Is this for you?
Anywhere you look lately, people are suggesting various side hustles. In fact, who wouldn’t mind working on a part-time gig that offers additional income. And you can work from home.
If you are from an older generation, we used to refer to someone as “moonlighting,” which meant taking a secondary job on a part-time bases. However, a side-hustle is much different. A side hustle, like affiliate marketing is building a meaningful business that has brought in additional income.
I actually started as an affiliate business a few months ago. In fact, everywhere I looked there were claims that affiliate marketing is an “easy way” to set up a small business online. However, I can honestly say it hasn’t been easy and right now does take more than a few hours a week. Probably because I am still learning. However, I feel like in the future it will be much easier. I see “easy way” as referring to the future and not while building the business.
What is affiliate marketing
You probably have been to a website with ads…sometimes so many you leave the site. Did you understand why all the ads? Well, that is someone trying to make the most of their affiliate marketing business.
Affiliate marketing is defined on Wikipedia as “a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.”
Advantages of becoming a affiliate marketer
- Adds additional sources of income that generates 24/7.
- You are your own boss and work on your own time – a few hours a day if you prefer.
- You can do affiliate marketing on the side while you maintain your present job.
- In the long run, it is one of the best ways to have a side-hustle.
- Merchants may promise high commissions then drop commission rates after a week or two.
- Many merchants often have time constraints that they will pay you a commission. For example, some might only pay you if someone purchases off the ad in the first 30-days, while some are less.
- Dishonest merchants may randomly decide to close down programs without paying commissions and notifying affiliates.
- “Link hijackers” can hijack affiliate links and steal commissions.
I’ll be honest here; affiliate marketing requires a “learning curve.” Indeed, it has been for me. It takes time, energy, tons of research, and most of all persistence to create this type of business. I have taken courses, and I can tell you that they all seem to miss some key ingredients. I haven’t found a one-stop-course that teaches from beginning to end – most seem to start in the middle.
What it takes to get started
In retrospect, you have to start with a way to advertise your affiliates like a website or a blog. That is something you have to figure out on your own. There might be other ways to do this, but I built a website. I would suggest researching what most people look for online and pick something you are very familiar with. Next build about 6-10 articles with over 1,000 words each before you get started. In fact, do all this before you decide what domain name to use.
Your website has to pass muster in order for advertisers to consider you. You will need to have plugins that help keep your website safe, secure, and loads quickly, so people stay on your website for more than 6 seconds. You have to advertise your website on social media. Again, you need over 25 posts before Adsense will even look at you.
You will need a plugin to improve your website’s quality and quantity of website traffic. Poor quality grammar and punctuation will put you at the bottom of every search engine. An SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is necessary for organic online growth. With this in mind, you want large numbers of internet users to find your website fast. SEO focuses on finding website traffic and getting your site high search results.
Be prepared to use social media to direct traffic to your website. Moreover, learning to use social media can help you establish a successful online business. It allows you to showcase your business and get decent traffic towards your site. Having an online business is all about traffic.
You will need plugins that you can utilize to place your affiliate ads. Everyone’s needs are different, but you can research and determine what best suits your affiliate business. If you are technology challenged like me, I will tell you that it will take some research and some failures to get this working. But, don’t give up you will get there.
Keep in mind this is an overview and not in-depth instructions on how to get going as an affiliate marketer. Also, that this has just been my experience in becoming an affiliate marketer. It will be one of those things that you learn once and can recreate repeatedly. Once the dust settles, my first goal is to make enough to cover the mortgage and see where I want to go from there.
If you want to read more on a side-hustle business, check out my article on “Passive Income is Not Immediate.”