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23 minutes reading time (4647 words)

Affiliate marketing remains a goldmine – Here’s how to make money from affiliate programs.

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Quick question: Did you know Ghavoch's membership subscriptions is not the only way I generate revenue on Ghavoch? I also get paid for recommending certain products and services to you.

Services such as A2 Hosting for hosting websites or ConvertKit for email marketing. In fact, I have a good list of affiliate programs that I'm a part of (but I only recommend products I use and so should you.

I will never tell you to buy anything I haven't tested myself). Well, now you know. Each time someone buys an affiliated product I recommended, I gain a commission from the sales. That's simply what the affiliate marketing (that you have been hearing about) is all about.


Simply put: Affiliate marketing is a special form of marketing that requires you to convince buyers to pay for a third-party product from which you get a commission.

This is just like being a salesman but the difference is the fact that you don't get paid a monthly salary but a commission on each sale. You market someone's goods, a customer buys it, you get compensated with a share in the profit for your efforts.

This means the more sales you make, the richer you become. The large market on the internet has made several people millionaires out of affiliate marketing and you too can begin to lay the foundations for mining your share in the reserve now.


Affiliate marketing entails that;

-You find a relevant product

-You promote it with all you've got.


Affiliate marketing existed since the inception of the internet and it's not going away anytime soon. This means you still have a shot at it. Before now, affiliate marketers were known for promoting the links to their affiliate products on social media and blogs through the comment form.

They just signup with an affiliate network or with a company that offers an affiliate program for her products, they find a good product and promote it endlessly.

This was the traditional method. Though people still do this (those without a website), it's simply too much work compared to the alternatives.


Why is it so recommended as an online business?

Because it's a goldmine! I've personally made $13,870 at a 30% commission rate of $95 from 146 sales of an affiliate product in less than 13 days.

No! it's not that easy. I already had a system in place. But can you do it? Yes, several others have made a lot more from it. Pat Flynn can attest to that.

Doing an online business is not just about choosing the right niche, creating the business and driving traffic to the business website. You will find yourself doing a lot more than that. Most online business requires more effort such as customer support, product delivery, maintenance and upgrade etc.

Luckily, with Affiliate Marketing, none of these matters. With affiliate marketing, you only have to select the right product and promote it while the owner of the product pays your commissions and handles the product maintenance, upgrade and after-sales services. This is the sole reason most internet marketers would pick affiliate marketing first.

Doing affiliate marketing, your major challenge will be to pick a product in high demand. A product that people want. A product that will sell. Because if you pick the wrong project, you may never make a penny no matter the amount of publicity you do.


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How do I get started?

It takes knowledge, skills and lots of smart work to get it done. It's not exactly easy to drive that targeted traffic that converts. You may have millions of people checking out your website/blog and may still not make a sale.

But with the right product at hand and some drops of visitors from the right source, you could easily bank in on affiliate marketing. If you do not have a blog/website, I recommend you get one to make things easier for you but you can still do it without one.



1.Get a website or blog

This part is crucial as it's your baseline for selling the products. Do you already own a blog? Then, you are good to go. Otherwise, you should really consider getting one to enable you fully utilize all available options.

When you hear about building a website, most people think it's one crazy job reserved for the nerds. Well, you aren't far from the truth. It was. It's just no longer that crazy due to the availability of free open source content management systems such WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc.

These days, anyone one can put up a site if they put their mind to it. Yes. To be advanced in it you will need to know HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and the likes but as a beginner who just needs a simple blog, you can do without it.


There are several themes/templates to help you get started. This doesn't mean you shouldn't give this to the professionals. In fact, I recommend you let Lati Codes handle it for you. Making your site unique is no easy task anyway.

Besides, it's a little investment compared to the profit you will make. There's a lot more to websites than a domain, host and CMS. Let Lati Codes handle the styling and technical side while you reap the reward. However, you can always do most of it yourself.

I already prepared a comprehensive practical guide for building your site on Joomla (yes, Ghavoch is built using Joomla!). The guide will show you how to build a profitable subscription-based website like Ghavoch or any other type of website using the free Joomla! platform.

Okay, let me walk you through the major steps on how to set up your simple blog or website. Note that this article can't cover every tiny detail/setting as that will be another topic on its own. 

-Get a domain name

The importance of this as the first step cannot be debated as it's apparent that your website will need to be found at a certain web address (www.your-site-name.com) hence, the need for a domain name.

You will need to find a good name for your site and proceed to register it with a domain registrar. There are currently hundreds of registrars available online today as the demand for websites are increasing but there are only a few of these companies that are worth working with.

You should consider using NameCheap or GoDaddy for your domain registrations. Ghavoch.com was registered on GoDaddy!


