7 Steps to Affiliate Marketing Success

Affiliate marketing is one of the best and easiest ways to make money online. Unlike every other ways you can make money online, affiliate marketing is the easiest because you don’t have to work on getting product ideas, creating products, offering customer support and many other problems associated with creating a product, the product owner faces all these, all you need to do is promote. Another great benefit of affiliate marketing is that if you do things right, you can set everything on autopilot and even be earning money months after you haven’t touched your affiliate site. This post will be talking about 7 steps you have to take if you want to make money online from affiliate marketing.

1 – Choose a Niche

This is one of the most important steps you will take when trying to make money online from affiliate marketing. When trying to make money online from affiliate marketing, you can’t just get up and start promoting any product without any research, it won’t work like that. The first thing you have to do when trying to make money online from affiliate marketing is to research a niche. There are several ways you can get a niche and some three things to consider when trying to find profitable niches are the passion, problems and fears of people. What is it that people fear most and you are knowledgeable about? What is it that people are passionate about and you are knowledgeable about? You already have a niche idea! If you are not clear yet, I will be using an example. For example, lets talk about the fears of people, many people fear having their computers infected by a virus and I am a tech junkie, I have enough knowledge about computers and networking so I have discovered a niche in the antivirus industry – this same process applies to any field, just think hard and you will come up with a niche idea.

2 – Find a Primary Keyword

One of the steps that make newbies get excited is the process of finding a niche but I must tell you that is only the beginning. Tapping into niches is another important thing to do and that can be done by finding the right keyword.

There are several steps to finding a keyword and one great and free tool you can use is the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. It is very important to effectively research your niche to see if it is really profitable, for example, you wouldn’t want to go into a niche that nobody is interested in, you have to make sure your niche is profitable and that there are people who need what you want to promote – this is the benefit of keyword research. When researching keywords for your niche, it is very important to make sure your primary keyword has a decent number of searches every month, the minimum amount of monthly searches I will suggest is 1000. Once you find the right keyword with enough searches we can then go to the next step.

It is also better to make sure your keywords are in the long tail because this type of keywords convert better and also have less competition. For example, the keyword “how to cure antivirus on my computer” will convert more and will also be less competitive than the keyword ‘antivirus”.

3 – Get a Product

The reason I am suggesting this step first is because if you work on getting a product first before registering your website you will be able to see clearly and avoid any mistake ahead of you, for example, many people register their websites first only to see that they have no product to promote.

The first thing you should do is to find a product to promote, and which other place is better than the largest affiliate network, Clickbank? When finding a product, I will not advise you to just promote a product because of its large commisions but you should make sure it is the right product by checking to see the following are in place.

  • Does it have a good sales page? You can know this by reading the sales page with the intention of a buyer, if you would not buy it if you were a buyer then its sales page sucks!
  • Does it have a good customer support?
  • Does it have a strong guarantee?
  • Once you have verified the above and you are sure you have chosen the right product you can now move to the next step.

4 – Register a Keyword-Rich Domain Name

This is one advantage you have over the competition, if you register the right keyword-rich domain name you will have a lot of advantage over your competition and you will be able to dominate the search engine rankings easily. The reason why it is very important to register a keyword rich domain name is that most of your traffic will be coming from the search engines and if you could get the right domain name then you have simplified your process of ranking in the search engines easily.

A keyword rich domain name is the one that has your primary keywords in it, for example, if your primary keyword is “buy antivirus online” your domain name can be “buyantivirusonline.com”, I know it might be difficult to get something like this because many people would have chosen the goodies, but in this case you can add a modifier to your domain name. For example, you can use the domain name “buyantivirusonlinea.com” or “buyantivirusonlinenow.com”e.t.c. Just make sure the keyword “buy antivirus online” comes first in your domain name. It is also important to make sure your domain name is not too long and you should also make sure your domain name does not have any hyphen.

Another thing you must note is that .com domain names are the best.

5 – Write a Killer Review

After you have gotten a keyword rich domain name, the next thing you will do is to write a keyword rich and professional review. When writing a review, you should not make it obvious that you are writing the post because you are promoting something but you should make your link and call to actions obvious. Here are some elements every killer keyword-rich review must have.

