If you’re looking for something you can habitually do over and over again to earn some serious cash without an email list, there are affiliate marketing options for you!
Most of what I write about always ties back to marketing funnels with Facebook advertising, building your list and developing a relationship with your audience through email marketing.
However, if you want to start making money online virtually for free and not have to send consistent emails to your email list, an affiliate site is an excellent way to start.
In this post, I’m going to tell you how you can become an affiliate marketer without an email list, tips on how to create successful affiliate marketing websites, affiliate programs you can participate in, and reveal where you can find affiliate marketing case studies, for free.
Let’s jump right in!
Affiliate Marketing Websites
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Say a consumer is looking to buy a specific product like the best blender, how can they make sure they're purchasing the best product that's right for them?
Potential buyers can access affiliate marketing websites and check out product reviews on YouTube, Google or utilize another search engine to see what other people are saying about the product they're considering, or which product would be the best fit for them.
If you’re the one creating this excellent long form copy that is reviewing the items people are searching for, optimize your reviews with the fundamentals of SEO, then you get the traffic and get paid when people click thru and purchase from your affiliate site.
You can build your affiliate marketing website with the level of knowledge you already have in your line of work or hobby.
This can easily be your starting niche for your affiliate reviews since you have plenty of insight into these areas and products providing you with personal leverage. For example, if you’ve been a chef for years and years, then talking about the different products that you’ve used on your affiliate marketing site would work well for you.
You can also simply choose a niche, research products from online reviews and piece those reviews into a researched post on an affiliate website.
Whether you choose to write about a niche you are familiar with or one that you learn about, there are two approaches to setting up your affiliate site.
Surprising Benefits to Affiliate Marketing
There is all kinds of in-depth and comprehensive information about how people are leveraging content marketing with Amazon affiliates and other affiliate programs to drive traffic and sales to generate revenue.
One benefit of affiliate marketing is if you build a general review site, for example, reviewed.com, you’re not directly tied to that affiliate website. I could never sell MilesBeckler.com because it’s in direct association with me.
However, if I wanted to turn around and sell my affiliate marketing website, I could.
You may be surprised to find out that your affiliate site can become a sellable asset for you and some people have in fact sold their marketing websites for seven figures.
Many get started online just by writing content for an affiliate site, then sell, liquidating some of that asset and rolling it into one of the other top 10 online businesses to start.
Add Affiliate Marketing To Your Current Business Model
Affiliate Marketing is one of the top online businesses to start.
However affiliate marketing is also something you can add on if you’re already building a different online business model.
You can add affiliate links and recommendations for products that you’re using right from your created content. I made a video reviewing travel video gear, linked it to an Amazon shopping cart and when anyone clicks on that affiliate link to the shopping cart, anything purchased within 24 hours I receive a commission on it.
My wife and I have review pages and posts on our site, and we do have videos that review and talk about the different items we use to build our businesses or whatever it may be. All of this content has our affiliate links inside of these posts.
As content creators and website entrepreneurs, not only does your value come from what you bring to the world but over time, it includes your opinion, the tools you’ve used helping in your success as well as just products you like.
You can use affiliate marketing as a means to better serve your audience, not only helping your audience, but it’s also an excellent way to earn extra money with minimal setup.
Setting Up Your Affiliate Marketing Website - Key Considerations
When setting up your affiliate marketing website you want to ensure that the content you are going to be writing about is content that you enjoy and won’t drive you crazy.
Basically, an affiliate site is post after post after post of written reviews. Super simple!
First, think about what space or niche you want to go into for your affiliate marketing reviews.
Ask yourself, what tangible things am I already interested in and knowledgeable about or what products do I want to learn about, research, and review?
Answering this question for yourself will steer you into one of the two schools of thought in regards to what the structure of your affiliate marketing website should be.
There's no one right way to do it. You have to decide what type of affiliate marketing reviews you would like to do.
Niche-Down Affiliate Websites
Some people think it's better to niche down and review the best juicers only on a domain like bestjuicers.com where you examine different types of juicers exclusively. Then, you duplicate that process and do best-blenders-reviewed.com, reviewing all of the different blenders.
Picking one product category and writing tons of content around that category on a relevant domain name.
Others prefer to not write about only one topic.
Broad Niche Affiliate Marketing
If you’ve been a mechanic for many years, there are all sorts of products you can do affiliate marketing reviews on from car parts, tools, intake kits, etc.
