As you start to build out content on your website, it is important to have a good grasp of where your website is ranking and we’re particular pages and posts that you create on your website or ranking.
There are many ways that you can check your actual ranking, from manual searches (which is time-consuming), to leveraging automation software that will show you exactly where you are ranked and in some cases, track your rankings over longer periods of time.
I am going to be walking you through the process of how to check your website rankings in Google, as well as the other “top” search engines Bing & Yahoo. If you can comprehend this, and you spend some time tracking your rankings, it is going to get ranked in search engines like Google, and ultimately you can construct a game plan to improve your rankings as you start to understand the results.
Google Ranking, How it Works.
So how exactly does Google work, and how to they determine why one website or article is deserving of a better rankings than another, very similar piece of content on another website.
There’re many variables in which Google looks for, in fact there are 1,000’s of contributing items that go towards their “search ranking algorithm”. These are also known as Google Ranking factors. When you learn how to build out your website in a way that is “search engine optimized”, rankings will come rather easily.
Because of this, I recommend that you learn how to properly optimize your websites and get proper training. I am not going to go into great detail about all the ranking metrics, but in essence it comes down to the content you’re creating, the quality of content, your user design, the speed of your website, the engagement you get within it, and through time, the overall authority and reputation in the USA hasn’t Google.
Why it is So Important to Rank?
Rankings lead to traffic. It is that simple. The reason you want to rank in Google is that it is going to allow you to capture relevant search traffic, that will then come to your website, and ultimately represents a great deal of opportunity.
No different from the off-line world, where you are trying to get customers to walk by storefront, this is equivalent to that. The more ranking you have under more keywords, will equate to more relevant traffic. There’re many affiliate/internet marketers and large corporations that drive the entirety of their online income through SEO in Google.
So rankings are your path to free, highly relevant traffic (other than your efforts to get ranked, time, content, etc), and your path to creating a long term and sustainable online business.
The State of the Current Search Engine Market Share
Google currently has close to a 84% market share in search, so this should be the focal point of your search marketing campaigns. Understanding where you are ranking in Google and WHY you are ranking where you are in Google will give you a good pulse on your search engine optimization activities.
Below is a chart outlining the North American search engine market share for Google, Bing, Yahoo and Duck Duck Go (DDG).
This does not mean you should overlook Yahoo & Bing, which have a combined 14% of the search market. This may not sound like a lot, but this equates to billions of searches daily…and 100’s of billions of searches per year. Getting ranked in these search engines can lead to a significant amount of traffic and opportunity on your website, so it is critical that you understand where you are ranked under those as well.
Within SiteRank which I am going to be referring to in the next section, there is also a feature that will allow you to automatically track rankings in Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Where to Go to Quickly Check Your Rank
There’re a few ways that you can track your rankings in Google. Of course, There is a very manual way of doing. You can head over to Google.com (or your country specific version of Google), do a search, and then come up with.
Simple do a Google search, say I was looking to see if I was ranked under the term “dog training”, I would type this search into Google (as shown below).
Then you would scroll down the ranks, through the ads and the image results, to see if you are ranking. If are not on the first page of the rankings, you would then click to the next page and so on.
This is terribly inefficient though. There has to be a better way and there absolutely is.
I personally use Jaaxy SiteRank to check all of my rankings in Google, Bing & Yahoo as it does so efficiently (seconds) and automatically. It scans all the search engines and lets you know not just where you are ranked, but whether your rankings are going up and doing.
See below a sample search with SiteRank.
You can access SiteRank directly through WealthyAffiliate.com, even within a free Starter membership. If you don’t already have an account, I highly recommend that you get one here.
You will get access to not just this too, but an entire research platform and entrance to the most elite affiliate marketing training in the world (including full coaching). But if you just use it for SiteRank, that is up to you.
Tracking Your Rankings Over Time
As you start establishing your website online, you will want to keep a good eye on a wide array of your rankings, which one’s are going up, which are going down, and whether your website as a whole is improving or not.
Let’s look at an example here. This is a website I created a few years back that helps people avoid scams within the online world. It has pretty good authority and as you are going to see, the rankings in Google appears to be on an upward trend.
This is a good sign and on this basis, I am pretty happy with my websites performance. If I were to see a downward trend in my rankings, I would likely want to investigate why the rankings were going down.
