Affiliate Marketing: A Full Step-by-Step Guide
Ask any successful online business person how to make money online, and the first thing many of them will say is through affiliate marketing.
Sometimes they won't go farther than that. Some may not even explain how or why or even what affiliate marketing is.
It is for this reason that most people think making money online is synonymous with scamming people out of their hard-earned cash. Admit it; you have probably thought the same thing once or twice too. No one can blame you.
But affiliate marketing is actually the single most lucrative online business in the world.
The stories you hear about people making passive four or five-figure per month incomes are real.
The pictures they post traveling the world while still making insane amounts of money must infuriate you because, for the most part, none of these people tell it like it really is.
They make affiliate marketing seem like a dream that's beyond everyone's reach but theirs.
It's sad because the reality is anyone can make thousands of dollars every month, quit their day jobs, and travel the world like a retiree, courtesy of affiliate marketing. It is not an exclusive club for the wealthy. In fact, most of the millionaire affiliate marketers started their business by investing less than $100. Most of their success can be attributed to two things:
- The right information
- Relentless hard work
The only reason you still haven't joined the ranks of these self-made millionaires is that you have not had the right guidance. Nobody starts out an expert. Every single affiliate marketer started out as average, or even below average, and painstakingly clawed their way out of the 9 - 5 population into the 1 percent club. That's where all the money, luxury, and freedom lies, and if you want to follow their lead, you must first know everything there is to know about affiliate marketing.
Believe it or not, it's not much.
Table of contents
What is affiliate marketing?
We have all been affiliate marketers at one point in our lives. Remember that time you enjoyed a restaurant so much that you recommended it to a friend, then got a coupon in return? That's basically the whole gist of it.
Affiliate marketing is the business of promoting and marketing other people's products to earn commissions from sales and subscription fees.
You find a product that you're familiar with, you tell other people why that product is good or how it will help them, and if any of them buy it through you, the company rewards you with a small commission.
If you do this process repeatedly and with several different products, then you gradually attract more customers to businesses, which means you earn more commissions. Successful affiliate marketers dedicate their entire lives to searching for useful products and providing valuable insights about them so that people who need those products can learn about them before they decide to buy them or not.
Over time, these marketers can garner quite a following. That's when the money really starts to flow. Affiliate marketing is, basically, a numbers game. Picture this: if you earn a $1 commission every time someone buys a wireless keyboard through your affiliate marketing website, you will make $20 a month if 20 people do it. That figure rises to $60 if 60 people buy the wireless keyboard through your website.
Now, consider this: on average, a successful affiliate marketer can easily get over 1,000 people to buy stuff through their website. If we use the same rates, that translates to $1,000 a month, all for recommending something useful to people who need it. Imagine how crazy it starts to get when this number rises to 10,000, or even 100,000!
By now, you're starting to understand why affiliate marketers seem to be swimming in it even though they don't spend their days tied to a desk, working. So, let's finally start talking about how YOU can become a successful affiliate marketer.
Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing: The Basic Essentials
There is a lot of information on the internet on how to become an affiliate marketer. The problem is, most of it seems to be tailored for people who already know what affiliate marketing is.
What about the stay-at-home mom who has only just begun to understand that the internet is bigger than Pinterest? Or the broke college student who has never heard of some of the fancy terms affiliate "gurus" love to throw around? They don't stand a chance.
For that reason, we're taking it down several notches and boiling it down to the barebones. Because in the end, you're only as good at your craft as the training/information you get.
So, what do you need to become an affiliate marketer?
The niche you choose dictates the type of products you will be promoting for commission. Choose it wisely, but also remember that you're not married to a specific niche. Successful marketers grow and adapt to changes in tastes and market trends, so you need to be flexible.
For now, though, what's important is to find a product niche that you're familiar with. Are you good at putting outfits together? Perhaps the fashion niche may feel more familiar. Are you a legendary gamer? You will feel right at home promoting gaming products because you've already used them several times, and know which ones offer the best value, and which ones people should stay away from.
People make the following mistakes when selecting their first niche:
- They run to niches that are supposedly more lucrative, even when they're not familiar with the products.
- They pick a niche based on current trends, not knowing that trends are a finicky phenomenon that can change overnight, literally.
- They select a niche that they have no clue about because there's little competition.
These three are career-killing mistakes in the world of affiliate marketing. You can't pick a niche based on how much commission you expect to make. You don't know how hard it is to create content for that product niche. You don't even know if it's a popular niche, i.e., if people need a lot of the products within that niche.
