Want to replace your income in 2014? The easiest way to do that is affiliate marketing. And here’s how.
You’ve checked the clock four times in the last 17 minutes, and it’s still not 5:00 p.m. The eye-twitching sound your coworker makes while smacking their gum makes you want to scream. And that faint garlicky aroma from your manager’s Korean takeout box lingers, both nauseating you and making you hungry.
Then it hits you: You are so over the 9-to-5 B.S. Like, done. Ready to hand in your resignation. Tempted to update your resume. Daydreaming about pulling a Jerry Maguire.
You want out, but you’re not sure how to get out.
Fortunately, it’s a lot easier than you think to replace your paycheck and start living a life that makes you happy to wake up each morning. (Click here to Tweet this thought.)
Replace your paycheck and free yourself of the 9-to-5 with affiliate marketing.
You may be thinking “affiliate what now?” but it sounds a lot more complicated than it is.
Affiliate marketing is the process of creating a basic website where you recommend a product to anyone looking for information on it. Within this website are personalized links with a tracking code, and if a reader clicks your link and buys the product you’re promoting, you receive a commission.
It’s essentially the lowest barrier to running an online business you can possibly enter, and it’s easy to scale and not only replace your current income, but double it.
So, how can you even get started with affiliate marketing?
1. Pick a product
This is an area a lot of people get hung up on because they want the “perfect” product. But the thing is, the perfect product doesn’t exist. Different people have different needs, so what may seem perfect to you may be useless to someone else.
Besides, you’re not selling to you. You’re selling to them.
A simple hack you can use to find a profitable product to promote is to hit up Amazon.com, click on “shop by department” and scroll through the categories and sub-categories. From there, start browsing to see which products seem to be the most popular and get the most reviews.
Next, narrow down your choice to a list of five to 10 products, jot down the names and move onto the next step.
2. Vet your product
Once you’ve found a product you think might be a good choice, you have to see if it’s possible to make money off it.
All you have to do is open up a Google search and search: product name “affiliate program.” This will allow you to see which products on your list have affiliate programs available to join. Then follow the instructions and apply to be an affiliate.
Once you find an affiliate program you like, you’ll need a place to promote that product.
3. Create a simple website
A few years ago, starting a website would have been something you had to pay someone to do for you. Now, thanks to WordPress and YouTube, you can do it yourself.
It might take a little tweaking to get it right, but there are thousands of video tutorials that’ll guide you through the entire process. Best of all, you can do it for under $20.
4. Say something about your product
The key to nearly every online businesses is content. Plain and simple.
An easy way to get started with a content plan for your affiliate site is to start with these four styles of posts:
- Product review
- Does [product] work?
- How to treat/fix/create/do [pain point your product solves]
- A list of the “best” products within your industry — positioning your product as the number one solution
If you’re not entirely sure where to start, doing research and reading other websites targeting the same product will help push you in the right direction. Just be sure to make the content yours and add your own flavor to it.
5. Get eyeballs on your site
The final step in this whole process is to get people to your site. And not your mom or your Facebook friends. You want qualified Web searchers looking for your specific solution.
But how do you get those people from Google to your website? This little thing we call SEO. Or, more specifically, backlinks. Backlinking is just the fancypants word for the process of one site linking to your website and essentially vouching for it.
There are many ways to do this, but the easiest way is through guest blogging. Not only is it the easiest way to get high-quality links from reputable sites in your industry, but Google loves this form of SEO.
The good news is, if you have a small site, you don’t need that many backlinks to start ranking in Google. You just need to know how to guest post properly.
From there, it’s all about scaling… and waking up to sales you made while you were sleeping.
The key is to give it all you’ve got, immerse yourself in the project and hang in there when you feel like you might want to quit. After all, that’s what will lead to long-term success, new ideas, better strategies and eventually a monthly income that rivals your yearly salary. *fist pump*
Jill Stanton is a wanderluster and lifestyle affiliate marketer hell-bent on teaching others how to escape the 9-to-5 and create a simple online business they love. She can be found over at ScrewTheNineToFive.com or on Facebook, scrolling through picture quotes in her newsfeed.