As the New Year approaches, more and more people will turn to the Internet looking for legitimate ways to make money. I know, because that’s what I did years ago. That’s why I wanted to create a huge affiliate marketing checklist for new bloggers that are just getting started and want to make money online.
Blogging can be a profitable gig, especially, if you don’t give up.
Should You Start A Blog?
So many people choose to start a blog because they read income reports that show how a blogger is making thousands per month with affiliate marketing. Yes, it’s totally possible to make money online.
This blog is making money every month, although, it’s still not making anywhere six figures. I can tell you that blogging is totally worth it, but you need to be in it for the long haul.
Success doesn’t happen overnight, regardless of what you’ve been led to believe. If you’re completely new to affiliate marketing or making money with a blog, check out this recommended training program that will teach you what you need to know.
I’ve also created a step by step affiliate marketing checklist for beginning bloggers.
My goal is to help you understand what you need to know without spending hundreds or thousands on programs that may or may not work.
I also want you to realize that blogging is NOT as easy as everyone makes it sound. This list will help you understand what it takes to become a successful blog that actually makes money.
Huge Affiliate Marketing Checklist How to Start and Profit
I’m assuming that you’re a brand new blogger who knows absolutely nothing about WordPress and hasn’t even registered their domain yet. If you already have a blog set up and just need a checklist to help you increase your affiliate income, scroll down to that section.
Before You Get Started
Determine if you really want to be a blogger, as I mentioned it’s not as easy as everyone says it is. In fact, it can be downright frustrating at times, especially, when you’re brand new and not seeing any results.
The biggest tip I can give you is to choose a niche that you’re passionate about. You’re going to be writing a lot of content for your blog, it’s easier to write about something that you love and are passionate about.
Trust me, you shouldn’t start a blog just because it’s proven to be profitable. I’ve done that several times and I can tell you that it’s NOT easy to write about something you’re not passionate about.
I’d also recommend staying away from the make money online or blogging niche. It’s so competitive, it could take you years before you start to see a profit.
I’ve been blogging for over 2 years and while it does make money, I see bloggers with younger blogs than me that are making way more than me. Thankfully, I really enjoy writing on this blog, otherwise, I probably would’ve quit a long time ago.
I just started a second blog this month and I am already starting to rank on Google. It’s crazy because the blog is only 23 days old. It has nothing to do with Internet marketing or making money.
My second blog is in the pet niche and I used KWFinder to help me uncover low competition keywords to write articles on. I’ve only written 17 articles and I haven’t even really started promoting it.
If this is your first blog ever, I recommend starting with only one blog. Don’t start a second one, until you have a system down and you know what needs to be done to grow one.
- Search for and buy your own domain.
- Purchase hosting from a reputable hosting account for beginners.
- Learn how to choose the right theme for your blog.
- Create categories to help you keep your blog relevant.
- Install some free WordPress plugins that I use on every blog.
- Install Google Analytics to help you see what’s working and what isn’t.
- Set your blog up with Google Search Console. (it’s free and will help you grow)
- Confirm your blog with Pinterest (you’ll need this to get a quick boost of traffic to your blog)
- Use PicMonkey to help you create eye catching images for your posts.
- Make sure that you add your blog disclaimer and don’t forget your affiliate disclosure.
- Join 1-2 affiliate networks and find some products that relate to your blog.
- Start monetizing right out of the gate with affiliate links. (Make sure you cloak your links)
- Use an affiliate plugin like ThirstyAffiliates or Pretty Links for easy affiliate management.
- Get familiar with the WordPress dashboard. (it can be confusing for newbies)
- Follow this WordPress checklist to help you get familiar with the platform.
- Make sure that you back up your blog. (don’t rely on your hosting account)
- Create a freebie and start building your email list.
- Learn as much as you can about SEO. (This site helped me out so much)
- Use A Keyword research tool to help you find the right keywords.
- Use Buzzsumo to help you find popular topics that do good on Pinterest. (write your own version)
- Sit down and write your first blog post. (don’t worry about making mistakes, we all made them)
- Focus your content on helping your reader, don’t spam them with a bunch of affiliate links.
- As a blogger, you’ll be writing a lot of content. (sit down and create a schedule that works for you)
- Get 5-10 high quality articles written and start promoting via Pinterest.
- Invest in a Pinterest course or ebook if you’ve never used the platform before. (I used both of those)
- Keep writing and promoting your content, eventually, it will become a regular routine.
- Read everything you can about blogging and affiliate marketing. (Don’t invest a lot of money)
Intermediate Affiliate Marketer and Blogger
At this point, you’re starting to see some traffic to your blog and you may have even hit your first 10k pageviews or more. It’s an exciting time, because you’re probably making some amazon affiliate income or Adsense pennies at this point.
At this point, you’ll want to start diversifying your income to see if you can increase your profits. This means that you’ll want to use affiliate links, ads, and even create your first eBook.
- Keep writing content and promoting it. (this NEVER stops)
- Check Analytics and Google Search Console for the posts that are driving the most traffic.
- Monetize your top 10 blog posts that are driving you the most traffic.
- Update your old blog posts with keywords that are driving you traffic. (check Google Search Console)
- Make sure that you’re interlinking new content to your old content.
