Getting Started in Affiliate Marketing| RuthStewartMarketing

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is everywhere!  So many times you will put the name of a product you are thinking of buying into Google, and the websites that come up are affiliate websites promoting the product. They will give you lots of great information on the product and when you click through you end up on Amazon. Amazon then give part of the money they make to the person who owns the website. It doesn’t cost you any more money – it’s just Amazons way of repaying the website owner for the sale.

Amazon starts off paying just 5% of the cost of the product to the website owner, but as the amount they sell grows, their commission will too.

The website owner is an affiliate marketer. Probably she or he do not have just website; they may have a great many, all promoting different products. Do they make money at this? Yes, they do.

So, It’s Just Amazon?

No! For every single niche out there, there is almost certainly an affiliate programme that you could join. If you can build a website, then you can promote a product. If you can do this then you can earn money as an affiliate.

One very popular affiliate programme is Clickbank. Clickbank pay their affiliates a much higher rate of commission, but there is much less traffic going to the products that Clickbank sell, when compared to Amazon. To earn money with Clickbank a person would need to get very targeted traffic, people that are genuinely interested in the product that the affiliate is promoting.

Anyone who wanted to become an affiliate marketer would need to think seriously about which affiliate programme would be right for them. The first decision would be which niche to choose.

Getting Started in Affiliate Marketing

 How Do I Choose A Niche?

Some people say pick a niche that you love. This is understandable; if you are going to make money as an affiliate marketer you need to be able to stick at it and produce a great deal of content about that niche. You will probably be writing articles, making videos, blogging and doing forum posts that will all drive traffic (buyers) to your website. If you don’t feel passionate about the niche then that could be a challenge.

affiliate marketing newbie
You will need to decide on a niche. Getting all the information in one niche will help you to empathize with your customers.

There is another way of looking at it though. If you have something that you love, and you enjoy doing, writing and producing content about it for six months or so will certainly mean that you might fall out of love with it. Your hobby, which you previously enjoyed, could become a chore.

Perhaps it’s best to find a subject that you are interested in and that you would like to find out more about. That way researching in your niche will not be a chore, because you are discovering more about it. It’s also not likely to be
overkill, driving you to distraction.

Once you have chosen your particular niche, then you need to find out what affiliate programmes there are for you to join. Just put your chosen niche into Google and add “affiliate programmes” – without the speech marks. You will find
many affiliate programmes to choose from.

What to look for in an affiliate programme?

Not all affiliate programmes are created equal. You might find you get a higher rate of commission on one affiliate programme. Another might be lower but you get your own product manager, who will give you a hand with images that
you can use on your website. They may have some tips if you want to go down the paid advertising route. It must be said that many people have lost a lot of money by trying paid advertising with Google or Facebook, buying traffic and not getting the sales they thought they would. So always be very cautious about buying traffic.

You want an affiliate programme that will give you a good rate of commission, that has an affiliate manager who you can email and get a response from in a timely manner. They should have banners and images you can use. They may be able to help you or advise you on keywords to target.

beginner affiliate marketer
You get paid for promoting other peoples products as an affiliate marketer. Some people earn a great deal of money this way!

You will find there are affiliate companies, who have clients (businesses) who have products to sell. These company’s are often very helpful, as they are used to dealing with both affiliates and with businesses with products to promote.

Look up the name of the affiliate company in the search engines. Check out reviews. Affiliates who have come along before you will have written reviews, and they will give you an indication of how reliable and helpful they are. It is just like any decision, you must do your due diligence and research, to decide which are going to be the best options for you.

Once you have decided on a niche, and you have an affiliate programme, then the real work starts. You need to get a website built, more information on building a website from scratch right here and then
add content to it. You can write general articles about the niche, including links in the articles. You can also do reviews of specific products, which is a great way to get more traffic and more sales.

Links – Links are literally the code that makes the sale personal to you. It’s a sad fact of life that people will take the piece of code that makes the link yours, and put theirs in instead, stealing your commissions. I know, it is real pond-life that do this sort of thing. Nevertheless, it is something we need to cope with. What I do is I use a plugin on my WordPress sites called Pretty Links. It changes a long affiliate link, something like this:

into this

This makes the link look better, and it hides the code that makes the link personal to you, thwarting the attempts of the low life that want to make money off the back of your hard work! Even better, the plugin is free.

Back to getting traffic and getting those all important sales.

