affiliate marketing for dummies

Affiliate Marketing for Dummies – Step By Step Plan to Start TODAY

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So you’ve heard some buzz about affiliate marketing. Maybe you’ve even considered trying to make some money with affiliate marketing or perhaps you’ve even tried and failed. Maybe you’re wondering what skills do you need for affiliate marketing? Well, I have some good news. Today we’re going to get you on the right track with “affiliate marketing for dummies.” This will be a step-by-step guide to get you closer to getting paid that oh-so-sweet affiliate commission.

Step 1 – Choose a Niche

Maybe there’s something you’re passionate about. Or maybe there’s a niche that you just know of full of people who would buy products based on your recommendation. No matter your thought process for doing so, today you’re going to choose a niche.

If you want to see quicker results then choose a tighter niche. For example, instead of choosing dog owners, choose labrador owners. Instead of car owners, target Subaru owners. This cuts down the competition you will be facing to get to potential customers.

You may be wondering why “would you ever choose a wide niche such as dogs or cars when you can make money quicker niching down?” Well, when you choose a more broad niche, it gives you more opportunity for growth. For example, when you are in the dog niche you can target labradors, along with every other dog breed. While you probably won’t see results as quickly, choosing a broad niche gives you virtually unlimited growth potential.

Step 2 – Buy a Domain and Hosting

I’m not going to go too in-depth here when it comes to how you do this exactly. Everything regarding this topic has already been said many times over. I will say that I buy my domains from Namecheap and a cheap hosting option is HostGator. At some point, if you reach some success, you will need to increase your hosting plan. That is a long, long way off.  You can research this topic as much as you would like. The most important thing is to get that domain and hosting and then move forward.

There are some things you should consider when buying a domain. Here are some different options for buying a domain:

  • Buy an exact match domain – This means your domain will reflect exactly what you are going to be an affiliate for. For instance “” It’s good to leave yourself a little room in case you want to change gears in the future and expand the products you are targeting. It’s an exact match because you are trying to make your domain name an exact match to your niche.
  • Buy a brandable domain – You can make your own brandable name. An example is Uber. It meant nothing until they made it into the rideshare giant. You can combine the two and use a brandable name and then add part of your niche. Something like “”

Something I always see as important is leaving room for growth within your niche. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Another option is to start with a tight niche and then once you find some success and figure out what works, you can start a second site with a much broader demographic.

Again, this is something I will say over and over, make sure you don’t get too hung up on this part. If you put in the hard work and have success, you will love your domain name. If you don’t do anything with it and you fail, you will hate it. Just make sure you make a decision, get that domain, get hosting and move onto the next step!

Step 3 – Social Networking and Branding

This is a very important step. For some, social networks will be the driving force of their affiliate marketing venture. For example, if you are a cooking blog then you have the potential to reach a lot of people really quickly on Pinterest. If you are a fashion blogger, you could have a photo or reel on Instagram go viral and boom you are raking in the affiliate commission.

First, identify which social networks are important for your brand. If you aren’t sure, take a look at other influencers in your niche and see where their content is getting the most engagement. Second, you should secure your brand name on every social media platform you see yourself using. It’s tough to update every social media every day. For someone just starting out that’s gonna be extremely tough. Instead, focus on the top two social media platforms and update them regularly, as much as you can. Spend 15 minutes 2-3 times a week and schedule as many updates as you can during that time. The more, the better. Hopefully, you’re getting up at least 2-3 posts a day. Unless you’re focusing on YouTube. 2-3 YouTube videos a day is obviously unreleastic.

Next, let’s talk about your branding. Your logo, catchphrase, etc. If you’re a designer, then get to it. If not there are some other options. You can look at purchasing a social media kit on Fiverr. You can reach out to graphic designers in your network. Remember, this is something you can improve later on. The key is to get those social media pages set up, start updating them and get on with your life.

Step 4 – Choose a Content Management System

This is how you’re going to get content up on your website. The one I use is WordPress. It’s pretty easy to get started with, but it has some serious depth and allows you to do just about anything you would want to do on a website. I’ve used it for 15 years and while it was choppy at the beginning, I’m extremely grateful that I have a good grasp of WordPress. You can choose a theme, add the logo you used for social media in the WordPress settings and boom you’re up and running. WordPress is not for everyone, though. Here are some other options:

  • Blogger
  • Wix
  • Medium
  • Joomla

There is plenty of information out there on these. Just find one that works for you. If you are really, really having a hard time getting going with one, you can always switch later.

Once you get your website set up, make sure to install the code necessary to have Google Search Console running on your site. More on this later.

Another thing to consider is some of you might not even need a website. If you are a YouTuber, you might not even need a website. Everyone thinks they need a website. If you aren’t sure, then go on with yourself creating all of your content on social media and the time you find something you absolutely must have a website for, then it’s time to fire up a website.

Step 5 – Start Creating Content

We already discussed your game plan for social media. Get posts up as often as you possibly can while still creating valuable assets for the viewers. Now let’s get into writing articles for your site.

Since it’s an affiliate site you’re going to be reviewing stuff with your articles. I use something called the “Avalanche Content Method.” If you give it a Google search you’ll get loads of information on it. I’m going to summarize the process for you.

First, you’re going to create “target pages.” These will be the pages on your site that generate revenue. Product descriptions, how-to guides, etc. These will be the sites loaded with affiliate links. Make sure those affiliate links are “no-follow.” Make these as often as you can. Once a week should be the minimum. Don’t get too caught up in how many

Avalanche content means you create content every day or every other day. You are creating traffic targeting the tier of traffic your site is receiving. Your site fits into tiers. Here are the tiers:

avalanche content tiers

Look at the average traffic your site gets over the last month to figure out what tier you’re in. As a new site, you’re absolutely going to be in Level 0. After that, you find keyword searches that are getting 0-10 monthly traffic that is also related to your target page. You’ll create 4-5 (or more…the more, the better) of these related to each target page. We’ll call these articles “avalanche content.” You link each new one to the previous one and the one after it. Here’s a graphic to help understand your linking strategy:

link siloing seo sorcerer

So now you may be wondering how do you find these keywords that are getting 0-10 searches a month. Personally, I use Ahrefs, which is a paid (and expensive) keyword research tool. You can use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to find these.

For more information on the SEO Avalanche Technique, click here. This is a forum post that specifically is for people who are SEO Avalanche Technique ranking with no resources.

Once you have that avalanche content going up every day (or every other day) your site will begin making the climb to the top of your niche. After trying and failing time after time with websites, this is the strategy that has worked for me every single time.


Well, that’s it. My guide to getting you rocking and rolling to affiliate marketing commission. Do you have any questions? Is something unclear? Did I leave something completely off? Let me know on Twitter and I’ll be happy to update this. My goal is to make this better and better to where it becomes an undeniable resource and makes me a top player in the industry. Is it there yet? No, but with your help, it can be! Tell me why it sucks!

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