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Almost 80% of brands and publishers (including the biggest ones) leverage the power of affiliate marketing or performance marketing to drive sales and leads online. Here are more stats that reveal that it’s going to reach around $7 billion by 2020 in terms of affiliate marketing spend.

Which is why I’m excited to share this “Ultimate Guide to Affiliate marketing” with you. I’ll reveal the exact methods that I’ve used to build a 6-figure affiliate marketing business from scratch (while still on my day job - yes, you can do this as a side-hustle, without spending thousands of dollars to get started)

And if you’re just starting out (or have been unsuccessful with other online businesses, this is the method that I’d recommend – and the method that I’ll personally do if I had to start all over again (read more about my 30 day challenge here).

Maybe you’ve been asking these questions…

  • How do I get started with affiliate marketing?
  • How can I create passive income streams and make money online without creating my own products or services?
  • Is affiliate marketing dead?
  • Is it still profitable? Is it a scam?
  • How difficult is it to do?
  • How can I get started in affiliate marketing? Do I need a website?
  • How much do I need to invest to get started? (You can get started at $0)

If you’ve answered YES to any of these questions this article is the guide that you’ve been looking for, so let’s dive right in.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

It’s kinda like this…

When you buy a house and used a real estate agent to help you, you won’t usually pay the real estate agent upfront. Basically, the agent “gets paid” their 5-15% commissions of the total amount of the sale only when you “close the deal”.

That’s basically what affiliate marketing is about. You get a commission when someone purchases a product or service that you’ve endorsed using your affiliate links.

Also, if you’ve heard, seen or bought what those “influencers on Instagram and Youtube recommends you to buy”, you’ve probably wondered how they earn from those? Yes, mainly through affiliate marketing.

Are you ready to take a piece of this $7 billion industry? Here’s what you need to do

How can I get started with Affiliate marketing?

Getting started is really easy when you already have a PLATFORM where you can ATTRACT people (also known as your audience).

I prefer to build a WordPress blog as my MAIN platform to build an audience. It’s not going to be an overnight success, but a long-term asset that can generate passive income for many years to come.

Read this article on how you can get started on your blog for less than $100

But before we continue let me quickly talk about this, as it can save you from a lot of headaches and heartaches

The biggest mistake that other people make when getting started

If you could simply avoid this mistake, you’ll be able to get ahead of 95% of affiliate marketers and be one of the top 5% who succeeds in affiliate marketing…

So what’s this biggest mistake?

It’s the mistake of NOT understanding the “Stages of Customer Awareness”

What is that?

It’s a term coined by the Copywriting legend Eugene Schwartz in the 1960’s. It’s a powerful way to “sell” without selling and being pushy.

How to understand the “5 Stages of Customer Awareness”

I made a video just for you, don’t continue reading this article because this is one of the MOST IMPORTANT principles of highly effective marketing campaigns.

I see a lot of people who start their blogs and write anything that comes into their minds. They write about their travels, what food they ate, etc – but if you’re just starting out and you don’t have an audience, no one would notice and care.

When you’re starting out, it’s best to write for people who are already “primed” and “ready to buy”.

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RYAN CRUZ

Your goal is to simply help them out, answer their questions, clarify their objections and make it easy for them to purchase.

Still confused on what to do to get started?

I’ve broken out this “affiliate marketing” guide in 10 major steps, then we’ll dive deeper into each step.

10 Secret Steps to Crush it In 2019

  1. Pick a Niche
  2. Build a Review Blog
  3. Write 3 Product Reviews
  4. Write Best Product For Articles
  5. Write a Beginner’s Guide or Ultimate Guide Article
  6. Focus on SEO and Organic (Free) Promotion Methods (no money required for promotion)
  7. Focus on Google ads and Bing ads + Facebook remarketing (with some budget for promotion)
  8. Rinse and Repeat until you reach your first $1,000+ online then reinvest to build a better and faster website (Premium themes + Premium website hosting)
  9. Don’t deviate into another method until you reach your first $10K – $100K
  10. You can keep this website or sell it for a short term cash flow

1. Pick a Niche

A niche is simply a segment of a market that you want to serve. I recommend that you pick a niche from the 3 biggest markets: wealth, health, relationships.