  • It should have the primary keyword in its title.
  • It should have the primary keyword in its meta description.
  • It should have the keyword properly used in the main article – It is very important not to just load your review article with your keywords because this can incur some search engine penalties.
  • It should have a strong call to action.

6 – Build Backlinks for Your Website

After you have put everything in place, the next thing to do to make sure you get the best in terms of search engine traffic for your website is to build backlinks to your blog. There are several ways you can build high quality backlinks to your blog and one of the best and most effective ways is article marketing.

There are many article marketing directories you can submit your articles to but my advise is that you should only select ten high quality article directories. After you have a list of the article directories you want to get backlinks to, the next thing you should do is to come up with some short 400-500 words articles, after you have come up with these articles you can now begin to submit one article to three article directories – don’t submit your articles to more than 3 article directories because this can bring about the search engine duplicate content penalty thereby leaving your articles with no value.

It is very important to use your anchor text when writing your articles, for example, if your primary keyword is “buy kapersky antivirus online”, it is also your anchor text and you will make sure that you link it to the review post you wrote in every article you submit to article directories.

7 – Rinse and Repeat

The above 6 process should already be making you money but if you want to make serious money from affiliate markting you can rinse and repeat all the steps either by starting entirely in a new niche or by finding new products to promote, it all depends on you.

Making money online is not difficult as many people see, sometimes all it requires is you having a formula. Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online and the above formula is all you need to start making money online from affiliate marketing.

Onibalusi Bamidele is a young entrepreneur living the internet lifestyle, he has prepared a free traffic report for you called the ultimate traffic formula. You can get the free report at ultimatetrafficformula.com

87 thoughts on “7 Steps to Affiliate Marketing Success”

  1. Very nice walk thru. Now turn that review post into an article and submit to article directories and your set

    1. Onibalusi,

      Nice post to read for newbies but also good for those already in the game as a reminder of what needs to be done.

      1. SEOCat says:

        Yes, it’s very important also for “not newbies” (AKA “experts”) because, the most of times, our mistakes are on the most obvious things! 😀

      2. Exactly,

        If one could effectively apply the message in this post then the fellow will begin to see results in no time!

    2. Exactly John,

      You are absoutley right! Links from article directories are very effective!

      1. d3so says:

        Very good article, but I think you shouldve explained how conversions come about.

        1. Good point but that would make the post quite long.

          Perhaps he can make a separate post on that topic.

    3. Great information! It would do well in article directories.

  2. Nice blog post. I had missed some really important steps. Thanks for reminding me 🙂

    1. Great!

      Glad you loved the post!

      1. Certainly this one is really beautiful post which is really arranged really well.

        1. I agree with that. It has easy understanding and it was short and informative too.

          1. I wouldn’t say it was short Shally but it is well written.

          2. Dear Super Affiliate
            Do forget the false modesty as in – “Nice blog post. I had missed some really important steps. Thanks for reminding me”

            If you are truly a super affiliate, you can’t have missed anything from that simple list, surely. 😉

          3. Bidet says:

            haha thats very true, if hes a super affiliate this should be easy for him.

          4. Great!

            Glad you loved it:)

          5. “Great! Glad you loved it:)”

            This comment is starting to look a little spammy, perhaps designed to get you into the top commentators box.

            I have posted a proper comment way below and await a proper answer, please.

  3. Well, it’s a good post but you must allways try new stuff. Like creatig a facebook account for that site you just created, some Hubpages poiting to it and so on…


    1. Exacrly mandel,

      Creating a facebook page is not important because this is not a blog or content site, it is just an affiliate site.

      1. d3so says:

        A facebook page wouldn’t hurt but help out right? Also a bot twitter account would help as well.

        1. It surely wouldn’t hurt but since you can create 10 of these type of sites managing a facebook page and twitter account for them might become a stress.

          1. Bidet says:

            That is very true, since you are making so many of these type of sites, it would be a hassle managing all the Facebook pages you would have to create.

      2. Onibalusi that’ not a good way of seing affiliate marketing I’m telling you.

        1. Sure Mandel,

          But I am talking from personal experience.

          1. I’m with Onibalusi on this. Facebook and twitter can take up too much time, a way more than is warrantied.

          2. Too right. Just use Facebook and Twitter in so far as you can automate them. Otherwise they are enormous wasters of time.

