How to Build an Audience and Promote Affiliate Offers
Your success as an affiliate marketer comes down to two main things: creating your website, and getting adequate amounts of traffic to your site so that you can make sales from the affiliate products that you are promoting.
In the previous post, we discussed 4 simple steps to creating your very own affiliate marketing business, and this post will serve to help you create a steady stream of traffic to your affiliate site.
But first things first, for those who need extra help setting up their site, here are the steps:
Follow these steps to get your site up and running in no time:
Step #1: Buy a Domain
A domain is your website's address (e.g. planetbizop.com) so it has to be the first thing you get when building your website. There are countless sites on the Internet so it's possible that the name you have in mind for your site may already be taken by someone else.
So make sure that you have multiple options in mind.
After purchasing your domain, it's on to the next step.
Step #2: Buy and Set up Hosting
There are many choices for hosting, but the one I recommend for an all-in-one solution geared toward content marketing, including WordPress hosting, domain name registration, keyword research, tools and education is Wealthy Affiliate.
Your domain is your address, which makes your hosting the 'house' where your site is going to live.
This will be your very own little piece of internet real estate where this and any other sites that you build will live. If you intend to build more sites in the future, make sure that the hosting you choose allows you to do so.
The good news is that hosting is very affordable and there is no need to scrimp on hosting fees these days.
Some people purchase both their hosting and their domain from one company, but if you purchase them from different companies, first you have to link the hosting and domain name together.
Don't panic, it's actually a very simple process that your hosting provider will walk you through.
Step #3: Install WordPress
Once you've got your hosting all set up, it's time to install your site's CMS (content management system).
The most popular CMS is WordPress and it's the one that we recommend for a lot of reasons. For one, it's probably the easiest to use and it doesn't require you to have any technical know-how to be able to use it, even as a complete newbie.
Most hosting companies provide an option for one-click install of WordPress on your site. This means that it will take you only a couple of minutes before you have it installed on your site.
Step #4: Install A Theme
A theme provides all of the styling that your site needs so that you can present your content to your audience in engaging and effective ways.
WordPress themes have everything you need and there are thousands of them available for you to choose from.
While choosing one may seem like a daunting task in the beginning, don't overthink it. Just go for a nice simple one that is easy to customize because you can easily change it later.
There are some paid themes that you can buy, and some that are designed especially for affiliate marketers, but since you're just getting started, my advice would be to use the free WordPress ones for now (at least until you make your first few sales and then you can upgrade to something else if you want to).
Step #5: Create Great Content
This is where we left off in the previous post: Creating Content. Now that your site is ready, you can start creating content for it.
In the previous post, we outlined the types of content that will help to put your affiliate marketing business on Google's radar.
Just remember, the content that you create has to be relevant to your particular niche and it must also be engaging and appealing enough to your audience that it keeps them coming back.
While still on this step, you must also ensure that your site is SEO optimized. You'll find all the details you need about making your site search engine-friendly on our blog.
Now on to the exciting stuff: Building an Audience and Promoting Your Affiliate Offers.
Building an Audience
The process of building your site's audience will happen naturally in some ways.
Once you start producing great content the people who are interested in it will flow consistently to your site and this traffic will result in steadily growing sales for you.
But how do you begin to build an audience for a totally new site?
Well, here are some ideas:
Use Social Media to Promote Your Content
The social network that you choose can be either niche or location-specific.
Being able to build up a following that is engaged and interested on social media will give you the opportunity to build strong relationships with your audience, and after you have earned their trust, you will be able to promote your products or services to them.
A good example of this is the site 'MoneySavingExpert.com'.
It has over 150,000 likes on Facebook and the site constantly connects with their audience not only by sharing links to valuable content but by also asking their readers interesting questions that are related to their niche of budgeting and saving money.
The readers are highly engaged and they visit the site where they read content and make purchases.
Find High-Traffic Blogs to Guest Post On
It's always a good idea to begin capitalizing on other people's audiences while your site is still new. You can continue to focus on creating your own content while at the same time writing content for some big blogs with lots of traffic.