To get started, head to GoDaddy.com and check the availability of your desired site name using the domain search tool. If it's available, then add to cart and proceed to complete the registration.

It's advisable to use a .com extension as it's easier for your site users to remember. Your domain name should be easy to remember too!

Please, don't go ticking all available add-ons you see on GoDaddy. Only pay for what you need because most of the options are completely unnecessary. 

  For instance, it's not logical to pay a monthly fee for email accounts that will actually come free with your hosting plan.

Once all options have been checked (including the number of years you intend to keep the domain registered), simply create your GoDaddy account and complete the transaction using your credit card or PayPal.

Domains (.com) can be bought on GoDaddy at $11.99 or as low as $1.17 using coupon codes. Upon payment, your domain will be registered instantly and you will probably be able to use it immediately.

-Choose a hosting package

Just as domain registrars give you a web address, web hosting companies provide the resources (web space, data transfer, processor, database handlers, scripts etc) to help you store, run, manage your website data and make it available to your end-users online. 

Though most domain registrars also provide hosting packages (including Godaddy), I can only recommend A2 Hosting and I have several reasons to back this up. This is from someone who has spent half of his life using several web hosts while running his numerous online businesses.


I'm emphasizing this because some web hosts are only out there to frustrate your business with poor services. It's not as though A2 Hosting is the only good one.

There are probably several others but believe me when I say you don't want to be doing trial and error with your website. If you are in Nigeria and you want to use a local web host, you could use Garanntor as they (are cheap and they) seem to have a good track record so far.

  Now, go ahead to choose a hosting package on A2 Hosting, and proceed to select all needed add-ons (such as SSL) in your cart. Do not forget to indicate that you already have a domain.

Choose this option and input the domain you just registered. Also, you should want to choose a VPS package as opposed to a shared hosting plan if you have the money especially since your site will probably need a lot of resources.

  In order to use your domain on your current hosting account, you need to point the domain to your hosting account by changing the nameservers.

A2 hosting nameservers can be found on your account hosting package management area or you could simply check your email as they usually send this along with your account details.

You can do this by selecting custom nameservers option on your domain management page in your GoDaddy account and inputting the details as required.

-Install a good CMS

As stated earlier, you probably need to use a CMS for setting up your website (except you plan to build it from scratch, in which case, you will need to know how to code PHP, HTML, CSS and run it through MySQL Database).

Thankfully, you have quite a few options but I recommend you use WordPress (if you want to set up just a blog) or Joomla! (if you plan to manage user signups and other contents). 

Whatever you choose to use, the process of setting it up is actually going to be the same. Start by logging into your hosting account CPanel (the login link can be found in the left section of your hosting account dashboard), scroll down to the software section and open up Softaculous

From the softaculous app explorer, you can easily see your available blogging apps and content management systems for instant installation. Simply head to the blogging apps section, locate WordPress (I will be using the free open source WordPress for this tutorial. 


For an in-depth training of how to build a website like Ghavoch or any other kind of website using the Joomla! platform, you should get the blueprint now) and click on it, open up the installation page, briefly fill in your website information and click install.  


-Setup and Customize with a theme

Login to the admin area of your newly installed e-commerce website builder through the dedicated url (www.your-domain-name.com/wp-admin) and navigate directly to the WordPress settings page (at the bottom of the left sidebar) to quickly complete this setup phase just by entering the required information.

Please, do not be afraid to configure and tweak up the site according to your taste. The settings here are categorized into writing, reading, discussion, media, permalinks and general.

Pretty much simple questions and answer section. Once you are done, you should consider changing your default site theme.

To do this, navigate the appearance menu on the left sidebar and click on 'Add New Theme' and you will find a lot of themes to select from or you can simply install any third-party them you got from other sources just by clicking on the upload button.

Once you have chosen a good theme, all you have to do is customize it b changing the logo, favicon, colour, images etc. to ensure it looks different from the default theme as well as suits your needs. 


-Getting ready to Create your site contents

This is the part of you have to get used to since you are going to be doing this often. As often as you can, you need to be creating fresh contents for your site. No one will want to stay on an empty website.

In order to post your articles, you will need to navigate to the post menu and click on categories to create the required categories for your articles.

Once you are done, all you have to do is click on 'Add New' to create a fresh post on your site. And just like that, you have a blog!



2. Monetize your site with affiliate marketing

Now, you have a clean new site and you are ready to make money from it. Well, in order to do that with affiliate marketing, you need to do a few things first such as choosing a niche, getting your affiliate products ready, creating your contents around it and driving traffic to it. That's it! The steps have been simplified.



-Choosing an affiliate product.