Another popular way to get visitors is to record yourself making a video all about the product, particularly if you already have it and can show yourself using it. This will make the visitor want it!

Some video marketers unwrap the box containing the product on camera, which gives the viewer the feeling of excitement, a little like that whole Christmas morning feeling!

getting started in affiliate marketing
By videoing yourself opening the box to a product you make the viewer want it more.







Of course video isn’t the only way to drive traffic. You can write articles and add them to article directories. You must send original work to high quality websites or your websites ranking could suffer. Google used to love article directories
but they are not in favour as they were previously. EzineArticles remains the most popular article directory. If you are getting started in affiliate marketing, it’s best to try and get traffic as many different ways as possible. Track where your visitors are coming from and you will soon see where to put the most effort into.

Another way to get traffic is to register your website with blog directories. This is still a way that works to get traffic. Try Technorati for starters.

Whatever content you put out there, remember the importance of social media. Getting a twitter account, a Google+ account and maybe making a Facebook fan page means there will be space for you to promote your content to potential buyers. Once they read your content and begin to see you as an authority in your niche, they start to have trust in your opinions.

These are the people you want to get to your website, or onto your list. Because people don’t always buy straight away, they often like to see a product a few times before buying it, you need to get involved in list building.

List Building

List building goes hand in hand with affiliate marketing. The truth of the matter is people buy from those they like, and those they trust. Trust is something that has to be built over time. Often, people don’t buy on the first visit to your
website. They may come back; they may not. This is why it is a good idea to build a list.

How Do I Build a List?

Building a list can feel rather intimidating for a person getting started in affiliate marketing, but it is an important part of getting customers to like you. You will need a way to collect the email addresses of your potential customers. You have to make sure the customers are aware and agree to you emailing them, and to do that we use an auto responder.

First of all you will need an auto responder. There are a few reputable auto responders, I personally use Aweber. They are probably the best well known of all the auto responder businesses. GetResponse is another, and I hear they are good too.

Autoresponders gather the names and email addresses of people on your list, they have wizards that allow you to build forms to put onto your website. The form can be just put on the sidebar of the website, although some affiliates prefer
to send people to a specific “squeeze page”. This is simply a page on the website, usually it is empty except for a headline that will intrigue and engage the visitor, a few details about what the visitor will get, and the form for them to add their address to.

So, your visitor comes to your website, interested in (your niche) and they see a form that says “Get Your Free Report On (your niche)” and they can put in their name and address and get their free report.
If you choose to go with Aweber, they have lots of videos to show you exactly how to make the forms, and how to add them to your website. Like most things, this isn’t hard to do once you know how.

You then have their name and address and you can mail them useful information. Some of the information will encourage them to buy the product that you are promoting. The more people you have on your list the more sales you will get. Of course, the point of the list is to build a trust based relationship with the people on it. They are your potential customers and you must treat them very well. This means you don’t spam them with repeated emails day after day! It’s good to talk to your customers and give them information which they will benefit from.

Perhaps you are thinking “I don’t have a report to give away!” Well, you can write one yourself, preselling your product. You might try to find one already written, with PLR rights. PLR rights mean you buy the report and you have the right to rewrite it however you like, or even just give it away as it it is. Make sure it has your own affiliate links in it though! You can find PLR by putting in your niche and PLR into the search engines. You will see a whole lot of PLR stores
where you can get reports and articles on almost anything.

One PLR store I particularly like is Tiffany Lambert’s PLR MiniMart. Her work is recommended by many marketers and you will get a good report which will benefit your list. You can be sure of well researched solid information, also,
the writing is of a high standard.

So, in review. Affiliate marketers make money by promoting other people’s products. They do so by building websites around the product that they are offering. In order to build trust, an affiliate marketer will try to get a visitors email address so they can mail them interesting information and promote their products. The email address is given in return for a report, or a video, or some other gift appropriate to the niche. Once you have the persons email address then you can write to them and form a business relationship with them, which will help them trust you enough to buy from you.

When they do buy from you, you earn a commission. The more work you do, the more content you put out, the more customers you get. You can watch your commissions rise and rise!

How To Easily Build a Website From Scratch – Simply Step by Step

Building a website from scratch needed be as hard as it seems. Perhaps you aren’t very technical? Don’t worry. It can be done and it is much easier than you think.

