1. Getting Started
First things first. What is affiliate marketing?
You will apply for partnerships with companies to help sell their products and services. If someone buys something from your affiliate link, you get a commission. Say you helped sell a $100 item at a 10%, you just made $10.
Seems easy enough right?
If you stay consistent and pick a decent niche, it’s smooth sailing. Things to look for in affiliate programs are gravity scores, cookie length, commission type, and tiers. If you put a little effort into your project each day, I guarantee you will find success.
2.Picking a Platform
The very first choice is whether you should use WordPress or Shopify. These are both the top industry standard platforms to use.
The biggest mistake I see people make is running a shopify website with custom apparel. This is more a merch type store than anything. That kind of stuff sells well because they already have a name behind it. I don’t recommend selling your own products, unless you already have a successful business that can transfer to the internet. 99% of you will do better with WordPress, but here are the differences.
With WordPress you can create beautiful websites of all types and there are far more custom options for you to consider. WordPress takes a bit more work to create a functional website than Shopify, however it is still very simple. There is no coding (unless you want to) and you can build a simple site in hours.
Personally I use WordPress, and you should too.
For passive online income sources, WordPress is perfect. I suggest you use this unless you have physical products you need to ship.
It skips a ton of work but using Themes. With these themes you don’t have to code anything and a website can be built in a matter of hours.
Along with Themes, are plugins which are widgets that can be used to customize your theme. Yoast SEO is a great plugin.
3. Choosing a Host
You’ve decided to use WordPress? Fantastic! Now it’s time to choose a host. Choosing a host requires two parts. The Hosting and a Domain Name. The domain is the name of the website, for instance “gainprofitonline.com” and hosting is the company that hosts your website! They usually get purchased together. So when you buy hosting, you will buy a domain with it.
The first step is to come up with a domain name. Keep them simple and applicable to your business idea. Here is mine :
The more important factor here is choosing something simple that can be remembered and also something relevant to your content. You may want to look up different types of affiliate programs to see what your content may end up looking like. If you want to stick out in this affiliate world you need to find a niche. If you can’t think of a niche, follow those around you that have already created passive income. Success leaves breadcrumbs. In the end, the domain name isn’t super vital because most names that would make a huge impact on SEO are already taken. The internet is getting old! Or at least older.
Here’s how in 2 steps you can check to see if your domain name is available. (domain name checker) You are going to click through the first two options, which will bring you to the domain check process. When you press “proceed” you will be able to see what’s available.
It doesn’t have to be perfect and that’s okay. Just pick something relative and you are well on your way!
So you’ve chosen a domain name? Great! Now it’s time to choose a Host.
At first choosing a host can seem overwhelming. There are a ton of options and they can be tricky in how they actually price their hosting. They will use salesman terminology like “starting at 2.99 / month” but the renewal pricing will be much more. After developing dozens of websites and working with a majority of hosting companies I have come up with a list for you of the best services for their price.
Top 3 Hosts
Hostinger is the service I use. With top speeds, low down times and instant 24/7 customer support I rank this one very high.
BlueHost is similar to Hostinger in it’s quality but it is a little more expensive. However they make up for it in it’s ease of use. A great choice for a beginner.
SiteGround has had a lot of buzz lately and for good reason. They have topped every single chart in terms of speed, uptime and quality of hosting. Everyone seems to be switching over to SiteGround. They are easily the crowd favorite here and as you can see have won a lot of fans over in the social media world. If you want to start making passive money online, this is the optimum host.
As far as as a best service, I don’t think anyone would disagree in saying SiteGround is the best. They boast speed specifications that are unparalleled in the industry today.
- SSD’s on all plans (Solid State Drives) This creates a 1000x increase in input/output operation compared to normal drives.
- NGINX server speed. NGINX speeds up static content.
- Custom SuperCacher. Speeds up dynamic content dramatically.
- Free CDN. They cache your content prior so that when someone around the other side of the world wants to see your content, they have the closest web server giving your new client your content extremely fast.
- HTTP/2. A new network protocol that significantly speeds up loading times. They are 1 of few who currently have this.
- Free SSL. SSL is crucial for securing your website, and helps your sites SEO. Not to mention protects you from MitM attacks.
- PHP7. While some hosting providers remain in the safe zone, SiteGround is on the cutting edge of tech. Considering WordPress uses PHP, this speeds up your site even more so. Speed not only lets your content be shown faster, but will help your website rank higher.
With over 2,000,000 domains, and 99.99% uptime, and being recommended by WordPress themselves SiteGround is the current top dog in hosting providers. Check out what people are saying on the internet.
INSERT POLLS HERE
If I was getting started today, I would choose SiteGround as my hosting. Plain and simple. They are the best. But any of these 3 are highly advisable.