Similarly, you mustn't pick a niche based on current trends. For example, right now, face masks, sanitizers, ventilators, and protective gear are hot-ticket items. Come back to this post after a year, and you'll probably wonder why on earth people would be buying them.
The point is, there is no specific niche that will get you more money than the other. The best-kept secret about affiliate marketing-and listen carefully here-is VALUE.
How much value are you providing to people searching for specific products? How helpful is your content for people who can't decide what to buy? Are you helping them find what they need? Do you offer trustworthy information?
Value is what separates millionaire affiliate marketers from the tryhards who can't make more than a few hundred dollars a month. The more of a resource your affiliate website is, the more people flock to it. Google also smiles upon you if they realize that people find your stuff helpful. It really is that simple.
Tips on selecting the right niche when starting your affiliate marketing career
- Look around your house.
Which products do you buy the most? Is it kitchen knives? Electronics? Baby products? Shoes? Start from there. The worst thing you can do is select a niche that you're not familiar with.
Not only do you risk running out of steam before you even make your first dollar, but people will immediately know that you're out of your depth. People can always tell when they're talking to an expert, so you need to at least be familiar with the products in your niche.
- Pick a niche that you can add value to.
Again, the most important secret to success as an affiliate marketer is creating value. Don't approach it as a money-making business. Instead, think of yourself as a helpful encyclopedia for your audience.
Anyone who visits your website should leave feeling informed and empowered to make a wise purchase. If you consistently prove your value, the money follows naturally. It's just the way the world works.
- Don't emulate others for the sake of it.
Your neighbor could be making a killing promoting hunting rifles, but what do you, a 19-year-old college student, know about guns? Don't mimic what other people are doing just because it seems to be working for them.
- Check out pre-made affiliate sites for niches that might be in your area of expertise.
That doesn't mean you have to buy them (they can be quite expensive, and not really crucial for your success at this point), all you're doing is some market research. Which niches are growing? Which ones are selling at premium prices? If you happen to stumble upon one that you like, that's an excellent place to start your affiliate career.
- Pick something you enjoy talking about.
What most beginner affiliates don't realize is that you will eventually start running out of steam. When that happens, what will keep you going? Smart affiliate marketers have a go-to niche, a subject they can ramble on and on about for days.
That's the trick to creating useful content consistently throughout your affiliate career: talking about products or services that you yourself thoroughly enjoy.
- Don't spend too much time thinking about a niche.
Unfortunately, a large portion of beginner affiliates doesn't make it past this point. Remember, your first niche won't be your last one. It is just a stepping stone. Don't overthink it. You can change niches as many times as you need to in the future.
We have arrived at the most technical side of starting an affiliate career: your blog. This website will be your online business premises. It will be the home of your content, the face of your business, and the primary tool from which you will generate income.
Forget everything you've heard about setting up a blog until now. There is only one way to do it right, and we're going to delve into the process slowly until you fully understand what is required of you.
One thing you should understand right now is that you must pay to have a decent blog. It's not a huge amount of money, but then again, it still is money that you have to pay. There is no way around this. A good blog will attract a fee of at least $40.00 each year, and that's only for hosting. It could be more, but definitely not less than this.
Think of this fee as the rent for your business location. It's going to be an ongoing cost, but after the first year, you might be so successful that you won't even feel the pinch.
Hosting and Domain Name
To get your blog up and operational, you only need two things:
- A domain name
Your domain name is the identity of your website. It's usually in the format of mynewwebsite.com or mynewblog.com. Again, most people spend hours trying to come up with a domain name. A piece of advice is to stick with something unique but sort of generic, because it gives you an opportunity to diversify in the future.
Here's what that means: if you select a highly specific domain name, such as one with the name of the products you intend to promote, when you decide to diversify into other niches, you might need a whole new domain name, which is expensive and time-consuming.
Instead, stick to what some of the experts do, which is, use their legal names for their domains. It doesn't restrict you when the time to diversify arrives.
Next is hosting. Hosting is the virtual property on which your website resides. This is the first and most significant expense, and it is non-negotiable. A web host is responsible for keeping your site online day and night, so web hosts deserve every last cent of the monthly/yearly fee you pay.
The best platform to start a website or blog on is WordPress. That doesn't mean there aren't other options out there. However, as a beginner, until you get the hang of this, start with WordPress. It is the most feature-rich, easy-to-use, and affordable blogging platform you will find out there.
