Five Essential Affiliate Marketing “Musts”

Affiliate marketing is one of the many ways that a person can make money online. In fact, I would go so far as to say it’s probably the easiest. In theory.

In practice affiliate marketing is actually pretty hard work. Not the bone crushing, muscle straining work of hard labor, but more the mind straining, headache inducing, long hours staring at a back lit screen kind of work. There is so much that goes into affiliate marketing that was is easy in theory (making money by selling other people’s stuff) is pretty hard in reality.

At it’s very core affiliate marketing, or making money as an affiliate, is all about traffic, follow up, and wide range of exposure. Those three things will contribute to a successful affiliate marketing business. To get those three things every affiliate marketer must have, or must do, five things.

Five Essential Affiliate Marketing “Musts”:

Affiliates Must Be Willing To Learn. I have seen one thing lead to the success in affiliate marketing more than anything else online. It’s called learning. There is an incredible amount of “stuff” that goes into making money online with affiliate marketing. In order to do all that “stuff” you have to know a little bit about how each one. That doesn’t mean you must be an expert. You just need to have some knowledge.

Writing web copy, configuring php, creating a simple landing page with basic HTML, working with PPC, doing some search engine optimization, publishing blog posts, uploading pictures and videos, and several other things are all basic skills needed by an affiliate marketer. Sure you can outsource this stuff, and you should if you’re not really comfortable with it, but knowing how will save you a ton of money by not being taken advantage of.

Affiliates Must Advertise Every Day. There is no other way to become one of the Super Affiliates (as they like to call themselves) than to advertise your website every single day. The more you advertise the more people find you. You receive more exposure by constantly seeking out new places to reach your audience. The good news is that in this new web 2.0 world, advertising everyday doesn’t mean spending money.

Social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, Digg, and StumbleUpon, to just name a very minute few, are amazing places to expand your reach and not pay a dime doing it. Commenting on blogs, participating on social websites (especially websites like Twitter), and sharing your posts on sites like Digg and StumbleUpon are very effective ways of “advertising” while not really advertising.

Affiliates Must Continue Adding Content to Their Websites. Another way to get increased exposure is to add content, usually in the form of articles, to your website. Again, though, web 2.0 has altered the definition of content to include blogging, videos, and audio in the form of .mp3s. And, again, this has to be done on a consistent basis.

Whatever niche your affiliate website is, the key to prolonged commissions is to provide website visitors, both first time and repeat) a reason to visit. This is in the form of content. Articles are, and probably will be for a long time to come, the king of content. Video and audio are drastically closing in on that status and the technology for producing short videos is becoming cheaper and much easier to use. You must get in the habit of adding content to your website.

Affiliates Must Build an Email List. And this is for every single website you operate. It sounds like a daunting job, and it is, but can be made almost automated with the use of list management services like Aweber.com.

What you do is set up a new “list” for each website, or niche you are involved in, provide a way for visitors to sign up to this list and keep it updated with fresh, relevant content. Again, easy in theory but the practice is a little more involved than that. But that’s pretty much the process. You can ease the pain of this by writing a lot of content all at once and specifying when they will be published within the Aweber system. This way it’s pretty much automated after that.

Affiliates Must Love the Niche They Are Working In. There are a lot of different opinions on this. Some “Super Affiliates” will put up websites for whatever is hot at the moment hoping to cash in quickly. While other affiliates (myself included) feel that you will do the most work, put the most passion into, and keep consistently working on it over time when you work with niches that you actually like.

My reason for this is that the whole process of creating websites, keeping things updated, advertising daily, adding new content, and being creative will come much easier. That’s most of the battle. If you like doing what you’re doing… you’re going to do more of it.

Are you following these affiliate marketer “musts”? As you can see affiliate marketing is pretty easy in theory. You just point web traffic to a merchant site and collect the commissions. But, when you get down to it you must work at it. There are things you absolutely must do. This is just a few, but if you do these five things you’ll see a big difference.