  4. This is a great help for a newbie who want to make money online like us.

    1. That is great,

      Glad you loved the post 🙂

      Now that you have read the post, the next and most important thing to do is to take action!

      1. Yes only reading post is not good enough …

        Now this is the time to take action …

  5. PPC Ian says:

    Great introduction, especially for those new to the “make money online game”! I think a lot of people tend to underweight the value of a keyword rich “premium” domain name.

    1. Exactly,

      Having a keyword rich domain is really very important, it makes ranking in the search engines very easy!

      1. Keyword domain is the most important part … if you want to get the traffic from search engine.

        I saw many such examples where keyword rich domain can easily beat 1000 back links domain.

        1. Exactly ZK,

          Having a keyword rich domain makes things very easy!

          1. I agree that a having keyword rich domain helps but it depends also on the niche and how competitive it is.

          2. How do you feel about the old argument about whether or not you should have hyphens in domain names?

          3. Hyphen will work if you will add good contents and will start link building with relevant and quality websites.

          4. Thanks ZK
            I’m sure you are right. My timeshare-reviews site is currently number 5 in Google for that search term and it is the only url to have a hyphen on that page.

        2. Bidet says:

          Having a keyword rich domain is very important, it will make ranking for that keyword much easier.

          1. Hi Bidet
            I appreciate that but some “authorities” claim that having a hyphenated domain name is a negative factor as far as the almight Google is concerned.

          2. sorry “almighty” Google is what I meant to say

  6. Jason says:

    Nice post! There are just a few things that I would like to add about promoting Clickbank products.

    Be sure to check the gravity of the Clickbank product and make sure that is has a gravity of at least 100 before you promote it.

    I also suggest that you do not promote any products unless they have a payout of at least $30.00 commission per sale.

    Even then, after you find products that meet these standards, you should run initial tests to determine if they are going to be winners for you and only after they pass those tests should you promote them to their fullest potential.

    1. Exactly Jason,

      You are absolutely right here.

      Knowing the gravity of the products you promote is also very important.

      Thanks so much for commenting!

      1. d3so says:

        I’ve never gone through the process of buying a domain & doing all this stuff to promote a product.
        Do you have any case studies?

        1. Sure! But revealing my own site here might be dangerous and might stirr up competition 😉

    2. Was wondering what type of test do you mean here. Maybe you can tell me more about this or give a link for me to read.

      1. Jason says:

        You want to run test AdWord campaigns to make sure that the products you want to promote are winners!

        There is a lot that goes into it! You need to do keyword research and gather all your keywords with tools like Market Samurai and then run test campaigns to see if the products are going to be profitable.

        I suggest you purchase a training program that will instruct you on how to do it. Steven Clayton makes some training programs that are very detailed and should have you up and running quickly.

        The main thing with any program is taking action! And following the steps in sequence and using math to give you the information you need to succeed.

        1. Great Jason,

          You summed it all up – Take action!

  7. John,

    Thanks for sharing. I cannot see failing in Affiliate Marketing with your suggestions here. Hopefully we can follow through with the steps you have provided,

    1. Cool Fablo,

      Well, I can still see failing ~ and that is when you don’t take action 😉

      1. d3so says:

        True but what if failure is bound to happen? 😉

  8. Dimitris says:

    Nice reminder post 🙂

  9. Sonalia says:

    Great post with all the informations to start this business. I would to clarify 2 points :

    – First I’m agree with you about affiliate marketing, you don’t have the problems of e-commerce like logistic, support, … but you have less actions to optimise your retention on an afflliate website. You don’t have the information if your visitor is an active customer or not. You can’t push complementary offer to this special customer according to his buy. All you do is a large presentation of good offers with a good funnel of conversion and that’s all. I’m wrong ?

    – Second point could please give us a list of good article marketing directories ?

    Awaiting your return. Thanks

    1. Yeah Sonalia,

      That is why I metioned focusing on search engine traffic. Many search engine visitors are active customers because they came specificaly looking for something to buy.

      Concerning good article directories you can try ezinearticles.com, articlebase.com and article dashboard.com

      1. Hi Sonalia
        Try this blog link for a long list of article directories

        I suggest you decide on how many you want to submit to and then take the ones with the highest PageRank as they will give you the best quality links.