There could be several factors that can drag rankings down, but some of the most common are lack of content creation (little consistency), lack of engagement within your actual content (comments), or you are trying to “Trick” Google into ranking you through operatives like back linking schemes or black hat techniques that always end up getting punished by Google.
That leads me to…
Keep Track of Your Rankings, Drastically Improve Your SEO
When you check where you are ranking in search engines, it is important that you understand how to use this information wisely. With Jaaxy SiteRank (Pro/Enterprise), you are going to be able to track your rankings over a certain period of time automatically.
This means that you can perform a keyword rank check and set it to either daily, twice per week, weekly, twice per month, or monthly. Obviously the more often you scan for rankings, the more specific and detailed your data will be in respect to fluctuations.
There are three cases that you will be presented with are either ranks going up, rankings going down, or ranks flat lining.
In the case of a brand new website, it may not be ranking at all and this is quite typically. If you are building out your website in a way that is properly crafted for SEO, then you will usually start to see some real break through in search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo) within the first 3 months and it can continue to move in an upward trend from there.
Understanding and have access to ranking data can truly help you understand which of your SEO activities had lead to traffic to great rankings, which one’s have hurt rankings, and which one’s may have had little to no bearing on your rankings. Jaaxy Siterank (a research platform within Wealthy Affiliate) is an excellent platform for helping offer you this bird eye view.
If you have any questions about how to track your rankings, Jaaxy SiteRank, or how to interpret your rankings going up or doing, I would be happy to shed some light and insight into this based on my 16 years experience in the space.
There are many companies and individuals out there deeming themselves to be within the affiliate marketing space, operating an affiliate marketing business, and worse, stating they are affiliate marketing experts…when they are not.
In this little rant here, I want to explain what affiliate marketing is, what it certainly isn’t, and what to look for when aiming to determine if an individual or company is misleading you about whether they are “affiliate marketing”. There are a lot of fake affiliate marketing companies out there and they are having an adverse impact on the affiliate marketing industry as a whole, so I want to bring some clarity as to what is affiliate marketing and what is not.
The Biggest Emulator. The MLM Bait and Switch.
The biggest trend we are starting to see is companies and individuals indicating they are operating an affiliate marketing agency, when in reality they are using it as a mask to cover up the fact that they are an MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) scheme.
Not to say there is anything wrong with some MLM companies, there are definitely some legitimate ones out there. However, you can almost assume that any MLM that is trying to say that they are affiliate marketing is running an unethical operation, and borderline (if not) illegal one.
There have been several take downs by the FTC in this space, with many more to come. It is my hope that they continue to tackle all the misleading programs out there operating businesses that are built around people joining and paying money, for the ability to promote that same program to others. That is the most common type of scheme that you see, with most people within these schemes losing money (95-97%).
There are some traits that you can look for in these programs that will be a key decider
Anything With Multiple Levels is NOT Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate programs are single level. If you are part of a program with 3 or more levels (including you), these are deemed multi-level marketing schemes. This is NOT affiliate marketing, in fact far from it.
Anything Where the Goal is to Promote the Same Program to Others. If you join something, or you have to pay for a program simply for the opportunity to sell that same program, then you are not getting involved in affiliate marketing. These companies have the tendency to call their “participants” affiliates, when in reality they are a notch in the MLM scheme and they are in reality network/multi-level marketers.
Anything High Ticket ($2,000+). The most common trait of “fake” affiliate marketing impersonators are those that are charging $1,000’s for information. If these companies offer $1,000’s in commissions, they are almost certainly operating their business in a way that relies on “baiting” participants with high compensation. These companies usually end in demise (or in the hands of the FTC) because their goal is to rip a few people off for $1,000’s to earn lots of money, versus actually offering a quality service to people for a realistic, market driven cost.
A Facade Entry Point Price. You will often times see a program actually offering an entry point into their program that operates in a true affiliate marketing fashion. However, once you join at the $49/$99 level of the program (or some smaller amount), you are encouraged to join at a more expensive level or BUY into some sort upline/downline platform, you have been misled and tricked to think you are affiliate marketing. This is a simple facade that has been set up, but in reality you are joining in on an affiliate marketing scheme.
Has an Income Disclaimer or Compensation Plan. All MLM companies are required to have a compensation plan as well as an income disclaimer on their website. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page and you see either of these, the given program IS NOT an affiliate program or affiliate marketing. It is an MLM.
