kitties teach you 4 successful blogging lessons too.
Note; the featured image for this post is real. My wife Kelli and I stepped into a cage with three 400 pound tigers in Thailand. Legal in the Land of Smiles.
Bonus lesson; stepping into a cage with apex predators forces you to face deep fears, a good quality to develop if you want to habitually dive into deep blogging fears. Maybe we can devote an entire post to tiger versus tabby interactions on Blogging Tips down the road. Hold me to that guys.
Let’s dive into the lessons.
1: Go Slowly
Cats go slowly.
Never one to waste energy, kitties slowly and patiently stroll through the day. Predators need to conserve energy to be ready to pounce with one explosive leap.
Like cats, go slowly, my fellow bloggers. Take your time writing your next post. Relax. Slow down. Calm down. Keep going but understand this: blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
2: Honor Creative Bursts
Cats seemingly explode into exercise bursts a few times daily. Usually at 4 AM as these nocturnal creatures honor their hunting instincts.
Successful bloggers mirror this trait. I create 7-10 pieces of new content daily between blog posts, guest posts, videos and sometimes podcasts too. Make hay while the sun shines. Or honor creative bursts when such periods arise.
Following tip 1 helps you follow this tip. I find most bloggers to be completely burned out because most sprint and run out of energy versus taking the marathon approach. When you do go slow and steady these short, hyper creative bursts find you more frequently. Neat how it works.
3: Get Your Sleep
I watch Barnaby sleep like a baby now. He is good for hours of napping and sleeping daily.
I saw cats in Fiji sleep 18 hours or more daily. Jet lag forced me awake for a 28 hour period and I swear these cats slept a good 18-20 hours during this stretch.
Successful, energetic bloggers get ample sleep daily. Recharges the battery. Keeps you on point, too.
Folks wonder how I find the energy to create and connect as much as I do. Easy; I rest sufficiently every single day, never bothering to leave my bed until 8 hours have passed. This morning I woke at 7 AM but stayed in bed until 8 AM because 8 hours had not elapsed from beddy-bye time. Being well-rested helps me remain completely energized during my blogging work day.
4: Patiently Wait for Opportunities to Arise
Have you ever observed a house cat – or wild cat – stalk its prey?
Cats patiently wait in stealth mode before pouncing.
My cats at home wait for 10 or 20 minutes beside windows, tails flaring, muscles flexing, focused on chipmunks or squirrels in the yard. Even though my kitties cannot blast through the window and make the kill these kitties display the same immense patience exhibited by big cats like lions and tigers.
As you proceed slowly and steadily, resting amply but honoring your creative bursts, patiently waiting for opportunities like:
- ideal clients
- ideal customers
- interviews on high profile blogs
- profitable partnerships
positions you to be a super successful blogger.
Most bloggers impatiently chase opportunities and successful bloggers, repelling good things and awesome people with their desperation.
Successful bloggers work peacefully and allow opportunities to flow their way.
Years passed before I landed features on Fox News, Virgin, Entrepreneur and Forbes. Such is the case for every seasoned, veteran blogger. Patience is the name of the blogging game.
Learn sweet blogging lessons from your feline friends.
Avoid a blogging cat-astrophe down the road.
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