        Then you have to decide whether or not to “spin” your articles – see my thoughts on duplicate content elsewhere in these comments.

        Good luck!

  10. Enrico says:

    Ive been using this now! for sure this will help me.. thanks, ive been idolized you! im a newbie here in world wide web.. searching to learn and earn as well.. god bless us all

    1. Great Enrico,

      Glad the post helped you!

  11. I must say that you created an outline here and this was really beautifully done …

    But now lets get to the second stage and elaborate this more so that newbie can get more benefit.

    1. Cool ZK,

      Glad you loved the post 🙂

      1. d3so says:

        Yeah, I agree this needs to be elaborated more so that a complete newb would understand the whole process.

        1. It would be great to read something more specific. Giving a case studies will make things clearer.

  12. Very good walk through guide for newbies starting in the affiliate marketing industry.

    Where you said about submitting your articles to no more than three directories, I have written articles before and seen them reprinted on the internet, will that decrease the value of the article and penalties for duplicate content? or would it give the website more visibility?

    1. Yeah! Submitting a single article to too much directories will cause the search engine duplicate content penalty which might leave your articles with little value.

      1. Do you really believe in the so-called duplicate content penalty? One of the things you agree to when you post an article is that I can come along and take your article, unchanged and with your links and post it on my site.

        Now, I feel sure that Google knows about this practice which means that if they do penalise you for duplicate content they are actually penalising you for writing something good.

        Doesn’t that seem unlikely?

        1. Come on you gurus! I’d like an answer or at least some kind of debate on this……

  13. i always wanted to learn about affiliate marketing.. thanks for another great post..

  14. Great introduction to affiliate marketing! Thanks for sharing!

  15. My biggest problem is to find “the right” niche. It’s not really that hard to find a niche with not too much competition and a niche that you could make money. But I’m not comfortable involving myself in a niche I know little or close to nothing about. And I really want to be passionate about the niche (but I’m not). That’s why it’s so hard.

    1. Yeah Berget,

      You will have to work on producing the content or outsourcing it.

  16. Kate Kutny says:

    Great Article John! I agree writing reviews in your blog help get people to want to purchase the affiliate product. When people are searching for reviews usually they are ready to buy! Thanks for all the great tips!

    1. I wrote the article 😉

      Yeah! Writing reviews on your blog is another great way to make sales 🙂

  17. Harshad says:

    Very basic but very important steps. We usually tend to forget the basic steps while marketing a product or building a website. Sticking to only these basic steps can do wonders.

    1. Exactly Harshad,

      The basics might sometimes be what matters most 😉

  18. Nice ABC for niche website building, Onibalusi, the same system will work also for sites monetized with other methods such as Adsense, SY

    1. Great!

      You are absolutely right!

      Glad you loved the post!

  19. paul b evans says:

    Thank John. Great fundamental points. It’s doesn’t matter how fancy you get, if you miss the basics, you lose.

  20. Samuel says:


  21. martinsc says:

    Very nice and easy to follow step-by-step guide 🙂
    Very well written.

  22. Les Paul says:

    Excellent post and summary on making money online using organic search engine traffic as an affiliate marketer.
    Couldn’t agree with you more.

  23. Bidet says:

    Great article, these are all great tips on succeeding with affiliate marketing. Ranking high for the keyword is the best way to make money with your product.

  24. Kevin says:

    Excellent article! Great tip on not submitting an article to more than 3 article directories. Didn’t know search engine penalize article with duplicate content.

  25. nata says:

    great post john!i really like your words.but,nowadays, we most hear many affiliate marketer make million money from clickbank.what about amazon?can you show some figure that succeed whit that way?i really want ti know about it,because i want to follow their track

  26. ChewinGames says:

    This should be the vademecum of all newbies, like me, that want some excellent tips on how to start a blog.
    Thank you.

  27. Very nice step by step guides for new soon to be internet marketers like me. I must say I should start my work now and bookmark this post for later reference. Thanks.

  28. Patrick says:

    I Never new making money online was this easy. Thanks for your help.

  29. Alex says:

    Building backlinks can really help an affiliate marketing business grow. Social bookmarking and article writing are two good ways of building backlinks.

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