There are many reasons why you might want a website. Do you have a business you want to start up, and you need a web presence? Or perhaps you just want to be able to talk about things you are interested in? Maybe you want to make money using a website? Whichever reason applies to you, it doesn’t matter. We can make sure you have a good looking website that will reflect your needs perfectly.

When I started to think about building a website of my own from scratch, I didn’t know what I needed. I thought about having a website on someone else’s domain, such as using or They have their drawbacks though. We can see why if we look at how the internet works.

How The Internet Works

I like to use this analogy to explain how the internet is put together. First of all the internet is like a big field. This wide open space is where we are going to put our website.

build a website from scratch
Imagine the internet like a vast field, with nothing very much in it.

So we can put our website up and everyone can see it, we need to have hosting. We can think of hosting as washing lines, or clothes lines. In this field there are hundreds of thousands of them.

build a website
There are hundreds of thousands of washing lines all over our field, and this is how websites are hosted. We need a way for people to look at our website, and this is it.

Finally, we need our own piece of the washing line, our domain. When we buy a domain, people know where to come to learn about us, our business, our ideas and what we can offer them. Our domain links to our hosting, so it is like the pegs that hold our web pages in place.

When you choose a domain you might want to name it after yourself – particularly if you are a one person business. Your name becomes your brand, and people will associate you with the profession you represent. If you already have a business you may want to name your website after your business.

Domains have different endings, such as .com, .org and .net. Or you can have local domain endings, like The most commonly used is .com. Probably most of the websites you can think of have .com endings, although there are over 300 others. You can find out more about the endings or extensions right here at Alisa Merediths blog. Suffice it to say, the best ending is .com if you can get it.

building a website that makes money
Our domain is like pegs, that hold our web pages in place and connect us to the internet. Our domain also helps people find us. Using memorable name will help it stick in our visitors minds, so they can come back again and again.





Finally, we need to make sure that our words can be understood by both the internet, and our readers.

Computers read a language called html, but we can use WordPress to make the web understand what we are trying to say. When we use wordpress we can explain ourselves in English or in any other language, and the reader, our visitor, can read what we have to say.

Perhaps now it is easier to see why it’s important to have our own domain, also to build a website from scratch.  If we have a Blogger blog, or any other type, we are part of someone else’s website. They can decide if they want our page there or not. Our website is just a part of another persons website, and we don’t have total control over what is on there.

If someone has a blogger blog and it is very successful, a competitor can complain about it and will remove the pages. That is someone’s business disappeared overnight. Build your own website with your own domain, and you have the final say on what goes on it.

What You Need To Build a Website From Scratch

So, in order to build a website of our own, we need:

  • Hosting
  • a domain
  • WordPress – to make ourselves understood
  • and of course, our content; the words, images and video we want included on our website.

Connecting it all to get your website

You will need to buy domain and hosting.

Hosting is relatively cheap, you can get your websites hosting for just a few dollars per month. I like to use; I got a good deal on a year of hosting. If you don’t want to pay for a year up front, then consider Both these companies have helpful customer service, and they enjoy good reputations. There are others out there, but I can speak from experience of these two, and I recommend them particularly for the less experienced web builder.

You can buy domains at, and they are very reasonable. Don’t forget to search for a coupon code, you can get a couple of bucks off the price that way.

You will have to make an account at, and verify your email address. Just look at your email and click the link in the message that they send you. You can then go back to the home page, click on domains, then registration.

register a domain name
Just add your favourite domain name into the white box, and will find if you can register it.






Then you just pay for your domain and it’s yours!

Hosting is just as easy. Click through to Decide if you are going to just have one website, or you think you are going to want a few different websites. If you are looking to make money from your websites then you are going to probably want more than one. For your own business, probably one will be enough. Choose a hosting plan that fits and fill out the necessary forms. Hostgator is easy and quick.

Once you have got your domain and your hosting, you need to connect the two together. This is done with domain name servers or DNS. You need to get your DNS address from your hosting company. It may come in the email from them you got confirming your purchase, or you may need to look in the FAQ. Once you have these, you can set everything up.

If you have hosting you will need to go to into your account, then into manage domains. From there you will need to go to modify domain, then domain name server setup. You will see two places to put your DNS information.

The addresses look something like this:

Or with

Put them in the box in positions one and two, and you will be good to go.

After doing all this you would have thought your website would be up and ready. Unfortunately, the hosting and the domain need to “propagate”, which can take 72 hours. If you are following this step by step, now is a good time to bookmark where we are, so you can find us again when your site has propagated.