Here are some examples of niches in each of the big markets:

Health Market

  • Keto diet
  • Paleo diet
  • Vegan diet

Wealth or Money Market

  • Digital Marketing
  • Real Estate
  • Franchise Businesses

Relationships Market

  • Christian Dating
  • Save Marriage and Counselling
  • Personal Development and Coaching

I’ve written a more detailed article on how to find profitable niche markets if you’re interested in diving deeper.

2. Build a Review Blog

Next step is to format your blog as a review blog initially. A review blog is

That means that you want to position yourself as a trustworthy source of information. Without trust, people would just leave and bounce off your website and not read your content.

You can increase the chances of people trusting your website by :

  • Designing and launching a beautiful website – it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can use premium themes (I use Studiopress on most of my sites) to create beautiful blogs.
  • Make sure that your website loads fast. Don’t choose a cheap website hosting provider as speed is usually slow on these web hosting providers. (I use Cloudwaysas a practical, yet robust web hosting solution for my websites)
  • Establish authority and credibility – What makes you credible in writing your review? Have you bought the product or service that you are reviewing? If you have awards, certifications or industry mentions, you can use that to establish authority and credibility too.

3. Write at least 3 Product Review Articles

Once your review blog or site is ready, it’s time to write and publish your first 3 product review articles.

Why write product review articles as your first posts? If you’ve watched the 5 stages of awareness video, you’ll understand that it’s because it caters to the 4th stage of customer awareness, the “product aware” audience. Which means that they are almost ready to buy the product, they just needed an extra nudge and push.

That’s what your product review article is going to do. Answer questions about the product, provide support and hopefully provide more value that can help them make the decision to purchase and buy.

You don’t need to be a copywriting guru or an expert in marketing to do this. Anyone who is willing to share their thoughts about a product can do this.

Don’t be intimidated when writing your first product review articles. I’ll even give you the template on how I’m writing these review articles.

Just think of writing to your best friend and making an honest. and unbiased recommendation.

RYAN CRUZ

Of course, you should only review products that you have personally known, tested and used. When you only promote products that you’ve personally used and highly recommend, people will trust you more because you’ll know what you’ll be talking about.

Here are some examples of product review articles that I’ve done:

You can write a product review article on any products that you’ve liked and used. I’ve reviewed other products like the Nutribullet, the Vitamix and the T-fal actifry in my other health niche sites and I’ve added my Amazon Affiliate links to it as a call to action on where they could get it (and when they purchase those items on Amazon, I get an affiliate commission),

4. Write Best Product Articles

After writing product review articles, what I usually do is to write top of or best product type of articles.

This content caters to the 3rd level of customer awareness, the “solution aware” stage. These are people who knows the type of solution they need, but are not yet aware of what “product” would specifically solve their need.

Here’s an example:

The goal when writing this article is to provide people with multiple options or solutions. This helps them make a better decision because there are more product choices to choose from.

Some people would simply pick the most expensive products with the highest perceived value, while some people might be looking for a more practical solution.

When writing these “best of” articles, it’s also important to illustrate your point with the use of “comparison tables”. This provides an easy to digest format that allows people to compare each product’s features and benefits more quickly.

5. Write a Beginner’s Guide or Ultimate Guide Article

When you’re done writing your product review articles and the “best of” articles, you may NOW start writing your Beginner’s guide or the “Ultimate Guide” to TOPIC. This article , the “2019 Affiliate Marketing Guide” is an example of this.

This type of article needs to be really comprehensive and a lot better than your competitors. So make sure that you spend more time writing these articles. An epic article or guide like this can take as much as 8-12 hours to write.

But the rewards are infinite because these are the types of articles that can be used for promotions later on and for showcasing your expertise.

When writing your “ultimate guide”, you’ll want to survey the competition first. Jot down notes on what they are saying and make sure that you include that in your article.

I like to use Google Docs when I’m doing my research as it allows me to save my work on the cloud. I simply go search for the top 10-20 articles on the same topic.

“Beginner’s Guide to TOPIC” or “Ultimate guide to TOPIC”

Just replace TOPIC with your targeted keyword or niche, and open up the search results in your favorite browser.

Takedown notes on what’s interesting and what’s not interesting.

Did you find anything that you can improve on? Can you create videos on some of the items that your competitors are talking about so that you could provide more value?

Gather all the questions that people are asking in the comments section. Answer those questions in your article.

