13th Step – Apply and Join Affiliate Programs

It’s already the 14th step and this is the first time we will be talking about making money with your website.

That is because, you had to learn and accomplish a lot before you even think about making money.

There is still a lot you will need to do before you actually start earning revenue. I am going to explain the basics and help you find and apply to affiliate programs related to your niche.

I explained how to make money with your website in the introduction, but I want to go ahead and refresh your memory.

When you want to make money with your website, you have two (main) options:

Affiliate Marketing and Advertising Networks.

With affiliate marketing, you promote a company/individuals product(s) related to your niche. When someone purchases a product/service you are promoting through your affiliate link, you will receive a percentage of the total sale.

Making money through an advertising network is a little bit different. After you join an advertising network, you will add a code to your website where you want advertisements shown. When a visitor clicks an advertisement on your website, you will earn a percentage of what the advertiser paid for that specific click.

Since Advertising networks are simple, I want to explain the process of affiliate marketing.

This is where you will find and apply to affiliate programs related to your niche, and after you get accepted, you can add affiliate links to your content.

Since you now have a couple of posts and the required pages, affiliate programs are more likely to accept you.

How do you find affiliate programs to join?

I mentioned it earlier and it’s actually very easy.

What you do is, go to your favorite search engine and search for “(Your niche) affiliate programs” and see what is available.

Example: If your niche was learning to putt, you would search for, “Golf Affiliate Programs” and apply for affiliate programs that offer golf products.

golf affiliate programs

Try and go with trusted affiliate networks or trusted retail brands you recognize first, and apply for their affiliate program.

I would recommend you to apply for at least 5+ different affiliate programs that have products or services related to your niche.

If you love and use a specific product/service related to your niche, do some research and find out if you can promote it through an affiliate program.

Chances are, you can.

You will have more success promoting something you actually use or know about, instead of something you have no idea about.

If someone was trying to sell you a car they know nothing about, and you don’t trust them, would you buy it from them? Probably not. The same goes with affiliate marketing. If people feel like you do not know what you are talking about, or if they don’t trust you, no one will buy anything from/through you.

ALL affiliate programs work the same way.

You apply to join a company or individuals affiliate program through their personal affiliate program, or by going through an affiliate network.

An affiliate network is a collection of affiliate programs. Meaning, one company runs other companies affiliate programs.

More information on an affiliate network

Members can join the affiliate network and then apply for individual affiliate programs within the affiliate network.

After joining an affiliate network such as ClickBank, CJ.com, Amazon Associates, ShareASale, Rakuten, etc…, then find an affiliate program to join and promote, you receive a unique link, which is called your affiliate link.

Your affiliate link is where you have to send potential customers to purchase the product or service you are recommending. If/when they make a purchase, you will receive a commission.

Sometimes you may have more than one affiliate link for a certain affiliate program. It depends on what you are promoting.

Example: If you join Amazon’s Affiliate program, you will have different affiliate links for every product. You could also get an affiliate link for a category or specific category to send your visitors.

How much you can earn is dependent on a few things:

  • The affiliate program’s commission rates (5%, 10%, 25%, 50% or 75%). Every program is different and their commission rates are specific to their program.
  • How many sales you are responsible for. If no one is seeing what you are offering, no one is going to purchase anything. If you’re making 10 – 20 sales a day, you could be making a fair amount of money.
  • How much trust people have in you. If people don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you. It is simple. You build their trust in you by being honest and relateable to them.
  • What the product or service is. If the product or service you are promoting isn’t in demand, no one will purchase it.
  • If you wouldn’t spend your hard earned money on a product or service you are recommending, don’t promote it. That’s my opinion anyway.
  • How you are promoting the product or service. If you never promote anything, no one will ever purchase anything. On the other hand, if you are promoting every single thing you come across on your website, people see that differently. Some may think, “this person knows exactly what I need”. While others may see it as “untrustworthy or spam” and you are only trying to make a quick dollar, and not build a relationship (trust) with your visitors by offering them valuable products or services that WILL ACTUALLY BENEFIT them. I recommend putting a few (1 – 3) affiliate links in a post. Make sure what you are promoting will benefit the reader.

Let’s get back to joining affiliate programs. After you apply for about 5 different affiliate programs, you’ll probably have to wait a few days to get approved for some of them.

Others, you may be able to promote products right away.

If you don’t get approved for an affiliate program, you probably need to create more or better content then apply again.

If you get approved, that’s great.

Now, I’m going to show you how to shorten, track and disguise your affiliate links using a Plugin called Pretty Link.

Then you can add your affiliate links to your previous posts and plan to add them to your future posts.

I mentioned Pretty Link earlier, but if you didn’t install it, now is the time.

Go to your WordPress Dashboard, Hover over ‘Plugins’ and Click ‘Add New’. Search for ‘Pretty Link’ and Install it.

install pretty link

If you mentioned something in your first or second post about a product or service you recommend, that is available through an affiliate program you joined, you can add an affiliate link of yours to the website that offers the product and receive a commissions when someone clicks your link and purchases it.

Example: Let’s say you wrote an article about learning to putt. In that article you happened to mention a specific type of putter (or brand) you use(d) or recommend.

You will need to go and find that putter in one of the affiliate programs you joined and copy your affiliate link for that specific putter. Go back to your post where you mentioned the putter and highlight the name of the putter and click Insert Link.

insert link into post

You can insert your bare affiliate link or you can make it short and track how many clicks the link gets by using Pretty Link.

Make sure the text where you want the link to be is highlighted and click the Gold star in the WordPress menu above.

You will have a box pop up like the image below:

create new pretty link

Add your affiliate link for ‘Target URL’,

The slug is the name of the product/service you are linking too. It could be something like yourwebsitename .com/specific-putter | specific-putter is the slug.

The link text is the text in your content that your link will be added to.

Also, I recommend setting it to 301 (Permanent).

Click ‘Insert New Pretty Link’ and that’s it. When your visitors click the link to purchase or learn more, they will go through your affiliate link and you will receive a pre-determined commission when they purchase.

Also, you can keep track of all your links, create new ones, and track the clicks by clicking the ‘Pretty Links’ tab on the left side menu in your dashboard.

pretty links

You should create a ‘Pretty Link’ for any product/service you recommend through an affiliate program.

Making money with your website is really that simple, but it’s NOT easy.

Do NOT expect to be making any money after your first, second, fifth or probably even your twentieth post.

YOU MUST BUILD A DOMINANT WEBSITE AND BUILD TRUST WITH YOUR VISITORS, WHICH WILL TAKE MONTHS AND EVENTUALLY YEARS!

Do not get discouraged though. If you are creating HIGH-QUALITY content, search engines should notice and rank you accordingly.

You are ready for the last step.

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