An Easy Guide to Affiliate Marketing

The easy guide to Affiliate Marketing

This is an easy guide to affiliate marketing, just the basics really because a lot of people have no idea what it is. Some that do have a vague idea, think it is something dodgy. Trust me, it’s not.

So what is it?

From Wikipedia:

  • Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts

Does that help or make any sense? Not really? Not surprised, I had no idea either when I began this journey.

This is not a completely extensive guide to affiliate marketing, just the basics really because a lot of people have no idea what it is.

Affiliate marketing can be a little bit like the wind. We know it exists. We understand to an extent what it does we don’t really know how to harness it or be able to use it to its best capabilities.

How I found it

I was minding my own business, running an online craft business, when my daughter said…. DRUM ROLL ……  “You should be an influencer with all the sTwitter followers you have”. Now I had not come across influencers, had maybe been vaguely aware of them but basically had no idea what they did. Said daughter’s input was… “they recommend stuff and get paid well.” I liked the sound of that, who wouldn’t?

Influencers

So my interest was piqued. I went looking. A few companies you could sign up to. Didn’t give out any information that I could find. Kept looking and eventually signed up with one. Still had no idea what I was doing.

So they ‘tested’ me. Gave me various links to tweet. I could do that, so I did. Nothing happened at all, just given more. Took me a couple of months to realise I was an idiot and advertising for them for free.affiliate marketing and influencer marketing. An Easy Guide to Affiliate Marketing

That did put me off, a lot. Forgot about it for a bit, then started looking again. I found bits and pieces of information and the word affiliate kept cropping up.

Affiliate

Yep, you guessed it! I went off at a tangent and started following that lead. The more I searched, the more it seemed to me that the two terms were the same. Or at least, that was the way it seemed to me at that time. They did seem to me to work the same way.

Affiliates recommended products, books and courses etc, then if someone bought them, they earned money. That was affiliate marketing.

Influencers recommended mainly products, expensive ones, to their followers and then got paid. I was a bit sketchy on the details but that seemed to be the way they worked. Simple right?

 Not So Simple

So I kept looking for any information on affiliate marketing. Phew, there were a lot of dodgy looking ‘systems’ out there. I am lucky that I have good intuition that held me back and stopped me being scammed. After a while I could spot the scammers a mile away.

If it sounds and looks to good to be true, then it usually is!

So eventually I came across one that looked legitimate and let me inside for free to start learning.

Simply Affiliate Marketing

So, affiliate marketing is earning commission from products you recommend. So we knew that but how do you earn the commissions?what is affiliate marketing

Mainly by setting up a blog, whether that’s somewhere like blogger, which is free, or a wordpress website for which you will need to pay for hosting, is up to you. If like me when I started you knowing nothing, then you will save yourself a lot of time by learning what it entails first.

It can be as easy as setting up a blog and just writing whatever you fancy. It’s what I did with my first blog.

Check out my first blog HERE!

BUT….. yes a very BIG but…. that won’t make you money, won’t become a business!

Making blogging a business

Is that what you really want? To create a business and build it up so you can give up working that daily JOB?

A job is something that makes money for someone else and often leaves you stuck in a place you don’t want to be, living a life you aren’t happy in. Sound familiar?

I must warn you though, it is hard work and will take a big chunk of your time. You will see little or no return for months or maybe even a year or two. That depends upon how much time you have to give to it and much of yourself you are prepared to put into it. And most of all, whether you have the right mindset.

So what makes a blog a business?

YOU! So you choose a niche/topic, set up your blog/website and start writing. Sounds simple doesn’t it? It can be quite tough sitting there staring at a blank page and that’s before you know about keywords, SEO, analytics, marketing and much more.

There is a lot to learn about the best way to go about it. Especially if you want to save yourself years of effort that amounts to nothing.

There are free courses about blogging of course, they are worth trying but find recommendations to save you time sifting through them.

I recommend:Free starter Membership to Wealthy Affiliate.

If you want a paid course that teaches you everything you need to know about blogging and Affiliate Marketing, then I suggest Wealthy Affiliate. Read more about what is offered HERE!!  

Find out more about the FREE starter Training HERE!

Conclusion

Starting a blog can be simple and easy if you start with a free platform like blogger it is simple to set up. If you sign up for a Wealthy Affiliate Free trial you get lessons to try out and the first shows you how to set up a WordPress website step by step.

It gives a great sense of achievement when you do it. It did for me as I had avoided WordPress thinking it would be too complicated and difficult to do. WordPress gives you the ability to build a website the way you want it to be, you are able to be more creative.

It is not a get rich quick way to earn money but then neither are all the so called  “systems” out there. It takes hard work, a lot of time, the right mindset, determination and persistence.

BUT, it is satisfying, enjoyable, exciting and fun. Plus it gives the freedom to work the hours YOU want and you can work anywhere.

Did you find this An Easy Guide to Affiliate Marketing easy to follow and understand?  Let me know in the comments.