There are several options out there and this tends to make the product choosing phase a lot more complicated. Where do you start from? What product will have a higher conversion rate? What is the commission rate to focus on?

There are a host of various categories of products on affiliate networks such as VigLink, CJ, Impactradius, Clickbank etc. Your job will be to join any of these networks and sign up with the right product or service to promote.

Alternatively, you could go straight to the companies that run individual affiliate programs. Most companies now have such programs.

If you want a workout affiliated product, then locate and visit the websites of the top workout product manufacturers and sign up for their program but not before you have done some research as it will be fruitless promoting a product that people don't want.



What kind of product? Start by choosing a good niche and focusing on it. What do you want your site to be all about? (I'm sure you know Ghavoch is all about Personal Development, Career, Business, Freelance and Money Making, and you may never see any topic written outside these categories on Ghavoch).

When you have a site focused in a particular direction, getting targeted visitors to your site becomes easier. You simply head to where your kind of website visitors hang out.


Anyway, have you decided on the niche to dive into? Niches such as Health and fitness are still very much untapped compared to others and this makes it very profitable.

How about a fashion niche focused on styling ladies with the hottest trends? Is your site going to be about parenting (especially moms)?

Whatever you decide, you probably have to stick to it because your affiliate products are going to be tools that are only useful to people of such categories. For instance, if you want your site to be about fitness, you have to promote fitness products such as gym kits.



Is the Product relevant? You need to know that not all products are worth promoting. When you find a product, the first thing you should do is ask yourself questions such; will I spend my hard-earned money on this product? (This will work best if you are passionate about your niche).

So, pray tell, if you wouldn't buy such a product, then why would someone else buy it? A relevant product is a product that has some importance/usefulness to the average individual.

Products that make people money, saves time, saves money etc. are great products. Overall, the product has to be a solid solution to your site visitor's problems. Also, the product has to be among the latest trends.

No one would be interested in an obsolete product. This is however different if you are running a site about vintage/classic products. If that's the case, then, you can market as many ancient products as possible – the older the better.

If possible, you should do a brief research about the product. Checking out it customer reviews will be very helpful in making this decision. But of course, it's best if you can test the product yourself.

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What is the Commission rate? In as much as a $40 product running a 10% commission per sale could still make you a lot of money if it's in high demand and you can provide the right traffic for it, some affiliate products are just pure advocates of modern-day slavery

You may work all the time, driving quality traffic but still make only a fraction of the earnings of your competitor that has just a few hundred websites, monthly visitors. So, it's more realistic to consider the amount of money you can make from a single sale of a product.


For instance, Inmotion (This is not a bad web hosting company but I have tried a lot of hosts and I can only recommend A2 Hosting) pays as much as $200 commission (because they have an expensive pricing strategy and each visitor you refer will likely pay $1,000+) per sale and with them you may not need to make too many sales as referring just 10 users for them will make you $2,000 while some companies will require you to bring in over 500 customers before you can make that same amount.


This happens if the product you are referring them to is cheap – say less than $20. If they make $20, they can't pay you more than $4.50. If you have only this kind of products on your site, you may only make pennies except you have a huge user base and you are able to drive in hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors.


The money you will make shouldn't be your main criteria for choosing an affiliate product. Your reputation is at stake here. Only promote a product you are sure of. A product you believe in. A product that you have tested and probably done a lot of research on. Misleading your users won't get you very far.



-Promoting the product

Let's go ahead to outline the major methods used by many affiliate marketers. Some of these methods can be frustrating since it depends on your website traffic.

Without a considerable amount of traffic, you may end up with a somewhat discouraging result but then again, if you've chosen a relevant product that has a reasonable commission rate, your challenges will be minimal.



1.Recommending affiliate products within posts

This involves turning keywords in your articles into affiliate links. You can do this manually by inserting your affiliate links within your posts or by using plugins that can do this automatically.

The automatic part is made easier by some affiliate networks like VigLink. Such networks provide a script which will automatically turn any keyword relating to any of their affiliate products into links.

I actually prefer doing mine manually to help me control the number of links within my contents. All I do is provide the link to certain products relating to what my article is all about.

For instance, if I'm writing about email marketing, I would recommend Convertkit and insert the link to it. This works best if your visitors read your articles word for word. If they are like me, I just might skip it since I usually don't have time to read full articles – I just pick out the major points.


This is the challenge of using this method. The competition these days can be quite tough. Unlike those days when there were just a few blogs, it's increasingly becoming more difficult to attract more readers to our articles that will click on these links and become customers due to the millions of blogs available today.