Getting a domain and hosting setup
The first thing you will need is a hosting service provider. As a beginner, one of your best options is A2 Hosting, which charges as little as $3.00 a month to host your WordPress site.
Click on this link and then select the "Get Started" option to initiate the setup process for your new WordPress blog. You'll be directed to a second page, where you'll be required to enter a domain name. Since we're assuming that it's your first time, you'll have to register a new domain name.
The domain name will be the name of your website. You cannot change it later. There's a chance that you might feel overwhelmed here because there's no room for mistakes. Don't worry too much about it. There are plenty of resources online that can help you learn what goes into a good domain name.
Again, consider choosing a domain name that reflects your personal brand so that you can evolve into different niches as you get better at affiliate marketing. Plus, if yourname.com is available, now's the time to claim it before someone else does!
A couple of things you should avoid are:
- Names that are difficult to pronounce
- Excessively long domain names (e.g., heyguysthisismynewdomainname.com)
- Names that form other words when combined (e.g., thecarsexperts.com)
Also, end your domain name with a .com. Not a .net, or a .org. The reason being, .com is more common, therefore more memorable. Besides, you're not an organization yet, so there's no need for a .org.
Don't worry if your domain name sounds weird at first. Imagine how strange Coca-Cola looked to the first team of marketers who promoted it. Names become familiar and meaningful after you attach value to them, so for now, don't focus too much on the sound of it.
Picking the right host is an incredibly underrated challenge. Often, web hosts sell out to mega-corps, after which a lot begins to change. Customer support goes down, services change, and pricing can rise dramatically too.
It is for that reason that A2 Hosting, an independently owned hosting service, is a great choice to build a website on. Your focus should be on creating content, so the last thing you need is problems with your website, which can put you off becoming an affiliate altogether.
This hosting provider is also pretty affordable, and because we're starting out with a shoestring budget, every penny saved counts. Plus, they have a money-back guarantee, so you can always get your investment back if you choose to go with another hosting provider.
When you visit the purchasing page for hosting, you'll see a few options, including a 3-year hosting plan for about $100. For now, let's pinch pennies and choose the 1-year plan, which goes for a little under $40.
Now, there's nothing too technical to do here, but you do need to select a couple of options. First, choose the server location. This is different depending on where your audience is located. The good news is A2 has some of the fastest servers in the world, so regardless of the server location you choose, you'll be in good hands.
Stick to the region where your target audience is. For example, if you're targeting customers in Europe, Amsterdam is the option to click. For an Asian/Indian audience, the Singapore server is your best choice. For American audiences, you can choose between Michigan (for the East Coast) or Arizona (for the West Coast).
Next, you need to select the option for "Offsite Backups." It costs $2 a month, but it is a purchase you will never regret. The reason being, should your site develop any issues down the line, you can simply ask the support team to roll back to the last stable update and continue from there.
Without it, you just might go insane trying to recover all your content and site settings in the event of a catastrophe.
Now you have a server location and an offsite backup. Scroll down to a section titled "Additional Options," where you will see a yellow box. This box contains the login details for your website. You'll see a username (which is set to "admin" as the default) and a password.
It is vital that you copy down this information right away. You can do it on a piece of paper or copy and paste it onto a word document. The reason for this is that you won't be able to reaccess this information (they will not email it to you) lest you call up tech support and ask to reset your account credentials. It's a lot less of a hassle if you just note it down somewhere.
If you've followed the instructions accordingly, you should be ready to finalize the account setup process. Click on the "Continue" button to proceed to checkout. Once you've done this, do not close the browser window for the next few minutes. It takes a short while to get your website installed and set up, but once this is done, your website is live on the internet.
It's an exhilarating feeling to finally have your website online, but you're not done just yet. The next few steps are to help you set up your website and make it Google-friendly.
Grabbing Google's Attention
Remember, what you need is a site that will attract tons of visitors from organic searches. That won't happen unless Google can freely access, explore, and evaluate it. Also, there's the tiny but important matter of how your website looks and feels, which affects its overall user-friendliness.
There is one setting that you must change immediately. Log into your WordPress dashboard by clicking your unique login link, which you will find in your email inbox, then input your username and password (the ones you copied from the earlier step).
If you don't know what to look for, check your inbox for the email header "Softaculous" followed by the subject line "A2 Hosting..."
Within this email, you're looking for a link titled "Control Panel URL." Click on this link, then type in your login information to gain access to your WordPress dashboard. It's time to tweak the first setting to make your blog more Google-friendly.
