If you want to learn affiliate marketing for free, you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you. There’s going to be a lot of guessing, trial and error along the way. My aim is to try to help you grasp some of the basics you’ll need to know when starting your affiliate marketing business.
There’s one thing you should keep in mind. Most of the successful affiliate marketers out there spent years building their business before they went full time. You need to think long term. If you’re the kind of person who will become discouraged and quit because you’re not making money in the first month, affiliate marketing may not be for you.
It All Begins With A Niche
Your niche will determine what direction you go in with your site and who your market will be. There are a few different ways marketers approach niches.
One way of approaching a niche is to choose something you know well. It could be what you do for a living, your hobbies or something you’re passionate about. It’s much easier to create content and write convincingly on a subject you understand well.
When your visitors can relate to you, it is much easier to promote products of services to others who share your interests. If there is money being spent in that niche, you are almost guaranteed to be able to find an affiliate program you can work with.
Some marketers use a slightly different angle. They will find a product or service they would like to promote and build a site around that product. There’s certainly nothing wrong with choosing a niche based on profitability rather than passion. As long as you can research and you have good communication skills, you can be successful in any niche you choose.
If you’re having trouble understanding the niche selection process, check out the video link provided on my page
Choosing A Domain Name
Once you’ve chosen a niche, it’s time to decide on a domain name. There are a couple different schools of thought when it comes to choosing a domain name.
- Exact Match Domains (EMD’s)
- Brandable Names
EMD’s: Exact match domains, as it’s name suggests, is a domain name based on an exact keyword phrase with an extension such as .com, .org or.net. Many affiliate marketers find success in getting high search engine rankings by choosing an EMD with fairly low competition.
Brandable names: When I talk about brandable domain names, I am not talking about using a major brand name within your domain. I am talking about building your own brand. Marketers who choose to build a brand usually plan to build a massive authority site within a niche.
Extensions: Which ever type of domain name you choose, you’ll want to have a .com, .org or .net in that order. I wouldn’t use any extensions other than one of those three. Dot com’s are definitely the best option.
Now that you’ve bought your domain name, you’ll need to have it hosted somewhere. There are many different hosting plans available. If you’re just starting out, you should be able find hosting to fit your needs for around $5 – $10 per month.
Setting Up Your New Site
With your domain name chosen and your hosting in place, it’s time to start building the framework for your site. I would highly recommend using WordPress as your content management system. It’s easy to work with and doesn’t require any coding knowledge.
Below is a video tutorial on setting up your new website on WordPress. This method works for hosting plans offered by Hostgator.
If you choose to buy your hosting from another provider, Youtube will almost certainly have video tutorials to help you.
Building Your Site
Now it’s time to start filling your new site with pages and posts. Beginners are often confused as to weather they should be creating posts or pages. You will want to create both. The only difference between posts and pages is where they end up on your site and how you want the information to flow.
Think of pages as sub-themes within your niche while posts support your pages.
For Example; take a look at the structure of this site, Affiliate Marketing Basics.
You can see that I have created four pages which are all based on the theme of this site. This particular post: “how to learn affiliate marketing for free”, is linked to and supports my page Learn Affiliate Marketing.
Every page then links back to the Home page. The Home page is your blogroll. Every post you create is added to your blogroll and is listed chronologically. Every time you publish a new post, it’s displayed at the top of the page while the previous post is bumped down.
If there is one particular post that you would like to “stick” to the top of the page, you have the option of making that post a “sticky”.
Building Posts And Pages
What should I write about?
This is one of the most common questions for people just starting out. If you want to get traffic to your site (that is the point yes?), then you will need to create content that is search engine friendly and helpful to your visitors.
And how do I do that?
The whole process begins with keyword research.
Anything you type into the search field of Google (or whichever search engine you use) is a keyword phrase. The search engines use those keyword phrases hoping to find the most relevant websites for that search.
At the same time, webmasters are trying to create the highest quality content based on those keyword phrases hoping that the search engines will favor their sites.
Finding Killer Keyword Phrases
I don’t recommend using free keyword tools however, I am going to show you how you can find up to 450 potential keyword phrases absolutely free! I would suggest you find at least 30 good keyword phrases to start with. 30 pages of quality content based on quality, low competition keywords will almost certainly bring daily traffic to you site.
To find killer keyword phrases I use Jaaxy. It is a paid keyword tool but, you can sign up for a free trial and get 30 free searches. Each search will return 15 similar keywords along with monthly search volume and competition. That’s a total of 450 possible keyword phrases!
The owners of Jaaxy have taken the time to write some very comprehensive article on how to get the most out of your searches. I’ll let you check it out for yourself.
How To Use You Keyword Phrases
Another challenge for many new marketers is understanding what the heck to do with these keywords. The general rule of thumb I use is:
- In The Title Of Your Post/Page
- Within The First Few Paragraphs
- Anywhere It Fits Naturally
Again, using this site as an example, you can see that my domain name, page titles and post titles are all keyword phrases. One thing you will want to avoid is keyword “stuffing”. In the early days of affiliate marketing, the websites with the most keywords won.
This lead to the creation of a lot of low quality content which proved to add no value to searchers. This method of keyword stuffing is now frowned upon by search engines and they will penalize your site for it.
If you have any questions or comments on how to learn affiliate marketing for free, please leave them in the comment box below and I will respond.