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Debunking Blogging Myths Part 1

Debunking Blogging Myths Part 1

I suspect many of us have heard at least some of these blogging myths that get trotted out on a regular basis, especially to those of us that blog.

I have heard a few myths just lately so I thought I would do some research and was actually surprised by how many there are rolling around. So this post wasn’t too lengthy, I decided to write 2 posts on the subject. This one is Debunking Blogging Myths Part 1.

Following this one is Debunking Blogging Myths Part 2. I admit the second title is not very original but it serves its purpose.

BLOGGING:

Isn’t A Real Job

So compared to a 9-5 job working for someone else, I suppose it doesn’t seem that way. blogging is a jobYou don’t clock on and off but that’s because you set your own hours. I think it may be the fact that you set your own hours that makes people think that way.
If you’re working hard and getting paid for it, it’s a job. And that’s what blogging is, hard work!
Nevertheless, this is often a blogging myth, one to be ignored. Blogging is a real job.

Doesn’t make M0ney

It’s not a regular wage until you have become well established, even then its not a certain income. Things like the pandemic took away many a blogger’s lifestyle and earnings.  Yet before many travel bloggers were big earners, it just took a virus becoming a Pandemic very quickly to destroy that income. However, there were many who’s blogs really took off BECAUSE of the pandemic.

It does & doesn’t

Cycling, home gyms, exercise for all ages, healthy lifestyles etc. These and many more became very popular as traffic increased dramatically and sales followed.
There are also many aspiring bloggers who don’t make any money at all yet for a variety of reasons. There are also bloggers who only make small amounts of money. Earnings depend upon effort put in, consistency with posting, interesting topics and of course time to get established
If you don’t believe me, you only got to read some income reports from bloggers. Some of them make $50,000. Per month.

Only does well in popular niches

Some niches or topics have a lot of well established websites and well known bloggers that already have built up trust, so people go back.  Plus some are in a niche where people want to buy.
For example, people that read beauty blogs are literally looking to shop for products. And people who read recipes need the ingredients to form the recipe. So it’s easy to link to these products and make money when people use the link to buy it.
But you could be in either of those and not make any money at all.
The pandemic has shown that being popular one minute doesn’t mean you will stay that way without effort.

A less well known niche can make money because they don’t have the same competition but again it takes work.

needs Page Views to make Moneytraffic. Debunking Blogging Myths Part 1

Just because you’ve got people reading your blog doesn’t mean it’ll be profitable. There are bloggers with 100,000+ views a month that don’t make anything. Because they haven’t monetised it! I know this for a fact as 1o years ago I had a blog but knew nothing about monetising it. It was very popular and I blogged daily, eventually I let it lapse. If only I had known then what I know now.

More page views can mean you make money from adverts and affiliate links. So in that case more traffic/page views can mean more money.
You can still make money with hardly any page views, and have many page views and make nothing.

Is Free

Yes it can be free if you start a blog on a free platform like blogger. You can still monetise the blog but you don’t have the freedom to alter it the way you can a wordpress website/blog.

If you go for a wordpress website there are some platforms that still have a free basic site. If you want to be serious about blogging, make money and eventually live off it, then you may want to get more freedom to arrange your blog the way you want it to be.

That introduces costs with a domain name and website hosting. Some products you review you will buy first. You need a decent camera for photos. If you wanted to know more you could do a blogging course to get you up  and running faster. That may entail cost too, although there are free courses if you go looking.

Is Easy

This blogging myth is quite common for those who know nothing about it. From an outsiders point of view just sitting on your computer looks easy. They don’t see the research, the time spent building social media or the constnt teaking to improve the blog. Then of course there is so much to learn about SEO and keywords to optimise your blog. It is a constant learning curve.

You need to blog regularly to keep the content fresh and keep your readers coming back. For some the words flow freely but others struggle with ideas for new posts or just with putting their thoughts in to words.

Is Just WritingDebunking Blogging Myths Part 1 1

Once I got the hang of it, I loved writing my first blog but it was time consuming. I wrote about my own crafts and would showcase other crafts by having a different theme each day. Searching for different crafts, checking with each person that it was okay, writing it, adding pictures and then of course adding it to all the social media platforms so people would know there was a new post available. In retrospect, the writing was the easy part, it was everything else that took up much of the time.

Bloggers need to be photographers, graphic designers, web designers, social media managers, and a heck of tons more. So blogging myth number 2 debunked- bloggers don’t just blog.

Conclusion

Blogging is not an easy option at all. When you work for yourself you tend to put in many more hours than you ever did working for someone else.

It’s not easy at all but it is very satisfying when people come to read your post and they find it useful. Perhps they learn something or maybe it makes them want to try whatever you just wrote about. We are here to help people to find answers.

To what? Anything really. Problems, curiosity, the need to learn more, perhaps something obscure they are looking for. When people go looking on Google, they type in their queries. Then Google brings up the variety of sites that have a matching keyword to what they want to know.

Then we regularly check the numbers and if they rise, however slowly, it is gratifying and exciting.

I LOVE it!

My Recommendation!

Debunking Blogging Myths Part 1 2
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