- Create more than one pin for every post. (at one time I was creating 10 images for every post)
- Test out different ad networks like Media.net or Fomo Ads. (you may make more than Adsense)
- Experiment with different affiliate programs to see if you can make more.
- Set short term goals to help you stay motivated.
- Try to schedule your blog posts in advance so you can focus more on promotion.
- Work on improving your blog headlines to get more people to visit your blog.
- Improve your blog meta description to increase clicks. (Read this if you don’t know what this is)
- Build trust with your followers. (respond to emails and send out weekly emails)
- Check email for new affiliate offers. (you never know you may find something profitable)
- Read other blogs to stay informed of what’s going on in your industry.
- Create a list of some of your popular blog posts and promote via Pinterest.
- Ask your email list what they need help with. (find a product or create your own)
- Automate your Pinterest scheduling with Tailwind so you can focus on other things.
- Check for broken links, at this point you probably have some.
- Improve your navigation to improve navigation and SEO.
- Guest post on other people’s blogs. (I no longer do this anymore)
- Invest in a course or do a deep dive to learn something you need more help with.
- Write an eBook or two you can sell on your blog. (use this platform to sell it for free)
- Create an eBook and sell it on Amazon. (I make sales every month from my Amazon eBooks)
- Update your About Me page. (a blog is constantly changing, make sure people know what it’s about)
- Create a “Start Here” page or update your existing one. (what do you want people to do when they come to your site)
- Share the tools that you use in your blog business. (Here’s mine looks like, make sure you update it regularly)
Tips to Help You Increase Your Affiliate Income
If you’ve implemented everything on the checklist above, and are still NOT seeing any affiliate income, it’s time to take a look at your strategy. Here are some tips you can use to help you increase your income.
- Did you choose a relevant product and no enough about it?
- Check to see if the links are actually working?
- Consider creating a landing page to your affiliate offers. ( I did this and it has helped me out big time)
- Are you trying too hard to sell? (your job is to recommend not sell)
- Create a tutorial or share a personal experience of yours with the product. (Here’s how I did it)
- Consider giving away a bonus to anyone who buys through your link.
- Don’t promote more than 2 products per post. (you’ll just confuse your readers)
- Perform A/B tests to see what converts the best. (I really don’t do this, I probably should)
- Contact your affiliate manager to see if they can give you some advice.
- Work on improving your SEO. (search engine traffic seems to convert best for me)
- Are you using buyers keywords that get people to take action?
- Focus on low competition keywords. (Otherwise, you’ll never get Google traffic)
- Write more tutorials and product reviews. (people love these and they make money)
- Try paying for ads to see if you can increase your income. (I don’t pay for ads)
- Diversify your affiliate marketing programs and income streams.
- Find your top posts every 30 days and make sure they are monetized properly.
- Learn how to write faster and create do a content blitz. (I did this and it increased my income and traffic)
- Ask questions in Facebook Groups. (just don’t waste a bunch of time in them)
- Write seasonal posts. (The holidays like Christmas can drive huge sales)
- Focus on building trust with your visitors and subscribers. (People buy from people they trust)
- Create a resource page, they can drive big sales. (Here’s one of mine)
- Use different methods to promote the product. (social media, blog post, email and etc.)
- Create a pin for Pinterest and link directly to the affiliate product.
- Track your affiliate results every month to see what’s working and what isn’t. (just use Google Drive)
- Piggyback off your successful blog posts. (if that content worked once, it may work again)
- Ask if you can get an affiliate discount for the products you promote. (people love discounts)
- Make the most out of special days. (promote when the program is running an exclusive bonuses and discounts)
- Sign up for the affiliate program email. (this is the only way to know about exclusive offers)
- Improve your blog design to increase sales. (I recommend you check out Elegant Themes for new bloggers)
- Use videos to show how the product works. (people love watching videos before buying something)
- Consider publishing blog income reports. (I don’t do this but I know that it helps bloggers increase their sales)
- Write case studies to show people your results with the product you’re promoting. (how has it helped you?)
- Stop selling and start helping.
- Give it time, success doesn’t happen overnight.
Final Take Away
Affiliate marketing can be a profitable venture, but it isn’t as easy as throwing up links and sitting back and watching the sales roll in.
Most people think that you have to invest thousands to learn how to blog and make money. The truth is that you don’t have to. All it takes to build a profitable blog is staying consistent with the right content, and giving it time to see results.
The biggest reason why blogs fail is because people become impatient with their lack of results. We’re NOT built for slow results, instead we’re led to believe that if you start a blog today, you should be making money next month.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way. You need to give yourself time to succeed. This is why it’s so important to choose a niche you love.
Ask yourself if you can see yourself blogging in that niche 5 years from now? If not, then there’s a good chance that you’ve chosen a niche that you won’t succeed in.
Hand Picked Articles for You
- How to Promote Your Blog The Truth About Blog Growth
- 58 of The Most Popular Blog Topics With the Highest Searches
- Blogging for Beginners What You Need to Know
Have I missed anything? If so, let me know in the comments below. If I find something that increases my income, I’ll be sure to add it to the list above.