There is a Cost to Join. Affiliate programs are free to join. If you have to pay to join an affiliate program, you should be skeptical. Some companies have a small, nominal fee to prove that you are real, but if you are paying $99 to join an affiliate program it is NOT an affiliate program.
What Affiliate Marketing Really Looks Like
OK, so now that you know what affiliate marketing is not, what is affiliate marketing? I have explained it in detail on the following affiliate marketing breakdown page already, but I want to show you two side by side examples of a program that is affiliate marketing, and one that is not.
The diagram offers you a good breakdown of the differences between real affiliate marketing, and the companies that are pretending to be affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is the relationship between an affiliate, a company selling products and/or services online, and a customer. As an affiliate, you can add affiliate links on your website or elsewhere, and if someone subsequently clicks on your link and buys something, you get a percentage of gross sale. This typically ranges between 1% and 75%, and will vary from company to company.
For example, if I run a website dedicated to selling “golf equipment” and I link off to Callaway to their website through my affiliate links, they will pay me 6% commissions for any sales that I drive to them. This allows Callaway to in essence have 10,000’s of people, across the internet simultaneously promoting their products.
As an affiliate, it gives me the opportunity to potentially promote MILLIONS of products through my websites, social channels and email and earn a great deal of affiliate income in the process. It is a brilliant business model and one that is only continuing to grow online, but there are a lot of companies abusing the word “affiliate marketing” when in actuality they are an MLM or worse, a pyramid scheme.
Affiliate programs are not multi-level, nor do they require you to pay money in order to promote a product or service at a particular level. If someone is trying to get you to join something that is multi-level or that is paid, it is NOT an affiliate program.
There is a proper process, and a proper ethical procedure that all successful affiliates are following these days, and I am going to take a minute to explain this.
Establishing Yourself as An Authority Marketer
There is a right way to create a sustainable and long term business online, and there are many wrong ways. I am not going to focus on the wrong ways, rather the proper way. Becoming an authority.
The most natural way to do this is to choose something that you are truly passionate or interested in and build a business around this. That is not the only way, but it is a great starting point. That way you can truly build a business around something that you love to do.
Let’s say I love basketball, which I do, I could create an entire business and work to become an authority website in a particular segment of the broader basketball category. Let’s say, Basketball Skills and Drills.
I would then build a website, and start building out the content, all while being able to integrate relevant promotions into my website through affiliate programs. There are all sorts of things that I could promote in a niche like this, some examples would be:
Amazon (1,000’s of products related that pay 6% commissions)
Ballers Institute Skills Guide/Training (pays 51% commissions)
Vertical Jump Bands (6% commissions)
JumpUSA (15% Commissions)
And 100’s more
This is just brushing the surface, as I build out my basketball skills website and discuss many topics within this niche, I will be integrating highly relevant and useful product/service recommendations to my audience. Through time, I could have 100’s or 1,000’s of pages on my website, driving 1,000’s of unique visitors to my website daily, generating far more than a typical full time income ($1,000’s per day).
To grow your business, you scale your content and traffic. That is the approach that can be taken within any niche, and that is the most scalable and lucrative way to build a thriving affiliate marketing business. So whether you are interested in building a mommy blog, a cats and dogs website, a tech gadget website, a knitting site, sports related site, or a hobby car website, there are literally 100,000’s of directions that you can head.
That is the reality of the affiliate marketing business, and that is how affiliate marketing works. If you are interested in building a thriving affiliate marketing business, there is only ONE place in the world that you should consider, Wealthy Affiliate. It is a community & platform that offers an “all-inclusive” environment with the training, live classes, research tools, websites, hosting, coaching and networking under one roof. Get more info here.
I hope I have offered some clarity on the differences between the REAL affiliate marketing opportunity, and those companies and individuals out there pretending to be affiliate marketing when they are not. I would love to hear any stories you have had, or if you have any questions about the legitimacy of any program (or affiliate marketing in general) I would be more than happy to help you out.
When choosing an affiliate network or product to promote, there are many things that you should take into consideration. I have been in the affiliate marketing space for many years now and over the years one of the affiliate networks with staying power has been Clickbank. But there have been underlying problems and issues with Clickbank, therefor I am going to uncover whether Clickbank is a scam or whether or it is still a legitimate network.