How will you know if it has propagated? Well, you can put the domain name in and if you get a bunch of green ticks, then you are good to go.

One final thing. You will be given a password and a username when you buy your hosting. You must keep these safe. You will need them later.

Breaking the Language Barrier

Do you know what this means?


<html id=”Stencillang=”en-GBclass=”StencilRoot my3columns ua-wk ua-win ua-6.2 ua-wk537 l-out Pos-r https fp fp-default ltr desktop Desktop bkt467“>
<title>Yahoo</title><meta http-equiv=”x-dns-prefetch-controlcontent=”on“><link rel=”dns-prefetchhref=”//“><link rel=”dns-prefetchhref=”//“><link rel=”dns-prefetchhref=”//“><link rel=”dns-prefetchhref=”//“> <meta http-equiv=”Content-Typecontent=”text/html; charset=utf-8“>
<meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatiblecontent=”chrome=1“>

Nope, I don’t understand it either. But your computer does. That is actually part of the source information of a page from Most of us can’t understand or write in that language, so this is where WordPress comes in very handy. With it you can type in whatever you want into the posts and pages, and your thoughts and information is published to the web.

So, how do you get WordPress onto your site?

First of all you need to go into your control panel. This is like the secret, behind the scenes, information on your website. You can use it to change things around on your website and it’s right here that we add WordPress.

Put your domain into the search bar at the top of the page like this:

(your domain).com/cpanel

This is where you will have to put in the special user name and password that your hosting company gave you in the email they sent you.

Put them in and you will be able to log into your control panel. It looks complicated but don’t worry, this is not difficult. I promise. This is how to add WordPress to your site using namecheap hosting, but hostgator is very similar.

Scroll down towards the bottom of the page and you will see a section called software/services.

build a website from scratch
Find the square icon that says soft on it – this is Softaculous.

Click on the box, Softaculous. If you are using Hostgator then it’s Fantasico.




creating a website using wordpress
Click on WordPress!

Then on the next page, click WordPress.

On your right you will see a button that says “Install”. Click it.***

The next page has all sorts of boxes on it, and first of all you need to choose the domain that you want to put WordPress onto. This is easy; it’s your domain.

building a website on wordpress for beginners
Just add your domain to the choose domain box if it isn’t already shown. Leave the directory as it is, and your site will be exactly where you want it to be.




Next is In Directory. You can leave this blank.

Database Name is next – you can leave that is it is, the default option is correct.

build a website from scratch

Next is Table Prefix – now this can be left as default too, although you could change it to the initials of your website with a _ after it. The _ is important, you must have it.

Site Settings – You can just put in what you want to call your site and a description of what you want your site to do, or what it is about. These can be changed at any time.

building your own website for beginners
You can name your blog anything you like, and describe it as anything you like. Also, these settings can be changed at any time.

Admin Account – This is the name and password to your website; please make it security conscious. Admin and 1234 as your name and password make it so easy for hackers! Think of something personal and memorable.

Right at the bottom you then click install, and your WordPress will be installed.

Now, all you need to do is go to and you can have a look at your very own website. See, you can build a website from scratch!

Adding Content to your Website

Once your website is up, you will want to add content to it. Google looks at the content on your website and if it is relevant to the query the searcher has put in, then it may be on the first page. That is where you want to be to get the most traffic. Traffic that arrives at your site this way is called organic traffic.

There are ways to make your website more likely to rank for specific keywords. You need to let Google know what your page or post is about. For instance, if you had a counselling business in Glasgow, and you might want to attract people to your website who have entered “Counsellor in Glasgow” or “best counsellor in Glasgow” into the search engines. So you would write a post or a page about being the best counsellor in Glasgow. You might list your achievements. You might talk about your particular approach. This sort of content means Google can see that your site could be the answer to the searcher’s question.

Getting organic traffic is just one method of getting traffic. Another important way to get traffic is through social media. By having a Facebook group, having a Twitter account, and other social media sites, you can spread the word about your site and the work that you do. There are always new social sharing websites turning up which you can get on and use to get traffic to your website.

Finally, you have to remember that a website is an ongoing project, and you will need to keep on adding to it to attract the most amount of visitors to your site. Add to that a good call to action – telling the visitor what you want them to do – and you will soon be using your website to give you the customers you deserve.

In the next article I will be looking at ways to improve your website with the use of plugins, and ways to make your site be more search engine friendly. Click the like button now to be notified when we add more content.