Click on the "Settings" option on the left navigation bar then select "Permalinks" on the submenu that appears. Another menu labeled "Common Settings," will pop up. You want to choose the option that reads "Post Name," then click on "Save Changes" to finish the process.
The reason why you're doing this is to make sure all your posts have clean, descriptive URLs that both Google and your audience can understand. Google needs to know what your posts are talking about to send more traffic your way.
Optimizing the Look and Feel of your Website
As far as how your website looks is concerned, you have two options. For option a), you can go with a free WordPress theme, which is already optimized to look great and work seamlessly. For option b), you can get a premium WordPress theme to gain more control over the customization of your website's appearance, plus a handful of advanced features that will allow you to design your website's sales funnels (processes through which visitors go through from the moment they arrive at your homepage to the point where they follow your call to action).
There's nothing wrong with choosing option a) for now. Some affiliates say you shouldn't bother too much about your site's aesthetics because, at this point, there's nothing that can draw visitors to it. What's more important is to get started on creating content.
However, if you prefer to get it over and done with (because you will need a premium theme much later down the line), upgrading to the premium theme right away gets you lots of customization options such as the ability to build a custom homepage, landing pages, and pop-ups, as well as the power to run split tests to see how your site performs.
Here are some things you should know about free WordPress themes:
- Themes that are not developed by the WordPress core team are not reliable. They may slow down your website or create vulnerabilities that will later cause issues.
- Only use free themes from WordPress developers. They get security upgrades more frequently and are generally built more reliably.
Can't make up your mind? Start with this free WordPress TwentyTwenty theme, which is stable, easy to install, and runs smoothly.
For you to learn how to drive traffic to your website, you first need to understand how it works. Tracking your traffic is the next crucial step, which you will achieve using Google Analytics. Google Analytics gives you insight into how your site performs, specifically how many visitors it gets, why most visitors come to your blog and stats like how long they spend on each page/post.
Visit the Google Analytics homepage and create an account if you don't already have one. Next, Google needs permission to browse through and monitor your website, and this permission comes in the form of a piece of code.
To get this code, go to your newly-created Google Analytics account and select the "Admin" option. Click on "Tracking Info" then "Tracking Code" and a field labeled "Global Site Tag (gtag.js)" will appear. Select the code in the field and copy it.
Next, go back to your WordPress site. Since we're using a free theme, you'll need a plug-in to run Google Analytics, so go ahead and install the GA Google Analytics plug-in first. Follow the easy prompts that come up to guide you on how to paste the code.
Linking Up with Google
Now Google is already tracking traffic on your website, which allows you to figure out the strategies that work and those that don't. The next thing you need to do is connect your site with Google. Now, I know you're thinking, "haven't we already done that?" Yes, we have permitted Google to track our web traffic, but we still haven't told it where to find our blog posts so that it comes up in search results.
For this, you will need to use a free tool known as Google Search Control. This tool gives Google access to your site map and verifies your website. If you connect your website with this tool, it alerts Google each time you put up a new post.
Go to the Google Search Console homepage and create a free account. When that's done, you'll be directed to your dashboard, which should be empty. Click on the "Add Property" button on the top-left corner, then paste your website's URL. Click "Continue" once you've done this.
If you've already hooked up your site to Google Analytics, then this process should be super simple. Google will verify that the email account attached to your site's URL is also assigned to a valid Analytics account, and it will return with a verification acknowledgment.
Now, Google knows about your site, but it still doesn't know the layout. For this to happen, you will need to submit a site map. First, download a plug-in called "Yoast SEO," which has a free tier that's adequate for this part of the process.
Install Yoast by going to your WordPress Dashboard, clicking on "Plug-ins," selecting "Add New," then typing in "Yoast." Click on the option to "Install" (some may say "Update Now," so don't worry, it's the same thing).
Once that's done, hover over the Yoast plug-in, click on "Settings," then select "General." On the page that loads up next, look for "Features," then scroll to the option labeled "XML Sitemaps." There should be a small question mark icon next to it. When you click on it, you will see the phrase "See the XML sitemap," which is where you need to go to find the URL of your sitemap.
Copy this URL and return to your Google Search Console homepage. Click on "Sitemaps," then paste your sitemap URL. Make sure you first delete what you find in the entry box. Finally, hit "Submit."
At this point, you're through with the technical setup of your website. So, you already have a niche in mind, and now you've got a website that's connected to Google Analytics and Google Search Console, which means you can track your traffic and appear in organic searches. Your visibility rating just went up dramatically, but don't worry, no one can find you yet.
