You have just launched your business blog and are super excited about it. You have a beautiful voice, a great sense of humor, and you’ve been putting in the hours writing and researching content. Suddenly, you log in to check your email only to find it swarming with spam. You hate to see all that work go to waste, so you decide to try out affiliate marketing, which happens to be one of the most popular types of online marketing today.
You begin by choosing your niche and picking a few niches to specialize in. Then, you set up your blog with a monetization strategy in mind. During this stage, you need to decide whether you will use a free blogging platform or a paid one. Typically, people use a free blogging platform because they think it’s the easiest and most convenient way to get their blog up and running. However, if you’re looking for long-term sustainability, you should choose a paid blogging platform. On the other hand, if your primary goal is to make money, you should go with the free option.
Pick Your Niche
When you establish your blog, the very first thing you should do is to choose your niche. Essentially, a niche is a ‘small market or segment’ within the large market for a product. In other words, you are narrowing your target audience so that you can focus on marketing to a group of people with shared interests. When someone chooses a niche, they often look for a specific problem they are experiencing and want to solve with their content. Hence, to choose a niche, you should first identify a problem you are willing to solve.
For example, maybe you are a lifestyle blogger who wants to grow her audience. In that case, she might choose to go with fashion or style blogs because they are both a part of the ‘lifestyle’ industry. Lifestyle blogs help bring in potential new customers who are experiencing the same problems as the author. In other words, if you are experienced with fashion and style, you can choose to write about topics such as fashion trends or style tips and tricks. When someone lands on your blog, they should feel that you have provided them with valuable information that will help them solve a problem.
On the other hand, if you are just getting started with your blog and don’t yet know what problem you might want to fix, you can choose from one of the following:
- Personal Development
Once you’ve chosen your niche, you can move on to choosing a sub-niche. A sub-niche is a narrower segment of your chosen niche. For example, if your chosen niche is ‘lifestyle’, your sub-niche might be ‘food’. Alternatively, your sub-niche could be ‘paleo’. If you are solving a specific problem with your content, you should choose a sub-niche that is closely related.
When someone visits your blog, you want them to have a specific experience. To create this experience, you might want to choose a sub-niche that is closely related to the area you are most experienced in. However, if you want to keep your audience interested, you should choose a sub-niche that you feel comfortable talking about. To keep your blog fresh and interesting, you should choose a sub-niche that you feel has enough content to keep people coming back for more. Additionally, if you are truly interested in affiliate marketing, you should choose a sub-niche that has enough demand in the marketplace to keep you motivated.
The very first step in becoming an affiliate marketer is to establish your blog with a monetization strategy in mind. Essentially, a monetization strategy is the process of generating revenue from your blog, whether it is now or in the future.
When someone chooses to become an affiliate marketer, they often think in terms of how much money they can make straight away. However, if you are truly interested in building a sustainable business, you should choose a monetization strategy that involves generating lifetime value from your leads.
Why is this important? It’s important because whenever you generate revenue from your blog, you are no longer reliant on advertisers. Additionally, as you develop and grow your audience, you can promote products that are aligned with your brand, rather than having to promote products you are affiliated with. In other words, affiliate marketing is a long-term strategy, rather than a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. Ultimately, this is what people want to see.
When you choose to monetize your blog, you need to decide between earning a passive income and trying to make a quick buck. Typically, people who choose to monetize their blogs do so because they want to make some extra money on the side, but understand the importance of sustainability.
Building Your Audience
Once you’ve chosen your niche and established your blog with a monetization strategy in mind, you can begin to look into building your audience. When you build your audience, you are attracting people to your blog based on the contents you’ve published. In other words, your blog is like a virtual brochure, which encourages people to learn more about your products or services.
To attract potential customers, you should choose affiliate products that you feel confident will appeal to your audience. Additionally, you should look into choosing products that are aligned with your chosen niche. For example, if you are specializing in lifestyle blogs, you might want to choose products that are tied to your niche, such as a travel guide or a cookbook. Alternatively, if you are specializing in career or personal development blogs, you might focus on products related to those topics.
As your blog grows in stature, you can begin to pitch affiliate products to brands and businesses, who might want to partner with you. Hence, pitching is a critical part of the affiliate marketing process, as you’re trying to generate revenue from your blog. In other words, once you’ve established yourself as an expert in your chosen field, you can begin to attract customers to your blog with the aim of generating revenue from this audience.
Choosing affiliate products that you know will appeal to your audience is important. Additionally, you should look into choosing products that you feel confident will bring in revenue. If you are still unsure about whether or not an affiliate product will be profitable, you should look into specialized forums, such as forums for finance bloggers or health bloggers, who know a lot about their chosen topics. Additionally, platforms like GAP provide you with an invaluable resource, as they connect you with potential affiliate products, which you feel confident will appeal to your audience.
Choosing Your Blog Platform
When you are just getting started with your blog, the most important thing to consider is your platform. Essentially, a blog platform is the software or webapp you use to establish and maintain your blog. To choose the right platform, you need to think about various factors, including functionality, customization, and, most importantly, compatibility.
For example, if you are looking for a simple blog platform that is free, you might choose WordPress. If you are looking for a fully featured content management system (CMS), you might choose something such as Joomla. Alternatively, you can use a tool like Typeform to create online forms and collect emails, without having to worry about scaling or security. Ultimately, it’s important to choose a platform that is compatible with your chosen browser plugins and email marketing tools.
When picking a blog platform, you should also consider what is available in terms of extensions and themes. Essentially, an extension and a theme are complimentary items that augment the functionality of your blog. For example, if you are using WordPress and want to make your blog more engaging, you might want to look into purchasing a premium theme that is unique and has a polished look to it. Additionally, if you are serious about affiliate marketing, and want to create a brand identity for your blog, you might want to consider hiring a designer to help you create a custom theme for your blog.
Choosing A Domain Name
One of the first things you’ll need to do is to choose a domain name for your blog. Essentially, a domain name is the website’s ‘address’, which often takes the form of a memorable acronym, web address, or a professional-sounding phrase.