To help kickoff our new affiliate program, I’m going to begin a series of training how to get started with affiliate marketing, specifically promoting the web hosting niche.
All of these tips can be adapted across multiple niches as we’re going to focus on building assets, creating funnels, and driving paid traffic.
Pick Your Niche And Offer
Obviously the first thing you need to get started with affiliate marketing is a niche and offer to promote (i.e. how you’re going to make money).
Web hosting has and always will be a big niche for affiliates as anyone that wants to have a website needs a web host!
Just looking at my own family, my wife (who has a small business selling Scentsy and LipSense), my dad (an owner of a self storage facility), and then my brother (who operates a very popular WordPress website) all need domain management and web hosting!
Three of the people closest to me are prime candidates to sign-up through my affiliate link. What an easy way to get started!
My Offer: Name Hero Web Hosting
Payout: $50 Per Sale (As much as $125 with volume)
Target Demo: Individuals and businesses that need web hosting
Setup Your Website
Since you’re going to be getting paid to refer customers, you’re going to want to create some type of asset, so you retain something for your hard work.
In the web hosting niche, I would recommend building a blog or review website. While each of them of their own sets of pros and cons, the “blogger” route has become more popular in recent years as it allows you to connect more personally with your audience.
The more your audience trusts you, the more likely they are to buy products and services you recommend. Web hosting is only a starting point!
Affiliate marketing blogger Matthew Woodward does an “income roundup” each month where he lists earnings for some of the top bloggers.
If you start clicking through some of them, you’ll notice the majority of their earnings stems from affiliate programs, notably web hosting:
#1) MakingSenseOfCents.com – $87,358.00 ($35,040 from web hosting)
#2) JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com – $43,820.00 ($32,642 from affiliate offers)
Web Hosting goes along great for their audiences as they’re able to share their own experience blogging and “teach” others how to replicate their success.
A “review website” can still be good, but it doesn’t get as personal with your audience and requires a larger audience:
Start Building Your Audience
One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is they want to start pitching the second they launch their site. Obviously, with a review website you’re going to have offer links everywhere, but you want to first focus on connecting with your audience and gaining trust.
You can do this a number of ways, but one of the most effective and cost-efficient is recording videos and putting them on a YouTube page. The “newer” millennials like to watch videos to learn and plus you can connect by showing others you’re “down to earth.”
The more “useful” and “helpful” your website is, the more your audience will begin to trust you and share your content with their peers. This is key when developing a long-term website that generates large revenues from affiliate marketing.
Build Your Audience Using:
- YouTube Videos
- eBooks/Guide (i.e. How To Start A Blog)
- Social Media posts (ask questions/engage)
- Discussion Forums (cross post content, answer questions)
Publish New Content Often
This summer I read Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi. He does a fantastic job talking about creating revenue streams with inbound content marketing. He recommends starting a “content calendar” so you can plan out your blog posts a head of time and also bring on additional writers.
Blogs/websites that don’t update their content often get stale, even if you have really helpful information. In today’s digital age, the average attention span is pretty low, so you have to constantly reinvent ways to keep your audience engaged and sharing your content.
I would rather see a website updated more frequently with smaller blog posts than one updated a couple times a month with really long posts. Keep the content fresh!
Your audience should know what to expect from your website. Perhaps you do this by posting a new blog post once a day or you have a weekly Podcast (like Startup Hero).
Consistency proves to your audience that you genuinely have their best interest at heart and will help create the trust you need to form die-hard readers. Make sure to leverage your social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to allow your audience room to comment, share, and interact with your content.
If they see you consistently posting on social media, you’ll continue to trigger a response in their brain that builds trust.
Have Patience (Most Important)
Building a website and growing an audience takes time. You’re not going to do this overnight. You’re not going to do this in one month. If you’re going to be a heavy earner, you have to give things time so you can learn what works, what doesn’t, and the best way to connect to your audience.
You should also focus on building your website with organic traffic first. I’m going to teach how to send paid traffic, but traffic sources such as Google Adwords rely on quality score, meaning you have to have things built for organic first anyway.
If you want to generate some instant revenue, start referring your friends and family as I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Sometimes that can help motivate you and cover some of your initial startup expenses!
In my next post I’m going to talk about starting to map out your conversion funnels so you not only begin to generate sales, but also build your email list! Stay tuned and subscribe to our RSS!
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.