No one will be able to find you until you've got a good chunk of useful content on your website.
When the excitement of getting a new blog dies down, most people start to panic when they realize that they have no idea how to start creating content. It's a common concern, but one that can be sorted out easily.
Idea generation, when it comes to affiliate marketing, mostly depends on keyword research. Keywords are the phrases people type into their search engines when looking for something. The aim of your website is to help people find something that they need. Using that logic, your best bet at generating content that people will find useful is using some of the free keyword research tools out there.
We will take a look at five of them here.
AlsoAsked.com is a free online keyword research tool that's by far the easiest to use. Just visit the site, select the relevant country, and type in the keyword you're looking to research.
The KW research tool will proceed to create a sort of mind map-style keyword tree starting from your main topic and branching out into similar phrases and questions that people have been searching for on the internet. If you need all this information with you at all times, you can download it as a CSV or PNG document for reference.
LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. This keyword research tool is very useful because it analyzes the text surrounding keywords, therefore giving you further insight into the type of topics your audience(s) might be interested in.
LSIGraph is not only a powerful co-relation tool, but it is also part and parcel of Google's algorithm. That means that many of its suggested keyword phrases come straight from blog posts and websites that have been indexed by Google.
With this idea generation tool, you can get statistics such as keyword search volume (how many people are searching for a specific keyword), cost per click (the average amount of money it takes to get one click-through), and the keyword trend.
AnswerThePublic looks into the autocomplete phrases on Google's search engine and generates all the useful phrases that you can build topics around. Like AlsoAsked.com, AnswerThePublic generates keyword-related searches, but instead of laying them all out for you to sift through, it categorizes them according to the prepositions, question format, and comparisons users place them into.
For instance, a self-medication keyword phrase can be categorized into "How to self medicate," "When to self medicate," "What to self medicate with," and so on. You can download a CSV document, too, if you need to sift through the results a little more slowly.
You will not believe how many affiliate marketers overlook Google as a keyword research tool. It's an odd statistic considering that most of your audience will find you through the platform. Google can be a powerful keyword research tool because it shows you the type of topics that take center stage in your specific niche.
It also shows you the related searches, auto-complete phrases, and the "people also asked for" section, which reveals topics related to your main keyword phrase. You can use Google to your advantage by running your target keywords to see the type of content that is available. This will help you narrow your sights to a topic that's got a high search volume and low competition.
This keyword tool generates phrases and ideas based on a single keyword. It obtains its data from Google's autocomplete algorithm as well as keyword suggestions from multiple API sources. It takes a while to complete the keyword sheeting process and produces a comprehensive list of ideas surrounding the specific keyword you type in.
You can also apply negative and positive filters. For example, if your main keyword is "children's bicycle," you can add a negative filter for "training wheels" so that it excludes all the searches that look for bikes with training wheels. You can also add a positive filter for "under $100" to find search phrases for kids' bicycles under $100, for instance.
It generates a large number of phrases, which you can export as a spreadsheet or CSV file.
To make money with affiliate marketing, marketers have to promote products or services so that they receive commissions for every sale made. For that to happen, you will need to have your own affiliate links.
As usual, there are a few ways to get affiliate products. You can:
- Promote products or services that you already use, and later request affiliate links from the company you're promoting.
- Recommend products from other blogs and websites.
- Join an affiliate network.
- Personally reach out to companies and request an affiliate partnership.
Let's focus on the single fastest way to start promoting products and services: joining an affiliate network.
An affiliate network acts as a sort of middleman between you and merchants (the companies selling the products you're marketing). As a beginner affiliate, an affiliate network is beneficial because it is easier to get used to, and it provides tools that you can use to track your earnings and performance.
Some of the networks you can consider include:
Amazon is the world's biggest e-commerce platform. Their affiliate program is highly recommended for beginners for two reasons:
- There is a wide variety of products to promote
- The platform is widely-recognized, so most people already use it for their personal shopping
With an Amazon affiliate program, all you need to do is sign up as an affiliate to get your links; then, you can earn commissions depending on how many people complete a purchase through clicking your affiliate links.
This platform is also one of the largest affiliate networks in the world. It is known for the large volume of high-paying products in numerous categories, as well as the affiliate network of choice for the WordPress hosting company, WPEngine.
ShareASale offers some of the highest commissions you'll find anywhere.