Provide more value than the other competing articles and you’re off to a good start with your readers and the search engines (you’ll be able to rank higher to the top of the search results much faster if you do this method).

6. Focus on SEO and Organic (Free) Promotion Methods

Before you even start promoting your blog and articles, make sure that you’ve done and completed these tasks:

  • You’ve picked a niche
  • You’ve created your very first WordPress Blog
  • You’ve written and published your first 3 review articles
  • You’ve written at least 1 “best of” article
  • You’ve published and written at least one “beginner’s guide” or “ultimate guide” about your TOPIC

If you haven’t completed ALL of these tasks, STOP and go back and finish them. It’s important that you have all your ducks in row before you go to this next step.

If you’ve done all those steps, CONGRATULATIONS!

It’s now time to start driving traffic via FREE methods. You won’t spend a dime, but you’ll have to spend your time in learning and implementing these things.

Can you outsource SEO and FREE Promotion methods?

Yes, but beware of outsourcing your SEO to sites like Fiverr.com or Upwork.com. These sites contain tons of freelancers who can do more harm than help you with your SEO. And with the Google Penguin and Panda updates, it’s easy to get your site penalized by the search engines if you start doing some spammy SEO stuff.

I highly recommend that YOU learn the skills in mastering SEO first. Once you’ve mastered them and your site starts generating free traffic, you can start outsourcing and training others to help you with your process.

Read my Beginner’s Guide To Search Engine Optimization

7. Start Google ads/Bing ads + Facebook remarketing ads (minimal ads budget)

This is entirely optional and only if you have the additional budget or investment to run Paid Traffic or ads.

Google ads and Bing ads are advertising platforms that allow anyone to start generating targeted traffic to their website in as little as within 24 hours.

You usually “pay per click” which means that you don’t pay to show your ads to people searching in Google or Bing, but you only pay when they “click on your ads”. You can control how much you “pay per click” and how much budget to spend daily.

I recommend that if you have the budget to start at least $10 per day. This is the minimum that I’d recommend because this provides ample time and data to be collected that can help improve your campaigns.

8. Rinse and Repeat

When you start generating FREE traffic to your website, you’ll start seeing those sales. Provided that you’ve written a good review article, “best of” article and a “beginner or Ultimate guide” article.

Just keep rinsing and repeating this model with another solution and set of products until you’ve reached your income goals.

Reaching your first $1K is very doable with this method. I’ve reached my first $1K within 30 days promoting a product that earns me at least $100 in commissions per sale. So 10 sales within 30 days is all I needed to reach my first $1K.

9. Focus and Momentum

When you’ve earned your first sale/commission and reached your first $1K online, it’s now time to focus on the momentum and build it like a snowball effect to reach your first $10K online.

Here’s how I’ll do that to keep my focus and momentum going.

  • Check Google analytics or Funnelytics PRO and see what sites/pages are getting more traffic
  • Optimize those pages with high traffic to get more conversions (making it faster, easier to consume, checking for quality, and adding bonuses if possible to help sweeten the deal)
  • Continue writing 3 product reviews, 1 “best of” article and 1 beginner’s guide or Ultimate guide for new TOPICS that are related to the previous ones.
  • Continue your FREE promotion and SEO for existing content and new content.
  • Outsource repetitive tasks but don’t outsource content creation yet.
  • Don’t launch another site or brand until you’ve reached $10K. Even after you’ve reached $10K for your site, I’ll rather improve on this one than create a new one.
  • Systematized your process. Everyone is different. Make sure that you build a business and not a hobby. One of the things that will make a big difference is to simply set a schedule, a process and a system to run your business.

10. Maintain or Flip the Site

If you’ve reached your first $1K to $10K with your niche site, I’d like to congratulate you!

You’re way above the 95% of those who tried to build an online business but failed.

So now you might be thinking, what’s next?

There’s two things that you can do when your site reaches at least $10K in affiliate commissions or earnings.

  1. Maintain it and grow further
  2. Sell and Flip it

Personally, I’d like to maintain it and grow my niche sites further. This allows me to build passive income streams that can earn affiliate commissions for years to come.

Some people sell and flip the blogs and websites they’ve built for a bigger, short-term cash injection. But once you sold your site, that’s it, you’ll have to restart all over again.

Are you going to maintain it or flip it? Let me know in the comments below

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