Welcome to your first lesson.
I would like to state something from the start; Affiliate Marketing is a business and not a get rich quick scheme. This is not a short term scam thing, although plenty of people of do that but it certainly isn’t a viable long term strategy and it also goes against my personal and business principles.
Firstly, you may face some mockery from people who think that it’s not a worthwhile pursuit and may tell you to invest your efforts in worthwhile pursuits but my advice is to completely ignore them. With some dedication, affiliate marketing can quite quickly become a full time income. And whilst it’s certainly not a guarantee, millionaires are made through affiliate marketing.
So congratulations on taking this step.
Whilst life is not all about money, it does of course make things a little easier. The real beauty of this lifestyle is that it allows you to make your own business decisions whilst working from your own chosen location and in your own hours. To this day I work mostly at night after my kids are asleep so I get to spend time with them during the day while they’re young enough to want to play with me.
What you should take away from this is that even if you have a job and a family, with just an hour or two a night, you can still have a website setup in no time and be ready to start making money.
Who Am I?
For those of you wondering who I am to be talking about this topic, here is a bit of background.
My name is Ben; That’s me over there. I am in my thirties and married with two young girls. I started internet marketing when I found out that due to a medical condition I was going to be medically retired from my job after 14 years. The condition is such that getting and then maintaining any kind of normal 9 – 5 job would be extremely difficult. I looked to the internet for some answers and came up with internet marketing.
After some research I invested $47 in my first marketing course called Consumer Wealth System. I was fortunate that this was a legitimate course and not one of the many scams that circulate around the Affiliate Marketing community. Using the information I set up my first sites which did not do very well but gave me a much better understanding of what I needed to do to succeed.
My first successful site was promoting woodworking plans through a site called Click Bank which is a site we will get to in a later email. My first sale was for $27 and I was over the moon that this internet marketing thing could actually work. As the number of visitors to my site increased and I learnt how to write better content for the site, the amount of money increased and that site to this day still makes me money without having touched it in over a year.
After making more sites, I then changed direction for a while and was building websites to promote local businesses. In short, I built sites around keywords such as Computer Repairs Dandenong and would then sell space on those sites to computer repair businesses in Dandenong. This business model worked quite well but there was a lot of time spent dealing with business owners and time consuming requests which I decided I did not want to do on a daily basis.
I once again changed tack and went back to affiliate marketing but this time with an eye to creating larger and more in-depth sites, Authority Sites, of which Casual Affairs Australia is an example.
The idea for Casual Affairs Australia arose after reading about Ashley Madison and its successful entry into the ‘dating’ market. It provided a unique service worldwide and in Australia and the lack of accurate or in-depth information about the site prompted me to fill that gap.
This particular site has gone from strength to strength for a number of different reasons and I am consistently adding more reviews and articles targeting different keywords which have seen the site become somewhat of an authority in the dating review market, and quite a lucrative market it is.
I think that’s enough about me for now.
What Is This Course Going To Do For You?
Let’s get onto what I am going to share with you over the next week or so. In a very straight forward and mostly jargon-free way, I will lay out step by step what you need to do to build your first site and start making money from it.
There are a huge range of ways to approach affiliate marketing but for the purposes of this course, and to reduce the number of variables for your first site, we are going to concentrate on small niche blog sites.
For your site to be successful you need a good understanding of each of these areas:
- Niche Selection
- Keyword Research
- Website Setup inc Hosting and Domains
- Website Content
- Search Engine Optimisation
So what does all of that mean? Below is a brief explanation of each area but we will cover them all in much greater detail in further lessons.
A niche is simply an area or genre online (Health, Wealth, Personal Improvement, etc.) that you will be promoting products or services within. We are going to be concentrating on small sites so whilst we may promote something in the Health niche, we are going to do it at a much more focused level, say Weight Loss for Teens.
The searches that people type into Google to find things on the internet are called keywords. When we are conducting keyword research, we are looking for keywords that:
- People are searching for
- That are not being targeted by thousands of other internet marketers
- That have some method of making money from
What the hell is hosting and what are domains?
A domain is simply your website and, more specifically, a domain name is the name of your site. Hosting is where people can access that domain from.
Still clear as mud?
Picture your website as a house. People want to visit your house but without a block of land to build it on and an address, they can’t find it. The hosting is your land and address so that when people want to visit, they know where to find it. Hopefully that makes sense.
Once I have explained how to setup these things, we will then look at building the framework of your site.
Your content can be in the form of blog posts, articles, reviews, reports, videos, photos, comparisons or just about anything that can provide valuable information about the product or service that you are promoting. Keep in mind, your job is not to ‘hard sell’ people on a product, it is provide information that will assist with their decision to purchase it or not. The hard sell is up to the website you are referring people to.
Monetisation is simply the method you employ to make money from your site and it comes in many different forms. You can sign up to affiliate programs, show ads on your site, or sell physical or informational products, and these are just a few of the ways that you can monetise your site.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Very generally, SEO is used to get more visitors to your site by positioning it at the top of Google’s search results for your chosen keywords. We will explain why Google in a later lesson.
If, for instance, one of the keywords you are targeting is Lose Weight Fast, ideally we want your site to be in the top three search results returned when someone types that keyword into Google. In general, the higher your sites position, the greater the number of people who will visit it.
SEO is one of the more in-depth, contentious and ever changing areas of internet marketing and we will likely spend a while covering the ins and outs of getting this right.
So that’s Affiliate Marketing in a nutshell. Whilst some of it may still seem beyond your abilities, the approach we will take throughout this course will mean that anyone with the most basic of computer skills will be able to setup and start making money from their site.
I will hold your hand through each of the areas above, explaining step by step what is required to get your business going.
Look out for my next email tomorrow and we will jump into Niche Selection.
* Please Note: I am happy for comments to be left below each of these lessons but if you have specific questions I can not guarantee that I will have the time to answer them although I will do my best to do so. The same also applies to emails sent to me.