ClickBank is a large affiliate platform that comes with learning resources to help out new affiliate marketers. They mostly specialize in digital products (training guides, online courses, software-as-a-service, etc.) so you need to know what you're looking for before becoming an affiliate here,
CJ Affiliate has a large number of merchants who are looking to promote their products. As a new affiliate, you will not lack choices as the platform lists an expansive variety of products and services from reputable vendors like Expedia and GoDaddy.
The only consideration you need to make when choosing an affiliate network is whether they have the products you want to promote, and how good their rates are. Also, find out their payment schedules and read through their policies so that you understand the risks involved with working with a particular network.
So far, what we have been doing is creating the engine of your affiliate marketing business. The engine is what makes it work, but without fuel, it is obsolete.
The fuel for your affiliate blog is your content. Whether visual, written, or audial, content is unanimously the most powerful aspect of your website. It is where your persuasive power lies, where you convert visitors into sales.
Once you've set up your website, found an appropriate keyword-based topic, and gotten your affiliate links, it is time to hunker down and write tons of content. This is where most marketers lose steam, and their dreams of earning millions of dollars every year remain as dreams.
Here is some advice: you are not going to get anything useful out of your affiliate website for the next three to six months. Any site that's got less than a hundred pieces of content, including blog posts and videos, can barely make an impact. The best course of action is to create, create, and create.
Set targets for yourself. Get to the first 30 posts as quickly as you can. Then once you've got 30, turn that number to 60 posts. Once you get to 60, aim for 90 posts. The reality is you will get less than a hundred visits over the first six months of your affiliate career, and that's completely normal.
No one lands a hundred thousand visitors overnight. It takes time to build up your site from obscurity into an authoritative voice that consistently ranks high on Google searches and drives traffic to merchant pages. The most important thing is that you don't give up.
One mistake that pushes marketers into the "abyss of despair" is plotting out too many articles ahead of time. Don't do that to yourself. Remember, we're only human, and we can only work on one thing at a time. Start with article one, finish it, then move to article two. Don't take on too much at once because that's how you become overwhelmed.
Set weekly goals. If you can churn out one article per week consistently for six months, that translates to 24 pieces of content, which is far better than zero! Plus, the beauty of creating content is that you get better the more you write. Eventually, you will be able to raise that number to two or three articles per week, which means you'll get to the coveted 100 posts much faster than you know!
Once you get to post 60, you will be a certified amateur blogger with enough skills and experience to churn out attention-grabbing posts that drive your audience to click on your affiliate links. When you get to this point, head back to your initial articles and start updating, correcting, optimizing, and improving them, one by one.
Google loves websites that are constantly updated. If you take measures to keep your content relevant, attractive, and useful, you are basically guaranteed a top spot on the search results, which means you'll start getting a lot more visitors and sales.
On the matter of making a sale, it's going to be at least three months before you make your first one. It most definitely might take longer than three months, but if you can recall what we said earlier on, it's not about making money; it's about creating value.
Focus on helping your audience through their daily struggles. Make your content as helpful as they need it to be, and they will come back time and time again when they need your help. That is how you build a consistent audience and how you get from 20 visits per month to 100,000.
It is a slow and painful process, but as they say, trust the process if you want results. Don't slow down and don't give up. It takes a lot of effort to turn a blog into a money-making tool, but that's the beauty of it: all you need is hard work and persistence to start earning four-figure passive incomes from the comfort of your home, hotel room, or airplane seat, no matter where you are in the world.
For the first year, you should be all about content generation. Don't worry about your site's appearance or whether you need a logo or not. If you don't have content, no one will be coming there anyway.
Put your head down and focus on generating as much helpful content as humanly possible. Then, go back and optimize this content time and time again so that it remains useful for years to come.
You Have the Keys in Your Hands
Affiliate marketing is extremely lucrative for those who power through the initial tough stages and stick with it until they start seeing results. It is not for the faint of heart. There will be difficult times, writers' block, unexpected emergencies, and stiff competition.
But getting through it all will be all the sweeter because when you finally make your first $100, $10,000, or even $1,000,000, you will realize that the learning curve stops at some point, and what is left is generating more and more income for as long as you need to.
This guide will help you go from a complete newbie into a successful affiliate marketer, but only if you're willing to put in the work. You can also get one-on-one training from successful online marketers to fast-track your progress, but don't forget that there are no shortcuts.
Affiliate marketing requires dedication and commitment, and though it may seem impossible at first, the rewards will change your life.