Can you make money with affiliate marketing? I've seen many people enter the game, and 99% of affiliate marketers never break $1,000 in commissions. Why do so many people fail at affiliate marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is a long-term method that requires a consistent strategy, combining “keyword traffic” with “quality information”. There's a fine-line writing for the search engines and writing for people searching for your content.
What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work?
Affiliate Marketing is when you promote products and services for brands, and when someone buys through your affiliate link, you get a commission.
As an affiliate, you represent the brand & help facilitate a sale. That brand pays you for creating specific results (i.e. opt-in, free trial, sale). The reason it works so well is that you can promote MANY brands and easily scale your top converting offers.
Related Article: Affiliate Marketing Guide
The Key to Making Money as an Affiliate Marketer
The key to making money as an affiliate is to position yourself as the go-to expert for your topic (also called a niche).
For example, let's say that I love dogs. In order to position myself as the go-to expert in the “dog” space, I would create a brand like I Love Dogs or Dog Food Advisor.
One brand would showcase people who love dogs. The other brands would review dog food and pet supplies for dogs. It's two different visions with one major outcome: Affiliate Commissions.
I've got good news and good news! Which one do you want first?
- The good news: Our Dog Food Advisor is already taken.
- The other good news: They created the example.
It looks like this:
I honestly love this brand. They picked a large blue ocean market that cares passionately about their pets, but more importantly, they picked a product to target that people purchase over and over again.
After all, dog owners are constantly searching to find the best dog foods before they buy.
Those are buy keywords.
Selecting Buyer Keywords for Affiliate Marketing
If you visit this page, on the surface it looks like a typical dog food review site. There's a rating, features, and lots of call to actions throughout their referral link (AKA affiliate marketing).
Then, on closer inspection, if you look at the left column, those are buyer keywords. People who buy dog food search for a certain phrase. Pay attention to the words and phrases you search for BEFORE you buy an item.
These are the most searched for terms related to dog food:
- Best Puppy Foods
- Best Dry Puppy Foods
- Best Wet Puppy Foods
- Best Large Breed Puppy Foods
- Best Small Breed Puppy Foods
- Best Dry Dog Foods
- Best Wet Dog Foods
- Best Raw Dog Foods
- Best Senior Dog Foods
- Best Grain Free Dog Foods
- Best Grain-Free Dry Dog Foods
- Best Dog Food with Grain
- Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach
- Best Dog Food for Small Dogs
- Best Dog Food for Large Breed Adults
- Best Budget-Friendly Dog Foods
- Best Dog Foods for Allergies
- Best Dog Food for Weight Loss
- Best Organic Dog Foods
- Best Low Fat Dog Foods
- Best Dog Food for German Shepherds
- Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers
- Best Dog Food for Labrador Retrievers
- Best Dog Food for Pitbulls
- Best Dog Food for Siberian Huskies
Now, everything they review or write about will fall under one of these categories. It makes it very easy to create content and the search engines love relevant content.
How Do Find Search Volume for Keywords
I have used a ton of “keyword finders” in the past 15 years, but the one that I use all the time, my go-to keyword suggestion tool, is Se Ranking.
I cannot stress this enough. Please take a few minutes to see which keywords are ranking in your niche. Before I used this tool, I would spend weeks on content that got little or no searches per month. LOL
As you see in the screenshot above, the most searched keywords for dog food is:
- Best Dog Foods
- Best Food for Dogs
- Best Dog Food Brands
- Best Dry Dog Food
- Best Dog Food Brand
You will also notice these keywords have very high competition. It will take a ton of work to break into the top search engine results for these keywords. That should not stop you from affiliate marketing.
You simply have to outsmart the higher ranking websites. You do this through three methods:
- Content & Branding – Is your content engaging and shareable?
- Partnerships – Create content for all of your partners & form friendships with all the websites within your topic. That creates more relevant backlinks to your site.
- Platforms – Most of these bigger brands don't have a TikTok. You can outsmart them by using new platforms that take them years to learn.
How to View Examples of Ads for Your Content
Now go back to your keyword tool, SE Ranking. When you click on any of the keywords above, you will see the search volume and interest over time. At the bottom of the page is my favorite feature: Most Popular Keyword Ads.
You will see the top five companies running ads for that keyword and the actual ads. Now, click on expand ads to compare all the ads for any month. It looks like this.
Affiliate Marketing Tools to Help You Earn Commissions
- SE Ranking – Free Keyword Research Tool
- Bluehost – Cheap Blog Hosting
- Pretty Links – Affiliate Link Management Plugin
- Affiliate Marketing 101 – Intro to Affiliate Marketing
- Affiliate Bootcamp – Free 30 Day Training Program
- Unstoppable Affiliate – On Demand Training Course
Frequently Asked Questions about Making Money with Affiliate Marketing
We find that the more you learn and implement, the more money you can make. For example, beginner affiliates earn up to $300 per day. The 2-3 year experienced affiliates earn from $300 to $3,000 per day. The super affiliates can make up to $10,000 per day.
Yes! The key to getting rich with affiliate marketing is to position your website as the go-to source for your topic, sometimes referred to as an affiliate niche. Then, create partnerships & friendships to produce content across the board. This creates relevant content & sends traffic to your website. As your content and partnerships grow, your search engine rankings grow too.
Yes. Don't confuse easy with get-rich-quick. Affiliate Marketing is just a methodical marketing blueprint, where if you combine research, traffic patterns, and connect with your followers to deliver relevant content, you can make a lot of money.
If you want to succeed in affiliate marketing then, follow these steps:
1. Learn about the products you're promoting and why people are buying them.
2. Learn how buyers are finding products: what are they searching for & what are they reading before they buy.
3. Improve your copywriting skills to take your sales to the next level.
4. Make a plan and be consistent.
5. Build a strong reputation within your niche and then, create partnerships and friendships to create content for all of your partners.
6. Keep learning and implementing what you learn.
As your content grows and you start generating traffic, you can apply to promote products to this new traffic. If you're a beginner, these are the best networks and programs to find products to promote.
1. Amazon Affiliate Program
3. Impact Affiliate Program
Make sure you bookmark this page as I’ll be updating it as often as I can to keep you informed on making money with affiliate marketing. If you're looking for additional ways to make money, click here.
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