3. Finding Affiliates
Here’s where we add in our products and services to start making a passive online income source. If you have your own products to sell you will either use Shopify to list them or WooCommerce if you have chosen WordPress. If you are selling others products, AKA, Affiliate Marketing, you will need to find a few programs to sell.
Here are my favorite and recommended choices:
Amazon Associates is probably the most popular program. With over 1 million products to sell, they are also the largest. Certain products contain different commissions for you. For instance Luxury Beauty and Amazon Coins get you a whopping 10% commission. There are many different categories and if you see one you like, pick something and create a niche site out of it. It helps if you are passionate because your honesty will show through and help sell your product.
ShareASale has been around for almost two decades now. They represent quite a few larger companies such as Reebok and FarmFoods. Some of there cookies last up to a month as well. They boast 3,900+ merchants. Another great affiliate to find a niche with.
Ebay Partners is much like Amazon in many ways where you can find pretty much anything and get an affiliate link for it. If someone buys off of your link, you will get a commission. It’s pretty straightforward as far as affiliate programs go and a good beginner level start.
Honorable Mentions Include :
Clickbank, Rakuten, Adsense, CJ.
4. Marketing & SEO
SEO will eventually get its very own complete guide, but for now I will keep it short and sweet to get you off your feet. See how to find your backlinks for HERE!
You are going to want to use :
Yoast is an SEO plugin for wordpress that is simple to use and walks you through creating quality pages that will rank well with search engines. With great content comes great traffic. SEO should be thought of as a secondary to the content (primary). You will polish your site with backlinks, sitemap indexing and other optimization tools. However you can’t promote nothing. You need to have content. Content is king. Period.
To optimize the content itself, it will judge your:
- Readability scores
- Passive voicing
- Consecutive sentence
- Headings / Sub Headings
- Transition words
Yoast will also show you any metadata that needs to be added to higher your ranking.
You should also edit how Google lists your site. Customize the snippets and keywords to find a niche that doesn’t have too much competition. Keywords are very important. If you decide on generic keywords instead of a long tailed specific keyword, you will never get higher in ranking than your competition. They have years and experience on you.
(I don’t think I’ve ever tried a papaya, should I?)
Here’s an oddly specific keyword. Perhaps this person is an affiliate for certain meal types that are made for people who don’t want to cook. That would be their niche, and the page could be specific recipes that are trending or people might tend to look up. Then you might want to also great a subscription list to keep up with newer recipes and deals online. People love to subscribe to things, think youtube and psychical magazines. So why not an email list? Slap that guy on the right hand side of your blogs content on most pages are you’re bound to get some return traffic. Allow moderated comments as well to bring a community aspect in to it.There is gold here. Take this foundation, find something you like and are interested in, and tell everyone about it from the top of your lungs!
You could also buy traffic. It’s not great. It can work well though. Especially to start, if you have a few hundred dollars to spare. Never spend money you can’t afford to lose. However, you can definitely build a working model with paid ads. I haven’t had too much success with FB ads but better with Google ads. It depends on the niche. Think of what social media is what audience. FB tends to be a bit older than most social media. Pinterest has one of the highest purchase rates out of a social media. Instagram is younger, but you can build traffic very easily. Not to mention they are far less strict with automation than anyone else. See what your niche does and what it’s for, and apply it to the best fit. You will do great, just take that leap of faith. You have to do something you’ve never done to be somewhere you’ve never been.
The last concept I will leave you with is Domain Authority, or just DA. This was a concept made by Moz, which is a leading figure in SEO. I’d suggest checking out there website for anything related to SEO. They are very white hat however and if you wish to stray from the average path, then maybe check out sites like BHW. I do however advise from staying away from buying backlinks or unnatural traffic that might be considered spam. Bad SEO, can derail your website. You should plan on building a long term solution. Branch out and build several different ventures to create a high chance at success. Something is bound to stick, and when it does, transfer more energy to it.
If you want to start making a passive online income source, the best way is to pick a host like SiteGround, use a platform like WordPress, and sign up with an affiliate like Amazon. After that find a niche that you can target your audience with. Then start creating blog posts describing certain products and services within that niche.
Above all, market your blog to different networking groups on the internet and real life. Think facebook, reddit, pinterest, youtube. Create satellite sites where you can create a natural backlink to your website. Guest blogging is example of this. In addition, you can use SEO to allow search engines to better find your content. With a good niche, and carefully selected long tail keywords, you will rank well. Ranking well brings more traffic. 90% of all searches are with Google.
There is no catch all solution here but if you follow these steps, you will find success. They say the best time to plant a tree is 7 years ago. The next best time is today. Get planting. You will reap the seeds you sow.