For those looking to make an online stream of income, there is a great deal of information about Affiliate Marketing available today. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of misinformation.
Because of that, many people are left asking the questions–Is Affiliate Marketing hard? Can I really do it?
The answers are: No, it’s not hard if you’re committed and get the right training, and Yes, you really can do it!
Let’s take a closer look at what an Affiliate Marketing business really is and what you need to get started.
How Does An Affiliate Marketing Business Work?
The way an affiliate marketing business works is by using your own website or blog to communicate with people about products or services that you like.
If your readers are interested in checking out the product from a retailer, they do so by clicking on a link from your site.
If they decide to purchase an item, this makes money for you in the form of a commission. Commissions can be anywhere from 5% to 80% of the sale, depending upon the retailer’s affiliate program.
The retailer will pay you a commission for anything that the customer purchases, it doesn’t even have to be the product you were promoting!
For those who may think that you need marketing expertise or programming experience, here’s a video from a 21-year-old successful affiliate marketer with no degree or technical experience who has grown his business into a full time income:
For a more details about affiliate marketing, see What is an Online Marketing Business and How Do I Get Started?
What You Need To Start
The only equipment you need is a laptop or desktop computer and an internet connection. You could use a mobile device, but it will be much more difficult than using a laptop.
Using your laptop, you need to create your own website. Many people think that it’s extremely difficult to build a website and expensive to have someone else build it for you.
Years ago, that may have been true–but not today! One of the most powerful website platforms that you can use is WordPress, and you can set up your own site with them in no time.
The first time I tried to make money online, I sold products online with a business model called dropshipping. I spent hundreds of dollars getting someone to build my site.
Today, you can set up your own website by choosing a domain name and a theme, and it takes under 3 minutes!
Check out this video that shows you just how easy it is:
Figuring out what you want your affiliate marketing business to be about is your next step, and that is called choosing your niche.
Every business needs to have a focus, and the great thing about running your own affiliate marketing business is that you can focus on any interest or passion that you have–it’s all up to you!
You can see the best way to find your perfect niche at What is an Affiliate Marketing Niche and How Do I Choose One?
Once you choose your niche, you’ll need a domain name. What you do is purchase the rights to a domain on a yearly basis, and the cost is typically about $14 a year.
This domain name can be anything you want that is available, but you’ll need to be sure it’s easy to remember and relevant to the niche you’ve chosen.
Those are the basic items you need to start an affiliate marketing business, so now let’s look at the skills you’ll need.
Skills You Need
Most people think that you need to be very computer savvy to have an online business. While great computer skills will certainly help you get going faster, there are many online tools that enable anyone to learn the skills necessary to be a success.
One of the things you’ll be doing very often is writing content, which consists of articles that inform and educate your readers as well as promote products. Every article, or post, that you write will be your avenue to attract people to your site and what you offer.
There are basic writing skills that you will need to have, such as constructing understandable sentences and being able to convey your ideas in a way that readers can understand.
If writing is not your strong suit, think of it as having a conversation and explaining your topic to your readers as if they were standing in front of you.
Some marketers use free voice recognition software and dictate their articles because it’s more comfortable for them instead of writing it down on paper.
If correct sentence structure and grammar are not your best skills, there are tools you can use to check your article and show you where corrections need to be made. Having someone proofread your article for you, like a friend or your spouse, can also be a big help.
When I first started my online business, I had my husband proofread my articles and give me feedback on how well he could understand it.
Since he was not at all interested in building an online business, I knew if he could understand what I was saying, I was definitely going in the right direction for my readers who would want my information!
Another skill that is necessary for affiliate marketing is the ability and willingness to do research on a topic.
Your articles need to convey information that your readers are interested in, and you want to be viewed as an authority in your niche. In order to do that, you need to explain your topic thoroughly and accurately.
To research data for your content, you could go online, ask questions from an expert in the field, experiment with various things related to your niche–anything that gives you enough information to be sure your readers are getting a quality, informative experience on your site.
What You Don’t Need To Start
For someone who’s interested in affiliate marketing, knowing what you don’t need is as important as knowing what you do need.
You don’t need scam programs that offer you the world for a little bit of money and then try to upsell you expensive add ons in the name of “training”.
As someone who has an online marketing business, I get very frustrated at the number of programs out there that want to convince people that they can make money overnight working an hour a day with a system that does it all for them.
It won’t, and if you’re like me, you could spend hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars before you realize these programs won’t get you anywhere!
Here at BuildYourEarlyRetirement.com I’ve reviewed several programs, and will continue to review more, in order to weed out the scams and programs that simply aren’t worth your time and money.
You can see my reviews in the navigation bar above and learn how to avoid scams at Make Money Online Fast–Beware of the Scams!
Getting The Right Training
If you’re a beginner and not familiar with running a website or how to write great content, it is extremely beneficial to have some training.
You want this training to actually teach every step you should be doing to create a quality website that will bring in visitors and make money.
It’s also essential that the program has a platform for asking questions and where you can integrate yourself with others that have the same goal of a successful online business.
My #1 recommendation that meets all the criteria is Wealthy Affiliate. The owners of this company have set up a program that ensures you receive updated, comprehensive training on every aspect of affiliate marketing for whatever niche you want to promote.
This is no scam, and they will tell you it takes commitment, time and a great deal of effort. But with their community platform, live chat, 1000’s of training modules, and much more, the program will give anyone the ability to become an affiliate marketer.
You can start your business with their free lifetime membership, which includes 2 WordPress websites. Their premium membership includes 50 websites and many other great features to help you take your business and money-making potential as far as you want to go!
I recommend Wealthy Affiliate as my #1 choice and you can read my review here.
Affiliate Marketing Is Not Hard If You’re Committed
Is Affiliate Marketing hard and can you do it? The real answers are that it depends on you! You have to be committed to running an online business to make money and willing to put in the time and effort it takes to be successful.
If you avoid the scams and get good quality training, affiliate marketing is not hard and you can do it!
Do you have any experience running an online business or want to become an affiliate marketer? Please share your ideas, experiences, and questions below!