So, You Want to Make Money Online?
I admit, the title is clickbaity. But it’s nonetheless true.
Unless you already have heaps of cash laying around to spend on media buying, writing content is the go-to solution for affiliates.
I’m not exactly rolling in it either, but I make enough to pay bills and then some.
Content marketing is quite the opposite of a “get rich quick” scheme. It’s a long-term endeavour.
I’ll narrow down the steps for you so you can get started quick.
Having The Right Mindset
Before taking action or doing anything else for that matter, you need the right mindset.
This will be the foundation to your success – or failure – as an affiliate.
It is primordial you treat your online activity as a business.
It’s a ruthless world our there that isn’t kind to first-timers.
Furthermore, approach affiliate marketing like a challenge. The worst thing you can do is to give up too quickly or think it’ll be a breeze.
Be ready to fight, iterate and learn from your mistakes. It’s the only way you’ll achieve success.
Make Money Online: Let’s Focus!
Online marketing is a double-edged sword.
There are SO many ways to go about it. On the other end, if you’re not focused, you’re doomed to fail.
The first thing you need to do is find ONE thing you care about: this will be your niche.
Don’t be too broad because the competition will be fierce for generic keywords.
Some tools can really help you find that nice niche you’re going to write about.
Personally, I use Jaaxy. If you sign up you can get 30 free searches. What I like most about this tool is how easy it is to use.
You could also use something like Google Analytics’ Keyword Planner if you have an AdSense account.
OK, let’s say you love cars. Or at least, writing about this topic won’t make you feel sick.
The “car” keyword has a SEO score of “0”, meaning your chances of getting ranked for that particular keyword are slim to none.
However, browsing the suggestions from Jaaxy, I can see that “learning car driving” has more potential.
The traffic is low, but that’ll do for this example. Avoid keywords that have too much competition (80+), that are linked to trademarks (like Craigslist here), that have <100 traffic (too narrow) or that don’t make grammatical sense.
Once you’ve found an interesting string of words, we can advance to the next step.
Find a Host
I have bad news for you: being a blogger involves some (minimal) costs to start.
You could choose free solutions, but that’ll make you 1) look unprofessional and 2) leave you with little control.
Would you let others manage your business? Of course not, at least not a start-up.
The one host I recommend is SiteGround. It’s by no means the cheapest, but the most reliable by far.
I love the GoGeek plan most with its semi dedicated servers. Perfect for WordPress websites!
Keep in mind this host has a strict policy against adult content. In that case, opt for MojoHost. Trust me on that one.
Choose Your Domain
A domain name is what you type in the browser to access a website.
It helps to add your niche in the domain, though it’s far from being obligatory.
At some point, SEO experts loved to stuff their domains with keywords. However, following changes to Google’s search engine algorithm, that strategy is no longer valid.
What you want is a brandable name supported by great content.
LearningCarDriving(dot)com might be explicit, but it’s kinda boring. Something like CarPros(dot)com feels more intriguing and has a nice ring to it.
To check if your domain is available, I suggest you use Instant Domain Search (Free!).
Try to go for 2-3 words max. I wouldn’t worry too much, your content is much more important to be honest.
Make Money Online: Buy Your Domain
I almost forgot: the reason I’ve only given examples with .com is because it’s still by far the most recognized and used Top-level domain (TLD).
Now you want to buy a domain. It’s pretty easy!
I love NameCheap. They’re often running great promos. Right now, it’s all about the 88 Cent .Com Domain – Limited Time and Quantity!
If you buy a domain on a different service than your hosting company, you’ll need to manually adjust your Nameservers.
Setting Up Your Website
I use WordPress, like 30% of all sites in the world.
You should too because it’s a very powerful Content Management Solution (CMS) that is user-friendly and customizable.
Most hosts have automatic installers (under CPANEL) that will add WordPress in a few clicks for you.
If you’re not sure how to install the CMS, open a support ticket and the tech team will be more than happy to assist you.
Like I said, most hosts made it easy for their clients so they don’t need to use FTP.
I suggest you start creating content as soon as possible. The reason is, you’ll be writing every.single.day.
So why not take some time to write articles to be published later? This way, if you’re sick or need a break, you’ll still keep the momentum going for your site.
For starters, you’ll create what is called a keyword-rich article about your niche.
This step is crucial!
Since a lot of your traffic will come from search engines & organic traffic in the first few months, you must make sure Google actually notices your site.
Here’s the requirements:
- Around 500-1000 words in length
- Keyword in the first 90 characters so we immediately understand the topic
- H2 tags (like on this post) to make your keyword pop even more (important ranking factor)
- Try to use images so readers don’t fall asleep halfway through!
Once your post is ready, before hitting that publish button: PROOFREAD!
There’s nothing worse than reading an article in broken English – and that’s coming from a non-native!
Advertisements & Affiliation
Once you have at least one published article, you can think about monetizing your website.
The first way to do so is by adding adverts in strategic positions like: header, sidebar, footer, after the content, etc.
Hint: don’t overdo ads. A lot of people use ad blockers and you don’t want your website to look empty to them:
Ad blockers are something you have little control over in your goal to make money online. It’s unfortunate, but that’s closely tied to the fact so many webmasters abused the rules for years, leading users to find a way to make their online surfing less miserable.
The best way to monetize your website with ads is by using AdSense. Be aware that you’ll see fringe gains unless you have hundreds of thousands of page views.
That’s why I personally think affiliate marketing is the way to go. Check my reviews for the best CPA networks, choose an offer you want to promote and make some sales!
True, banner ads can be ad blocked too, but you’ll gain much more money with CPA offers than AdSense. One single sale from a carefully chosen offer can net you $50 or more, something you’ll struggle to make with blog posts + AdSense unless you have a lot of traffic. Just my two cents.
Alternatively, you can also sell some ad space for a flat rate per week, month, you name it. Problem is, you need lots of views before people will entrust you with their hard earned dollars.
You’re Ready to Make Money Online!
Remember that it’s never easy to make money online, no matter what you read elsewhere or from a title (wink wink).
If someone tries to say otherwise, your bullshit detector should go haywire.
However, it CAN be simple.
I willingly omitted some details from this tutorial because I didn’t want to spoon feed you.
Anything that has to do with technology requires a serious commitment. I assumed quite a few things, but if what you were looking for isn’t here or you need more details, I urge you to read, read, and then read some more.
Soon, I’ll publish new tutorials that will guide you through SEO and other hot topics for affliates.