Choose your niche
If you have a high-traffic website, popular social media account, YouTube channel, or any other digital outlet with an audience that you would like to monetize via affiliate marketing, then you're already halfway there, as you already know the niche.
If you don't have an audience built up yet, then you'll want to start by determining your niche. We'd recommend that you don't attempt to find what will be the most profitable niche, but instead determine what types of content you'd like to create and how you're going to get traffic to that content.
The reason for this is simple — you're going to produce better content if it's something you're passionate about or something you already know a lot about. Bad content is unlikely to lead to any real results in affiliate marketing.
That said, before you decide on a niche and start building an audience, there are a few things you need to check. You'll need to make sure there is a sizeable potential audience, affiliate programs for products related to your niche, and that the space isn't highly competitive.
Many spaces are highly competitive already, and building an audience in them will be exceedingly difficult and time-consuming. However, with some thought, you can find niches related to them that are easier to build an audience in. For example, if you're starting a blog or a review website, you'll want to see how difficult it will be to get traffic from search engines.
After you know your niche, you can determine what platforms to use to reach your desired audience. Find products and services
While you could advertise any product or service in your content, and therefore sign up for any and every affiliate program under the sun, it is unlikely to be the best strategy. That leaves two other types you could recommend.
You could recommend products and services directly related to your niche, but that you haven't personally used before. This works better for some types of content than others. For example, if you have a review website, you're unlikely to be able to use all of the products in a category but will still need to have all of the available ones listed and reviewed based on their specs.
If you're an influencer, podcaster, vlogger, or otherwise produce content for a dedicated audience, you must be very careful recommending products you haven't used. Recommending just one thing that turns out to be bad quality will greatly affect your ability to advertise anything.
So the best things you can recommend are those which you've had personal experience using.
Most affiliate marketers will recommend some combination of the above. Find affiliate programs — direct or through affiliate networks
Many of the sellers of the products and services you'll want to recommend have their own affiliate programs. They also can usually be found as part of one or more affiliate networks. Should you go directly through them or sign up for an affiliate network?
Like everything, there are tradeoffs between the two. When you work individually with an affiliate program, you may get individual attention and better commissions. For example, in our affiliate program
, you get a personal affiliate manager who'll help you earn more by giving you ideas to help grow your audience and increase bookings made through your links. Our direct affiliates also get a higher commission than those using our program through any of the affiliate networks.
With affiliate networks, however, you get access to many different programs at the same time. This can save you time and hassle, especially when you're just starting out. Admitad.com Travelpayouts.com Indoleads.com ShareASale.com Conectia Commission Junction
You'll naturally want to look at the commission percentage of the programs before choosing which one to go with.
You may also want to consider the cookie lifetime of it, too. This is typically 30 days, meaning if a customer visits the site affiliate partner through your link and purchases something in the next 30 days, you'll get a commission from it.
Some programs have cookie lifetimes that are shorter (such as only for the session, so if the customer leaves and comes back later, you won't get a commission), while others have longer ones (like ours, which has a lifetime of 365 days).
Keep in mind that pretty much all affiliate programs only pay a commission to the site which the customer came from most recently — they don't want to pay multiple commissions for the same sale after all. Start building your audience
Now that you've chosen your niche, products or services, and affiliate programs, it's time to grow your audience. How to do this could take up an entire article, or really a book.
The primary thing you need to do is create content and make sure it's finding and connecting with your intended audience. If you've chosen a niche that you're knowledgeable and passionate about, the content creation part will likely be the easy part. Making sure it finds the audience you want will be the more difficult part.
If you're running a blog or website, you'll need to educate yourself on SEO principles starting with finding keywords to target. You can use Google Adwords to do this, at least at first (you'll have to sign up for it, though you don't need to actually run ads). Their keyword planner
will help you find those keywords. Over time once you've started bringing in some revenue, you may want to consider paying for a tool like ahrefs
If you sign up for an affiliate program like ours, we'll help you with more tips and tricks customized for your site to help it rank well for certain keywords. Affiliate networks also have good amounts of general education about this, too.
If you're setting off to be an Instagram influencer or vlogger, there are a lot of tutorials around to get you started. Just keep in mind that it'll take a considerable amount of time to grow your audience.