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The Five Essentials of Starting an Affiliate-Based Business in 2017

Published March 14, 2017 in Small Business Advertising - 0 Comments
The Five Essentials of Starting an Affiliate-Based Business in 2017

“It’s too late to get into affiliate marketing. I mean, that ship has sailed, right?”


Sure, it’s not 2005 anymore, but despite popular belief, there’s still plenty of opportunities to make money in the affiliate space. That is, if and only if you’re taking a modern approach to marketing.

After all, affiliate marketing represents a massive industry although it has evolved drastically within the past few years. Between the meteoric rise of social media marketing and the popularity of ad blockers, it’s rather difficult to replicate the niche sites of the mid-2000’s. Once you consider Google’s crackdown on spammy content and a savvier blogosphere in general, scoring with affiliates feels like an uphill battle.

However, if you follow the strategies of modern affiliates, you can grow a following and some passive  income in the process.

So, where do you start?

Legal Protection First and Foremost

Affiliate marketing represents a business, plain and simple. Therefore, you need to treat your affiliate site like a proper business instead of a side project.

The affiliate space can be somewhat volatile, and therefore it pays to separate your personal assets from that of your business assets. For example, you may want to incorporate your business as means of protecting your wealth. Not only do you look more professional to potential clients but could also save yourself from some potential headaches down the road.

Your Niche Needs to be Super Specific

From affiliate outlets such as ClickBank and Commission Junction to platforms such as Amazon, you can build an affiliate empire around just about any product. Having a hyper-specific niche will ultimately help you stand out in the SERPs and against competitors alike.

Although sites with broad niches have more potential for keywords, ranking against sites that have been around forever is just about impossible. For example, you’d have a much better time building a following and gaining search engine steam with a site centered around “herbal weight loss for women” versus “women’s fitness.”

Know Who You’re Going to Hire

Being an affiliate marketer doesn’t mean being a lone wolf, especially in a modern era where ranking for keywords and distributing content oftentimes requires us to have serious connections. Especially if you’re in a crowded niche, you can’t expect to do everything by yourself.

Rather than go it alone, consider how hiring content writers, designers and other affiliate marketers can help you grow. Think about it: you’ll quickly burn yourself out on content alone if you try grinding out dozens of articles per month while still trying to handle the day-to-day operations of your business.

For instance, it may also pay to hire a virtual assistant to do some of the heavy lifting for you. Thankfully, sites such as Fiverr and Upwork allow you to hire freelancers on the cheap to help ease the burden of your workload.

Set a Budget

All things considered, you do need to set some sort of budget to keep yourself in check.. When those first few affiliate payments start coming in, it’s tempting to overspend and spread yourself thin.

By setting limits, you ultimately avoid sinking money into a site that doesn’t pay long-term returns. Whether you wait for organic traffic or decide to go with paid ads via Facebook or AdWords, you need to test carefully before you splash too much cash.

Apply Growth Hacking Principles to Your Affiliate Site

The concept of growth hacking is all the rage right now in the world of marketing. In short, growth hacking is rooted in the idea of marketers not having to reinvent the wheel but rather rely on as many free channels as possible. In other words, you only pay for marketing when you need to scale.

The wealth of free channels out there to grow your business, especially social sites such as Facebook and Instagram, are a solid starting point to building your following which won’t cost you a dime.

Affiliate marketing in 2017 can be profitable for savvy affiliates who treat their sites like legitimate businesses. By taking a cautious approach and protecting yourself, you can go build your empire with peace of mind.


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