There is so much information online about Affiliate Marketing and so many sites explaining how it works. However, is Affiliate Marketing right for you? How can you get started? What resource do you use to begin building your online business?
Unfortunately, there are many websites offering you the opportunity to make a six-figure income with Affiliate Marketing alone. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If anything, you will find it hard to have those individuals produce any tangible proof of the income they claim they make.
What you find is that those individuals have multiple sources of income, not just from a website. They also make money on teaching others how to do the same or selling their personal line of products.
While there is nothing wrong with generating income that way, it is misleading to tell anyone that they can make a large income solely from Affiliate Marketing.
What I hope to share with you is what I have learned and continue to learn. I will share along the way what I find works for my online business in hopes that it will benefit yours and help you succeed.
Although I have a long-term, 5-year plan for myself, I have already started generating some revenue. While it might not be the amount that I hope to make in the coming years, it confirms that this works for those who put the work in.
I will be happy to have you follow my progress over the next five (5) years, which is my retirement target timeline, and if you decide to try it, I hope to celebrate your successes along the way.
Why did I choose Affiliate Marketing?
After researching many of the options for building an online business, I found that Affiliate Marketing made the most sense to me. I knew I could apply my personal skills, abilities and life experiences.
Coming from a background in management, teaching and mentoring, I also knew that I could use this to help others on this exciting journey.
There are a few things you must be aware of if you are willing to give this a try:
- You will not be generating large amounts of money overnight.
- What you will see is gradual and steady growth as a result of consistent and steady hard work.
- Unless you invest a lot of money to purchase “traffic”, improve Google rankings, and purchase lists, you will have to do the necessary things to cause that to happen. It is possible with the right information and guidance.
- You will not find the “secret” to becoming rich.
- If anyone tells you they have that secret, please let them know to show you their monthly paychecks over a period of years, not just 1 or 2 months of spiked, hyped sales efforts.
- What you will find are realistic goal setting and real results.
- You will not be able to do this a few times and expect things to happen.
- It requires your commitment to building a business that will result in steady extra income for your retirement years to do the things you have always wanted to do when you retire.
- You must manage your time and set realistic timelines to work on your website.
- You will not need to know all types of technical “stuff”.
- If you use a computer to email or search the internet, you can do this!
- If you can read and follow instructions, then you can do this!
- Knowing some technical jargon helps but you will learn that along the way.
- You will not need a business loan to get your business started.
- You can start this business with very little to nothing. As you build it you can invest accordingly.
Crock-pot or Microwave Method?
I like to think of building this business using the crock-pot method. The crock-pot method, you ask? Let me explain.
Sure, you can make things happen faster by paying for traffic and purchasing lists of names. You can pay someone else to write a ton of content for you. You can do all of those things.
However, I decided to focus first on writing quality content that is of value to my audience. I want to take the time to build my business with a good foundation.
This means you will be building your website with the goal of developing it into a highly respected resource for information on a specific topic of your choosing. You want to bring value so that your website is able to drive traffic (ie: visitors) which eventually results in revenue.
Once visitors are on your website, your posts might suggest a product that solves a problem or presents a solution to a problem they have. They purchase through the vendor’s website that is linked to your website. You make a commission for that sale.
But I want to make money fast!
Ah! Of course, you want to build something fast and see quick results. The microwave approach can appeal to those who do not want to take the time to build a business and put time in to watch it grow.
If you have the kind of money to get things rolling faster, by all means, do all you can. But if you are the typical person working hard while trying to build a side business with limited resources, then the microwave approach is not the way to go. You want to make sure you take the time to build something of value that will last.
The internet is saturated with promises for fast and easy money but Affiliate Marketing is not that. We are providing unique insight that helps a person decide if the product we are recommending is right for them to purchase.
Giving your audience valuable information, as well as resources to help them make informed buying decisions will gain the trust of your audience over time.
Setting long-term goals for success is necessary. There is no guarantee that your first website will result in any sales or income. How much you make will depend on your ability to learn, adapt and grow. Bottom line, how much you can earn depends on you.
Some people get lucky and get a sale right away, possibly within a few weeks or months of being online. Below is an example of my website activity with Amazon. You will see sales starting within just two months and increasing over the holidays. That was not some magic formula nor was it some secret “sauce”.
I followed the lessons I learned on Wealthy Affiliate and made sure to promote my website via social media while writing posts that provide useful information. I had some setbacks in my progress but slow and steady is providing in some tangible results that propel me to continue pushing through the negative thoughts that can creep in.
My www.mentalgolfsolutions.com website was created on July 20, 2016. As you can see I started seeing my first sales/commissions in September 2016 (within 2 months). While it is not a large amount of income or sales this is what you will see as you continue adding content and making your website known via social media and other sources.
How long should I expect to wait before seeing my business grow?
Every business is different based on size, type of business and effort placed on growing it. As a past brick and mortar business owner, I found that the first year or two you usually are in the red. The second or third year you should be making back some of your investment money. By the end of the third or fourth year, you should start seeing some profit.
With an online business, I expect to start seeing results within at least a year. Online businesses have dips in income as it does depend on sales and purchases made by your audience throughout the year. As you see my screenshot above, December brought in more sales as it was Christmas time. I would expect January to drop as most people are recovering from spending during December.
I have set up a long-term plan and hope to start seeing a stable and diversified income coming in. However, do not try to compare your progress to others because each business differs based on how much time the individuals invest in it and the product or niche involved.
Can I make money faster?
You might read all about paying for traffic to speed up your sales. However, that will be expensive and your sales pages are probably not going to convert because your site is new and not enough content on it to drive traffic to it.
While it might sound like the slow path, this also gives you the time to make the mistakes along the way without it costing you a lot of money. If you have money to spend from the start then, by all means, try paying for advertising, otherwise, set up a long-range goal and monitor your progress.
How much time do I have to set aside to make my business work?
If you need money right away then I would not recommend going this path. What I do recommend is a regular job that will start paying you immediately. However, if you are working already and, like myself, are looking to set up a business that will generate extra income in preparation for your retirement then you are on the right track.
My question to you is: are you ready to make some changes to your schedule and manage your time in order to spend it on your online business? Perhaps your evening routine might need to change to devote at least 1 – 2 hrs to your business. Your weekend days might be scheduled to also give your business some focused time.
Are you willing and disciplined enough to learn new skills? Nothing on here is too difficult to learn. With the internet nowadays we can learn so much via YouTube videos, ebooks, etc. If you are part of a great community, such as Wealthy Affiliate, the amount of support and learning materials is enough to get your business off the ground, generating an income.
Take advantage of this great online opportunity!
There is so much more to know and I will continue providing articles to give you the information you are looking for. However, if you do not see what you are looking for please do not hesitate to send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org or post a question on here.
My next post will talk about how to decide on a niche for a website and the reasons for selecting one. I will also talk about generating traffic to your website and how that happens over time without spending money to make it happen.
If you are ready to get started go to the Get Started page and create a free account and start on the path to more income.