There is so much information online that brings confusion to someone looking to understand how Affiliate Marketing works. Is Affiliate Marketing right for you and how can you get started given all the many ways to build an online business?
Unfortunately, there are many websites offering you the opportunity to make a six figure income with Affiliate Marketing alone. Most of the time you will find it hard to have those individuals produce any tangible proof of that income.
What you find is that those same individuals make a living on more than just a website promoting products. They will make money on teaching you how to do the same or selling their personal line of products. None of that is wrong, but it is misleading to tell anyone that they can make a large income solely on Affiliate Marketing.
What I hope to share with you is what I am finding, along the way, to be working for me in the short amount of time I have been working to build my website and started generating income. I will be happy to have you follow my progress over the next five (5) years, my retirement target timeline.
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 given my personal skills, abilities and life experiences. Coming from a background of management, teaching and mentoring, I wanted to use that to bring others along with me on this exciting journey.
There are a few things you must be aware of, if you want to be one of those 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 gradual 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.
- Your commitment to building a business that will result in steady extra income for your retirement bucket list items is necessary.
- You must manage your time and set realistic timelines for your website blog writing.
- You will not need to know all types of technical “stuff”.
- If you can email, use a computer to log in to do searches and can read then you are on your way.
- If you can cut and paste, download files and enjoy looking at products to promote them, then you can do this.
- Knowing some technical jargon helps but you can 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.
- You should never pay to join an Affiliate program.
- You will not learn this all at once and be done with learning.
- The learning curve is continuous and with acquired skills comes more opportunities for income.
Crock-pot vs microwave method
If you have read about Affiliate Marketing, without a doubt, you will hear about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies, keywords, back linking, purchasing traffic, list building, outsourcing, etc. However, focusing on content creation and making sure you are engaging your users is where the majority of your efforts should be spent.
It is what I consider the crock-pot method because rather than making things happen faster by paying for traffic and lists of names I decided to work on quality content that is of value to my audience and take the time to build my business with a good foundation. Besides, I do not have the money to invest at this time and even if I did I am not sure that is where my money is best invested in.
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 in turn “might” result in sales.
Once those visitors are on your website, they read your valuable post that provides them with either information or solutions to something they are looking for. Your post in turn points them to a product that you might recommend to them. 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!
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. At least I hope it is. I had some setbacks in my progress but slow and steady is giving us some tangible results that propels 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 business owner, years ago, I found that the first year you usually were in the red. The second year you were making back some of your investment money. By the end of the third year you can 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 around 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.