And yes, people are getting smarter. This means a lot of them probably already know these things and might remain indifferent about your links. On Ghavoch, there are quite a number of affiliate links that account for a huge part of my affiliate earnings which actually mean that this method is still very much useful – for better or for worst.


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2.Writing reviews for affiliate products

Most of your blog readers/website visitors are there because they trust you, believe you are a success and would likely take your recommendations seriously and this is why this method is golden.

Whether you like it or not, most bloggers are making a lot of money using this evergreen method to date. You simply choose a relevant product, get a copy (buy it or negotiate a free copy from the owners) and sign up to its affiliate platform.

Then, you study the product for some time, get as much data (record the results!) as possible from the product and write a review about it on your blog. Writing a quality review that is capable of challenging your users requires some top-notch writing and analytical skills.

If you choose to use this method on your site, you have to try as much as possible to make your review posts cover the product features as well as pros and cons of the product. To increase your conversion, consider doing some case studies on the products and including it in your reviews too.



3.Creating tutorials for affiliate products

This is one of the easiest ways to turn your website visitors into buyers. When people search the web for a solution to certain problems and they land on your page, they are likely going to study your techniques on how you solved the problem and if it requires buying a product you, they won't hesitate since they want the same great result as you have.


Your readers would want to clone your methods for the results following your exact steps. Of course, I myself do learn from people's experiences. There's no point going through the same process of researching a solution to a problem that someone's else has solved already. This is what I do on Ghavoch anyway, I write about my experiences and you learn from it.


At one point or the other, we find ourselves copying what works for others mostly because we want to save time. You can use this to your advantage in affiliate marketing but there's work to be done here.

You have to sit and write several how-to-do posts. These posts have to be based on your experience and backed with some concrete results. This may be tedious since creating data-backed tutorials can be really time-consuming.

You have to create and insert illustrative images, point out each step you took as well as explain each concept and analyzing your end-result. However, this method pays more which proves the saying that; good things don't come easy.



4.Placing affiliate banners on the site

Let me be sincere here, affiliate banners still works! Though this is not my first choice, most bloggers are generating huge affiliate income using this method. However, the effectiveness of this affiliate marketing model is threatened by banner blindness.

Have you ever read a blog post and completely ignored all the inline banner ads? I do that unconsciously most of the time too. In fact, no one goes to blog just to check out the adverts.


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Most times when I'm on other websites, I'm there to get some information or to perform a certain task as that alone keeps me focused that I just might not notice any banner before me.

Okay, I might see the banner but would likely skip it (without reading it). There are three major threats to this method:


-Banner blindness – People unconsciously ignore the banner contents

-Banner location – Banners placed at a less visible location on the site.

-Ad smart blockers – browser add-ons that hides the banner from your users.


Most blogs are in a habit of placing their banners on the sidebars where they become less targeted. Only a few persons will check out your sidebar.

To be more productive using this method, you need to place your banners where visitors will see it. If possible, place them within your posts (top, middle, bottom).

Also, make sure you rotate the ads and use quality plugins to prevent your ads from getting blocked by ad blockers.



5.Promoting affiliate products in Email newsletters

This method involves sending useful emails to your subscribers and in turn, recommending your affiliate products (that includes the links to buy them) for them.

Yes, the money is in the list but it actually depends on the kind of list. Sometimes a list of just a few hundred prospects can generate more sales compared to a huge database of nonchalant emails.

Do you have a list of email subscribers? If you don't have a list, start building your email list now by putting up a subscription box on your site and encouraging your visitors to drop their emails.

You could also give out a free item and request for your visitor's email before they can download it.


How much engagement result do you record after contacting your subscribers? The conversion of your list depends on how interactive you are with your users.

To be successful using email newsletter for your affiliate marketing, you need to ensure you have a large list of relevant subscribers. Size is important but relevancy is what makes the sales.

If you have a large list of irrelevant subscribers, you may never make any affiliate sales mailing to it. You need to target your subscribers with the products that are more relevant to them.

Once you have a quality email list of relevant subscribers who are interested in what you have to say, you can go ahead to insert your affiliate links within your email newsletters or as an email signature.



In conclusion,

Affiliate marketing might seem tough for some people but it's actually a goldmine for others who have dedicated some efforts to put a working system in place.

For me, affiliate marketing is pretty much as easy or as hard as any other online business that depends on website traffic. In fact, it's a lot better.

I mean, can you really compare affiliate marketing to Google Adsense? No! A single affiliate sale could get you more money than what you get paid from Adsense in a week.

This alone is enough reason to give it a shot and I believe my brief guide above is quite simplified and capable of walking you through from an affiliate marketing beginner to the intermediate level.

Overall, you should make sure you get a relevant product and drive as much traffic to it as possible. 

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