10 Affiliate Marketing Tips For Beginners
If you’re just starting out with affiliate marketing, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all there is to learn and do. For the affiliate marketing newbies out there, I decided to list some basic affiliate marketing tips for beginners. These tips will help you stay focused on what’s important moving forward toward a successful online business.
1. Choosing Your Niche
When choosing a niche, you’ll want to choose one that you can research and write about fairly extensively. As a beginner, you will most likely be relying on organic (free) search engine traffic which requires lots of great content on your site.
You can no longer put up a five page website and expect Google to send traffic to your site. There is too much competition out there now and the site’s with most fresh content usually win.
2. Create Quality Content
When I say “quality content“, I am referring to content that is interesting and helpful to your visitors. Too many websites look like one big electronic brochure. People don’t like to be sold to but they love to buy. Give people the information they crave and they will like you and trust you. If you can get good at that, you can sell all day long.
The trick is, don’t write to sell. Write to inform or educate. If every article on your site has a “call to action” attached to it, people won’t stick around and they won’t come back!
3. Curb Appeal
Have you ever walked or driven by a business that just looks gross? The kind you wouldn’t step inside even if they paid you!? A website can have a similar effect if it’s not presented well. Your website can reflect your personality if that’s important to you but keep in mind, your website is not all about you if you’re trying to build a business.
If you want your website to appeal to the widest audience possible (the point of building an online business), it’s usually best to choose a theme with a white background and dark text. Using bold and colored headlines to break up your ideas is also helpful.
One mistake I see many new webmasters make (including myself) is to publish large, continuous blocks of text with no breaks. I rarely make it all the way through articles written in this format and I’m not alone on that.
It’s much easier on the eye’s to have some white space after each paragraph. A paragraph should be no more than three or four sentences long. Even if you are continuing with the same idea, breaking your content up this way will give you a much better chance of having all of your content read on the page.
4. SEO (The Easy Way)
The reason I say “the easy way” is because SEO doesn’t need to be hard. We have a tendency to make things much harder that they actually are. All of the online “noise” about SEO doesn’t help either. If you just follow a couple of simple rules, you can automatically optimize your content without even thinking about it!
All in One SEO plugin for WordPress
If you are building your site on WordPress (which I highly recommend) there is a free, simple to use plugin called All in One SEO Pack. Within the All in One SEO Pack, you will want to go to the “General Settings” and enter your site title and description.
Once you have filled in these two boxes, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Update Options” and your done. This plugin will now automatically optimize all of your pages and posts without any more input on your part.
5. Optimizing Your Pages/Posts
When optimizing your posts/pages for the search engines, you will want to have the keyword phrase you are targeting in the title, and somewhere in the first paragraph. After that, you want to write your content in a natural way. You do not need to worry about keyword density.
Concentrating on keyword density often leads to keyword “stuffing”. Keyword stuffing is an old trick marketers used to use to game the system. Google is wise to these techniques and not only are they no longer effective, but they may even hurt your rankings now!
Google has shifted from keyword rich content to content rich articles. Your readers will get much more value from a well thought out, 800 word article than they will from a 400 word keyword stuffed article. Google realizes that and they are rewarding webmaster who are taking the time to write good, informative articles.
When writing content, keep in mind that you are writing for people, not search engines! Search engines know when someone is trying too hard to impress them. They also know that, that ins’t usually what their readers are looking for and they don’t want to subject their readers to sub-par content.
6. Link Building
There is a lot of controversy right now about the importance of building links and the impact they have on a website. Backlinks are not good or bad in and of themselves. The difference is natural vs. unnatural links.
Other Webmasters Linking To Your Site
Contributing To Other Sites That Link Back To Your Site
Linking One Page On Your Site To Another Page On Your Site
If you take the time to create lots of quality content, other people will naturally link to your site. There are other sites where I make contributions and will leave a link to my site but I do so sparingly! I will often link pages to other pages on my own site as well.
Littering The Internet With Backlinks
Using Article Marketing Sites (becoming less relevant)
Internet marketers used to spend the majority of their time doing article marketing and commenting on forums to build backlinks to their sites. Because the number of backlinks to your site in no way tells the search engines about the quality of the content on your site, they are no longer a determining factor in how well your site ranks.
Buying backlinks is something you definitely do not want to do. This is another form of gaming the system and the search engines will ignore your site at best! They may even blacklist your site and that is pretty tough to recover from.
7. Be Persistent
Great businesses are not built in a day, a week or even a month! If you want a successful online business, you’ve got to think long term. This is going to require a real commitment on your end. If you are the type of person who will get discouraged and quit because your not making money in the first month, don’t even start!
8. Be Consistent
If your going to start an online venture, decide how much time you can commit and do it! If you can only post one article per week, that’s fine. Just be sure to do it every week if you can. If you post new content erratically, your indexing and rankings will be erratic.
9. Build First Monetize Later
Many first time website builders are excited to get those affiliate links up so they can start earning money. Nothing wrong with that however, many get discouraged when are rejected by an affiliate program that they had their hearts set on. Just understand, rejections are not final!
Many affiliate programs will reject new applicants the first time around because they want you to prove that your site is worthy of promoting their product(s). Just keep building out your site by adding new content. When your site starts receiving traffic everyday, it’s much harder for them to find a reason to reject your site.
10. Stick With Whats On Your Plate
New affiliate marketers tend to be very gung-ho about their new venture. Your head is swarming with ideas. Oh, the possibilities! Right? I know exactly how you feel. Enthusiasm is a great thing. The problem is, too many ideas can lead to too many projects at one time.
If you have a job, family and other commitments, your time is going to be limited. If that’s the case for you, it makes much more sense to stick to one website until you start to see results. Having multiple projects in the early stages will often lead to frustration and the decision to quit building anything!
When you’re new to website development, you are going to make mistakes. You will learn how to fix those mistakes and prevent them in the future but there will be mistakes. If you start multiple websites early on, you will have multiple websites to fix later which will really cut into your productive time.
Once you learn how websites function and how to drive traffic to them, your second site will come together much faster and will look and function much better. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time, be consistent and you can build your own affiliate marketing empire!