You may want to have the ability to do affiliate marketing reviews on products from a broad range of items because over time, you may want to grow your site and it sets you up for more opportunities from one website.
If you choose this model you would want your domain name to be garagelife.com. A domain name that could include cars, tools, car parts, bikes, and more.
The Value of the Products you review
When embarking on affiliate marketing, reviewing low-cost items will always still bring value to your viewers, for example, say you’re affiliate marketing a line of beauty products. They may have a lower cost, but there are going to be many many items to review within the brand line. And these products are purchased more frequently than a kitchen appliance.
Of course, the more expensive the item, the higher your commission. Say your niche is kitchen items and appliances, tons of these items are worth 400-500 dollars or more. So keep that in mind if you are going to approach the affiliate marketing business model. because if you niche down to something like specific juicers or blenders, there’s more money making potential there.
I prefer as an affiliate marketer, making potentially $4-12% from selling a $300 item rather than a $15 item, but there are plenty of very successful affiliate websites reviewing only lower cost items, so you do you.
Setting Up Your Affiliate Marketing Website
The only platform to use for your written reviews is WordPress. All you need is a domain name and a great web hosting company.
I build all of my websites using Thrive Themes on WordPress.
It lays the foundation for a successful authority site with minimal effort and once you get your website layout done, posting your content with a few pictures only takes about 10 minutes to do.
WordPress is an open source content management system and Google loves WordPress sites.
Affiliate Marketing The Power of Building a Belief
The more information you can deliver on an affiliate review the more you’re able to build the belief that you know what you’re talking about.
Building the belief that you are providing them with reliable assorted information starts with integrity and hard work on your part. Don’t just sell, deliver!
Say you're a Walmart affiliate, an Amazon affiliate, and a Commission Junction affiliate. If you review the top 10 blenders, then compare price for your viewer, you’re taking out all the steps of resistance, and they’re going to be less likely to do the comparison shopping themselves.
Do the price comparison research for them. When you show that you provide the best information there is on the product and alleviate their need to further shop around; you’re helping them to build the belief that this is the right product for them.
This type of detail is often missed by many review sites, only providing amazon links to their affiliate marketing roundups. Go the extra mile and eliminate one more reason for them to go back to google.
I always recommend using multiple forms of mediums in your post as well.
People process information in different ways and this is another way you can bring more value to your audience.
Having an unboxing YouTube video or some other video in your post explaining more about the content will bring more value to your page and help them make a buying decision sooner.
You establish their goals, needs, desires, concerns and options in one post... Effectively you have given them everything they need to make a purchase right now when you do the price comparisons for them and provide them with as much content as possible in your post.
This quickly builds a relationship with your audience and dramatically improves the click thru and buy after viewing your post, which is how you get paid!
Clicks to purchase, not just website traffic.
Affiliate Programs List
This is a brief list of a few different affiliate marketing website examples to help you get a further understanding on all the opportunities out there.
The goal is not to be exhaustive here, but to give you a good survey of the types of companies and networks who have programs available that you can join... Because you can literally promote just about anything you could imagine through these programs.
One note, an affiliate network is a company that runs the affiliate tech for other vendors... Like how ClickBank has hundreds of different vendors you can promote... All with 1 ClickBank account. You will see a couple GREAT networks listed below with hundreds of companies and millions of products you can promote once you are accepted!
- Amazon - It’s free to join and Amazon has one of the largest online marketplaces selling just about everything. There’s plenty of opportunities here earning you anywhere from 1-10% in commissions.
- Avantlink - Avantlink is an affiliate network that can get you access to hundreds of affiliate programs that offer physical products. Click here and see all the companies and brands you can partner with through Avantlink. From Backcountry.com to REI.com and many more, they are the dominant force in the outdoor goods space but have programs in the beauty supplies, homegoods and many more. Programs range from 4% to 50% commissions.
- ShareASale - Another affiliate network that offers many programs and vendors in the physical goods space, but also software programs, digital downloads and more. A reputable network with hundreds of affiliate programs you can join for free! Commissions range from 4% to 60% commissions.
- Walmart - Walmart’s slogan has become a household phrase, and because they’re prices are so competitive there’s not as many high-end items for you to commision off of. They still beat Amazon in a couple departments, not by much, but some. Earned commision is anywhere from 1-18% with business & personal checks being their highest.
