So you want to be an affiliate marketer? Most of us do. As an affiliate, you own your business. You work from home, making money through product recommendations. It sounds like an easy career path, right? Think Again. Few people affiliate market, and for a reason. It’s a long path filled with difficulties and effort. The success stories you hear take years of work. It doesn’t happen overnight. Nor does it happen suddenly. To succeed as an affiliate marketer – you put in as much (sometimes more) effort than an employee. However… The long-term payoffs are worth it. You own your business, and you do less for more. Not to mention, you pretty much talk for a living. So if you’re willing to walk down that path, keep reading. Today, we’ll show you (in detail) how to become an affiliate marketer. We’ll break down the journey into 5 simple steps! #1 – The Setup. You can’t affiliate market using cold calls. At least, it’s not a long-term strategy. You need a setup (or a home base) before you set off… And that setup includes… Domain. Social Media. Email. All the previous are musts. Domain. This is your blog/channel. It’s where you post content to attract traffic – and eventually long-term viewers. Content is the foundation of affiliate marketing. It’s your primary branding tactic. By posting regular content, you establish a consistent presence. And you use it to demonstrate your experience. And the experience is necessary – if you want to sell someone an affiliate product. Social Media. For affiliate marketers, this is the “precursor” to email marketing. On social media, you begin to create followers. You establish a crowd that checks your updates and affiliate links. As you gain their long-term trust – you begin asking for their emails. Email. A major moneymaker in affiliate marketing. Email is a “nudging mechanism.” You use it to remind clients of your existence. You use it to send “special subscriber content.” Also, you do much promotional content through it. You Need All 3. You can’t function without the previous setup. Your ROI will drop. You lose more opportunities without a good blog, social media, and email. However, having the previous setup alone isn’t enough. You need to set it up well too. We’ll discuss each one-by-one. And we’ll start with your domain. #2 – Domain Setup. You need a website or YouTube channel. How you set up each differs. But what they do share is a need for quality. Proper Channel Design. You need a good layout for your channel. This includes a good introduction, proper branding, and excellent graphics quality. If you’re shooting videos, you need to invest in equipment. It might get expensive. And for that reason, many affiliate markets opt for blogging instead. Blogging. Here, what you don’t pay in shooting equipment, you pay for in website design. It’s your main selling point. You need a site that’s clean, and easy to navigate through. Its colors, theme, and widget layout must please the eye. And more importantly, it must be mobile optimized. After all, mobile is where half your traffic comes from. Creating Content. You can’t affiliate market with a follower base. And you need months to establish that. If you post consistently (1-2 per week), expect to see good traffic from 6-12 months. That’s how long it takes search engines to index and rank your pages. Also, by then, you should have sufficient posts to hook in clients. From there, they’ll start following you… #3 – Social Media Setup. Should you use all social media platforms? Or should you specialize with a select few? It Depends… Stick to where clients are. Most are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. So those are staples. However, what you favor depends on your business model. If you’re more visual (and personal), Instagram works. If you follow trends, hot topics, and controversy – Twitter is excellent. If you’re more of a storyteller (or like to combine the previous), FB works best. What About Minor Platforms? You can try those. But we don’t recommend much time investment there. As we mentioned before, social media is a precursor to email. It’s not your main affiliate marketing channel. And speaking of email… #4 – Email Setup. It’s a major branch of digital marketing. There are many email marketing strategies. Some focus on non-stop sales pitches. Others are more “informative.” As an affiliate marketer, you need a mix of both. The 80-20 Rule. Make 80% of your emails informative. And only make 20% affiliate pitches. Why? Because your followers don’t appreciate spam. If you spam too many product pitches, they’ll catch on. And they’ll either unsubscribe or block you. Key to Success in Email Marketing. It’s about making clients come back for more. You don’t do so by appearing needy. You make them come back for more by helping them. Even your affiliate emails should be helpful. You should disguise your links as a suggestion to help clients fix problems. OK – But How Do I Build an Email List? Offer freebies. And offer them to your social media followers. Give out an e-book, a free app, or newsletter benefits in exchange for subscriptions. Building a free product itself takes time. And so does gaining client trust. So make sure you don’t rush! #5 – Picking Affiliate Products. As you can see by now, affiliate marketing is 90% setup. You need good content, quality checks, engaging social media posts – then finally the marketing. 10% of your time should be spent navigating products. And below, we’ll give you tips on how to pick one! Start With Popular Programs. You need options. And popular programs supply that. Those are affiliate networks with thousands of products. They include… Amazon Affiliate. ClickBank. ShareASale. Pick Products You Would Buy. Why market what you wouldn’t use? That’s hypocritical. You won’t see any use in the product. And you won’t have the passion to properly market it. Pick Products You Own – Or Similar. Another vital tip. Do what you preach. And the market what you own. For example, if you own a jacket, and you like it, you can market a similar one. Describe its advantages, why it’s best, etc. You’ll have the life experience to showcase its concrete benefits. You’ll also have the experience to know the user pros and cons. And you can provide special/unique tips that make you more credible! Compare & Review. Another marketing option. It’s a popular affiliate strategy, and it’s indirect. Just pitch two products, and discuss them from a 3rd person perspective. Describe the pros, cons, and who needs what. From there, let clients buy on their own! That’s it for The Basics. Obviously, there are many more nuances to affiliate marketing. To get insight into those, be sure to contact a digital marketer. They’ll show you tips and tricks that give you an edge!