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  1. #1
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    Overwhelmed newbie! Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Hello everyone!

    I am new to affiliate marketing and I have found the research process so overwhelming I thought I'd come here for some help. Here are some questions I have.

    1. Ideally I would like to write about something I'm passionate about and post affiliate links in the text. I've heard it takes longer to make money this way than writing reviews about affiliate produtcs (which would require a lot of research because I don't know about them). I know it's not even a gaurantee that I'll make any money, but does anybody have any advice about the best way to make money as quickly as possible? I only have enough money to last me a couple of months and I've been struggling to find the best option for me.

    2. I was originally thinking about using Hubpages, but it seems it takes too long to make any money with them. Does anybody have any advice about good alternatives? I know a lot of people suggest building a website, but I'm not sure about this option since I can't afford to pay to build one and not be successful.

    3. My ideal niches would be self-help (1st choice), travel (2nd choice) or something related to social justice ( 3rd choice. Although I'd think this niche might not be profitable?). Could anyone give me advice on whether or not these are good niches and how to make them work well for me?

    Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing your wisdom on the topic!

  2. #2
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    You need to change your mind set from making a living to creating a hobby. Better to get a part time job and do this for entertainment.

    What have you done to get started?
    buy a domain
    setup hosting
    add Wordpress
    write a blog post

  3. #3
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Putting that kind of pressure on yourself is not a good way to learn a new business. Consider your first site a training ground. You will learn a great deal from it, then your subsequent sites will improve as a result.

    Pick a topic you enjoy, because you'll be living with it a lot. Don't expect to start earning money quickly, but if you do things right, the monthly amount will grow over time to whatever you want, provided you are willing to put in the time and effort.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  4. #4
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    Thank you both for your responses. Unfortunately, its been extremely hard for me to find work so I've been thinking I need to start looking into other options. I also find the freedom of being my own boss very intriguing.

    Ideally it would work to find a job and work on affiliate marketing on the side, and maybe I should keep trying, but considering I haven't had a job for more than just a few weeks since December 2012 my chances of finding a job are feeling pretty hopeless.

    To answer your question Chuck, all I've done so far is sign-up with Affilorama, looked at their lessons, researched on Squidoo, Hubpages and Clickbank and sought advice from my boyfriend and this forum.

  5. #5
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Hi BlueWabbit and welcome to ABW.

    One thing you mentioned in passing that no one else commented on needs an answer. You said this, as if affiliate products were some mysterious things that normal society is unfamiliar with:

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWabbit1984 View Post
    ... affiliate produtcs (which would require a lot of research because I don't know about them).
    An affiliate product is any product sold by any merchant with an affiliate program. Almost every major merchant, and and good percentage of the small ones, that your come in contact with have affiliate programs. That means that virtually everything sold by the following merchants, and thousands more, can be written about, reviewed and promoted by affiliates: Macy's, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Home Depot, Sears, Apple, Adobe, Verizon, T-Mobile, the list is endless. So, have a coffee maker? Write a review. Have a TV? Write a review. How's your cell carrier doing? Write a review.

    Also, it take virtually zero tech/coding knowledge to "build" a free website using wordpress.org (DO NOT use wordpress.com - that does not allow affiliate links) and hosting can be as cheap as $5/month.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  6. #6
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I suggest you look at the sites for networks like:
    Affiliate Window
    AvantLink
    Shareasale
    Commission Junction
    They all have extensive help systems, education sections, blogs, etc.

    When I started my affiliate management business I worked 50 hrs at my day job and 50 hrs on my business for eight months until I had the level of income to quit my day job. That was eleven years after I had gotten into online marketing and five years since working full time as an affiliate manager. Prior to that I had made a good income part time to supplement my full time job.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the warm welcome Phil. I was making that assumption based on products I saw on Clickbank so thanks for the tip. Are there good affiliate networks you know of that have those kind of products to promote? Also, thanks for the tip on wordpress.org.

    Thank you Chuck I will definitely check those out!

    I'm not sure I'll be diving into affiliate marketing full-time yet because the reality is that I do need income as soon as possible, but it sounds like it might be a great way to be my own boss once i have at least some financial security to do so. Thanks again to all of you for all your help!

  8. #8
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Many affiliates promoting Clickbank products use a pay-per-click strategy to generate sales. Unless you are well financed or experienced in this area, you could spend a lot of money and not generate any sales. Keep that in mind.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager
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    The other thing to consider and plan for, once you decide on your final topic, is how you're going to drive traffic to your site. You can wallpaper a site with affiliate links, or write 5 new blogs posts a day promoting products, but if no one goes to the site, it won't really matter. There are a lot of different ways to generate traffic depending on what type of site you end up with, so definitely make sure you take that into account in your planning.

  10. #10
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    Thank you JCrooks. I think I've decided not to promote Clickbank products.