But, the blogs that you write for must be relevant to your niche.
When you write content for high-traffic blogs, you get your name and your site in front of a different audience to whom you can showcase your expertise on the subject. In time, this will lead to loads more traffic to your site.
Build an Email List
There have been lots of people whispering online that email marketing is dead.
That couldn't be further from the truth. Email marketing is alive and well, and in fact, you'll find it hard to succeed in affiliate marketing without an email list to promote your products to.
As soon as your site is set up and you've posted your first blog post, focus on building your email list.
This doesn't take long.
All you have to do is create a simple lead magnet, sign up for an email hosting service, and then encourage your audience to sign up for your updates on your blog (again all the information for how to achieve this is available on our blog).
After you have their email, you can now push content to your subscribers through email, as well as direct them to your affiliate products.
But remember, your sales shouldn't be sleazy. Your affiliate marketing business only works if your audience trusts you so that when the time comes for them to buy a product from you, they won't think twice about it.
Increase Organic Traffic to Your Site by Using Basic SEO Techniques
Search engine traffic is the best traffic you can get for your site so it's important for you to optimize your site and the content that you create for the search engines.
Keep the reader in mind when you create content but also remember to follow a few basic SEO practices as well.
You can either learn SEO yourself or you can hire good SEO marketers that can help you to maximize your on-page SEO as well as your off-page SEO so that your site can start to appear in the search engine result pages for keywords and terms that are relevant to your niche.
This will be a massive boost toward building your audience and ultimately your sales.
Use paid advertising
I know this is hard for a lot of beginners to accept. We all want to make tons of money from our sites without ever investing a cent. That is the dream each one of us had, but the reality is that if you want to see results faster then you have to be willing to invest in paid advertising.
The alternative of waiting for organic traffic could take months or even years before you see any real results from your efforts. So smart marketers do both.
They work on getting traffic from free sources while also investing in paid sources of traffic.
A good place to start for beginners is paid advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook Ads. These tend to be the most affordable.
Another option is to take out an inexpensive banner ad on some of the smaller niche sites. Google AdWords is also a great option to drive quality traffic to your site, depending on your niche.
Promoting Your Affiliate Offers
I know this is the part most of you have been waiting for. This is where things really get interesting.
There are a lot of affiliates who jump right into this step and bypass everything else outlined in this and the previous post. That's a huge mistake, and it almost always results in failure.
These fly-by-night affiliates are the same ones who will go online and complain that affiliate marketing is a scam and doesn't work.
Set yourself apart, and make sure that you follow the steps as they have been laid out for you and you will soon join the few marketers who are really successful in affiliate marketing.
As soon as you show your audience that you offer them something of value in your particular niche, you can now continue to add more value by promoting products to them that are useful and helpful.
People have problems in their lives, and if they trust you they will be happy to buy the products or services that you recommend to help them solve their problems.
In fact, they will thank you for it.
Depending on the type of site that you have built as well as the products or services that you are selling, there are a number of different ways in which you can promote your offer.
Some ideas include writing honest and real reviews about products.
Your readers rely on your opinion and if you want them to trust you, you won't just point out positives and gloss over the negative aspects of a product.
You can then link to a page that has your affiliate ID attached for your audience to make a purchase if they are interested, and before you know it, you'll have made your first sale.
Other things you can try include putting up banner ads on your site to promote any of your affiliate offers (the affiliate programs provide the banners).
You can also use in-text content links to promote your offers within your posts, and you can also use discounts and giveaways from your affiliate programs to lure visitors to your site to purchase products.
Now you know all the steps it takes to create a successful affiliate marketing business from scratch.
All that's left now is for you to start implementing everything that you've learned and to work on it on a continuous basis. It may take a bit of time and effort to build your site up to the point where it makes you a consistent, passive income but you will get there and your future self will thank you for it.
While it may feel overwhelming in the beginning, I can promise you that once you've made that first sale, you'll know that it was all worthwhile.
So take the first step right now and give yourself a chance to succeed as an affiliate marketer.
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Updated: Originally published June 13th 2018