- CJ - This used to be called Commission Junction and is one of longest running with both professional affiliates and advertisers. They’re both a marketplace and retailer with a lot of big brands associated with them.
- Ebay - Their commision rates are 50-70% on auction fees, offering a vast variety of products.
- Target - With a commission rate ranging from 1-8% and a cookie duration of 7 days, Target is another great alternative to Amazon, although there product selection isn’t as large.
- Jet - They sell just about everything, if not everything as far a physical products goes. Their commision rates are 2.5%.
- BodyBuilding.com - Here you can find industry experts, and is a great fitness market. Leading new customers will earn you 15% commissions while returning customers will earn you 5%. Each cookie however is only per transaction.
- GNC - Many are familiar with GNC as a major supplemental supplier. They use Pepperjam to handle the back of their program. Commissions earned on a 45-day cookie is up to 12%.
- Microsoft - Commissions are not very high here, although there are exceptions on higher commissions for some products in comparison to Amazon. They offer 5% commission on Surface and 2% for video game consoles.
- Petco - This is quite large pet goods supplier. Their cookie length is 7 days with an 8% commissions on products.
Keyword Phrases for Affiliate Marketing
Turn your attention towards buying phrases, those keyword phrases people use when they’re searching the internet to purchase an item. The problem most consumers have is that they aren’t sure whether to buy product A or product B.
They’re trying to figure out if they want the Vitamix blender or the Shark blender. Those are two potential options, and you can be the one to help them understand what the differences are between them.
In addition to giving an honest review as an affiliate marketer, you want to make sure that buyers can find your review in the first place. Your word choices not only need to be true, but they also need to trigger Google analytics through your use of SEO.
And that is what keyword research will ensure for you.
Are they looking for the best, the most durable, energy efficient products? Or are they looking for the top 10 of something?
It is vital for you to do keyword research and make sure you are chasing keywords in the buying phase of prospect awareness.
Free Affiliate Marketing SubReddit Case Studies
An excellent resource to find free affiliate marketing case studies is at reddit.com/r/juststart.
It has grown a lot over the years and contains so much great content for you to either contribute to or browse through.
This affiliate marketing subreddit has been a valuable resource for me personally, and I’ve been reading over the forums for years looking into people’s different methods and the various affiliate marketing programs. Affiliate marketers talk about their business models and compare them among one another.
Participants of the forum show you reports on how many words they've written each month, what their traffic is doing, and what their income outcomes are.
Within the subreddits, you can find everything from topics on more prominent broader affiliate marketing concepts to affiliate marketing website examples.
There are high-quality subreddits where the conversations are kept hyper-focused onto the specific case studies being done so there are a couple of things you should keep in mind before jumping into one of these forums.
Use the search tool before posting simple questions that answers can be found just by utilizing the search tool. Simple questions are frowned upon and they want you using the search bar.
You'll find there's a bunch of different questions and conversations of people who are at different phases of growing this exact type of business.
Do not go in there and promote anything and put up any links or try to get anyone to go to your website or app because they will ban you for that too. You’ve been warned!
Start Your Affiliate Marketing Website Today!
This business model is a simple way for people to get started online with affiliate marketing. You don’t have to tie in an email list or learn how to build a landing page, all you do is write.
From showing people the differences in products and price comparison to teaching your viewers how to use different equipment, you can’t go wrong. You may even be someone who has the perfect DIY tricks that will save people money bringing even more value to your audience.
I highly recommend this approach and the best way to get started is to start. You may think it sounds crazy to just jump in and start, but you will learn the most in the shortest amount of time and you will get momentum on your side.
Momentum is key... You can figure out all the details with enough time and persistence.
If you want a step-by-step course that will hold your hand through this process... I do recommend The Authority Site System.
Click here and watch their free webinar that shows their approach to this affiliate marketing business model... It is a SUPER VALUABLE webinar!
If you are ready to jump in... All you need is to write your first review on a Google Doc, buy a domain name, get set up on hosting and build your wordpress website in an afternoon, then publish your first post.
Three days from now write your second review on a Google doc and post it to your website too.
Three reviews written and posted a week, in a year you have 150+ written reviews drawing in search traffic and people are buying from your affiliate links, even while you sleep!
Get started, be consistent and grow a profitable affiliate marketing website.