    Thank you Melanie. Its seems Affiloroma has lots of lessons on that so hopefully they will be helpful.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    When I started my affiliate management business I worked 50 hrs at my day job and 50 hrs on my business for eight months until I had the level of income to quit my day job. That was eleven years after I had gotten into online marketing and five years since working full time as an affiliate manager. Prior to that I had made a good income part time to supplement my full time job.
    Chuck, if you have by any chance written down your story on how you became full-time (the mistakes you made and learned from, the strategies that you rfinally found successful), then I think you could probably make some successful sales of such a diary to many of us newbs!

    I would welcome such a compressed bounty in written form as mana.

    It would certainly asnwers looooots of questions!

  12. #12
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    I know you want a step-by-step guideline, complete with timelines, but that's not how this business works. There are simply too many variables, like:

    1. Is your blog topic popular? If it is, what kind of competition exists? Is your competition already established as an expert in the industry, making it more difficult for you to get established? Are you an expert, or did you just pick the topic because you thought you could make money with it? What makes your site different from the others - what extra information or different approach do you offer that makes people want to do business through your site rather than your competitors?

    2. Are there good merchants for your topic? I've seen people search for great topics, only to discover that the merchants were low-paying or there were only a few choices.

    3. Your choices in how to drive traffic. Organic growth can take longer but can be more dependable; you can spend a fortune on pay per click if you don't know what you're doing. Most merchants and networks won't work with affiliates using PPV, so don't make that mistake. If you are using organic methods, are you any good at it?

    Give yourself permission to fail, because you will learn what worked and what didn't and can apply those lessons to your next blog or site. Few affiliates score big with their first site, but those that stick with it are much more successful with their subsequent sites. It's part of the learning process to experiment.

    What you can control is your level of involvement; the amount of time and effort you put into studying and learning, researching questions and seeing what others shared about the same issue. There are a ton of threads on here about almost everything that you could run into. Plus, just about anything you can do can always be changed, like the text in a post, the banner ads you've chosen, etc.

    The important thing is to get started. Don't fret over having every detail in place first. Keep working on something every day, and before you know it, you'll have a successful site.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  14. #13
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    As for myself, I have about ten rough draft blogs that are fermenting before the final draft.

    Once all final drafts are ready, I intend to begin posting them a few days apart and not all at one time in order to generate interest. The subjects are diverse, but I mainly write my passions...sailing, kayaking, easy local escapes and relationship rants.

    Following advice on an earlier sticky in the newbs section, I am writing on my passion for now, even if the market isn't super-profitable; I am letting the specifics of AM tie-ins come into place once I have a following.

    After about 20 posts or so, I will evaluate my online following (how much of a following should I be aiming for?) and begin tying into affiliates at that point, factoring in all the points you mentioned above.

    Potentially wise strategy?

  15. #14
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good plan. Don't try to quantify the results at this point in time. Instead, see the level of involvement of your audience. I'd rather have a few hundred regular visitors who hang on my every word than 100,000 casual visitors who bounce away in a few seconds. Give them time to find you, learn what they like reading about (from your analytics), and make some decisions from there.

    Don't start all 10 blogs at once. Start with one or two tops, learn from them, then launch the others once you've learned a bit from live experience.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  16. #15
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    Multitasking and thinking about everything at once will eat your energy and frustrate you.

    I believe you should choose once field or area you are good at, create a blog and start writing articles about it.

    If you focus on enhancing your writing skills and enrich your blog with valuable content, you will get good organic traffic.

    All you need to do then is to learn some affiliate marketing basics and join an affiliate network like ShareASale. You have the traffic that every merchant needs, you are an expert who provide value through his website, and you promote products related to your blog topics.

    That's all what you need. Just don't ever stop, if you fail, reboot and start again. No expert was born an expert.

    Best of luck!

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  18. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by arminds View Post
    Multitasking and thinking about everything at once will eat your energy and frustrate you.

    I believe you should choose once field or area you are good at, create a blog and start writing articles about it.

    If you focus on enhancing your writing skills and enrich your blog with valuable content, you will get good organic traffic.

    All you need to do then is to learn some affiliate marketing basics and join an affiliate network like ShareASale. You have the traffic that every merchant needs, you are an expert who provide value through his website, and you promote products related to your blog topics.

    That's all what you need. Just don't ever stop, if you fail, reboot and start again. No expert was born an expert.

    Best of luck!
    I've heard mixed reviews about shareAsale, clickbank and what not.

    Is there a specific criteria that you would use to narrow down which affiliate network to use? What are the major differences (if there are any) between hem?

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  20. #17
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    From a merchant point of view, I have chosen ShareASale because they have verified affiliates, have a clear policy against fraud and provides more control on the affiliates management task with nice reporting and GUI.

    Considering all that, they have affordable network fees compared to networks with similar features.

    On the other hand, I am using Clixgalore, but I totally don't recommend. Their website and articles are outdated. And no almost no results.

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