I am also going to share some insightful stories and experiences I have had with Clickbank over the years to help you decide on whether this network is right for you.
My Personal Introduction to Clickbank.
I started marketing online back in 2002. Clickbank was absolutely the top digital product network then, and I would argue that it still is today.
During the next 5-7 years, information marketing products became more and more popular. The idea that someone was paying for information was typically left to our Universities and Colleges, but when the layman person like you or I realized they could package information up and sell it for a good deal of money, popularity of Clickbank truly started to explode.
You saw dieting products, software programs, and then around 2005 you saw a big surge in make money products teaching people how to make money online for sale on the Clickbank network.
A merchant, someone that owns the digital product, could amplify their sales through Clickbank’s large network of affiliates. Instead of trying to promote their information on their own, they could literally have 1,000’s of affiliates promoting.
One of the biggest successes in the make money space back then was The Rich Jerk, written by Kellly Felix.
This was an innovative product, had some really great ideas (like arbitrage) and although it didn’t cover anything I was doing at the time, I would say for many people this book within the online world and for affiliate/internet marketers had the same sort of impact that the “4 Hour Work Week” book had by Timothy Ferris.
I think Kelly was able to generate a $1,000,000 dollars or so in sales within his first week, which a big deal at the time.
I digress. Over the years I promoted MANY products and services on Clickbank. Ranging from dieting products, to people finder/lookup, to internet TV, to make money guides. I promoted them as an affiliate.
Through 2005 – 2008, I also launched 3 Clickbank products as a merchant (Beating Adwords, Inside the List, Who Loves Money). These were digital info products, helping people within three completely different categories relating to online business and they were all very well-received (and had incredibly low refund rates, which at the time was very unusual for Clickbank).
They were very successful and people still buy these products to this very day. So I come qualified with a great deal of experience with Clickbank and before I move on to some unraveling that has taken place within this particular affiliate network over recent years, I wanted to share a pretty cool success story.
A Story About Clickbank Success.
In 2008, there was a huge event. In fact, the biggest even every four years worldwide is not the Olympics, rather world cup. At the time there wasn’t an efficient way to watch TV on the internet and Facebook Live simply wasn’t a thing. But there were millions of people worldwide trying to find a way to watch the World Cup online, while they were at work.
We took advantage of this opportunity. We set-up a paid advertising campaign in Google targeting search terms like “watch world cup online” or “watch USA versus Germany online” while the games were playing (which were usually during the working hours of those in the US).
Anyways, we set up this campaign and we ended up pulling in around $60 per minute in affiliate revenue (yes, PER MINUTE) as the result of this promotion. It was definitely short-lived as the World Cup doesn’t last forever, but there was a huge demand for a product of this nature and we filled the void.
Anyways, that is just one of many success stories I could share about my last 16 years online, but this is one that is certainly the result of having access to a wide array of products like are available on Clickbank.
And One About Frustration.
OK, so not all is good with Clickbank. Yes, they have an easy to use network. You don’t have to be approved for every single affiliate program, and the commission rates are typically very high because it is a digital product network.
So what are the downfalls of Clickbank?
The first one happened a few years back. Refund rates started to spin out of control on Clickbank because they were allowing (knowingly or unknowingly I am not sure) some biggest shiesters online to churn out digital e-books and sell them on their network.
They were supporting their sales schemes by allowing them to offer all sorts of OTO (one time offers) in their sales processes, so people were buying a relatively low ticket item ($17-$47) and then getting sucked in and pressured in spending much more within the up sell process, often times $100’s. This lead to unhappy and disgruntled customers, which lead to people contacting Clickbank and demanding refunds.
Clickbank was good about refunds, almost too good. Some products ended up getting 10-30% in refunds, and for an affiliate that is potentially paying or traffic to promote a product, that is unacceptable. As a result, many affiliates ended up frustrated, losing money, and leaving Clickbank for other sources.
Clickbank started booting low performing and high refund products from their network, which was a great move, but it also alienated all the “gurus” pushing their crap and they have since moved onto other networks that have looser rules and policies about product quality like Clicksure and JVZoo.
Clickbank has definitely recovered from this and has started to obtain and maintain a higher quality on their network since, but there is one significant problem with how they are operating as a business. I will explain.
Is Clickbank Leveraging Its Merchants Traffic?
A great portion of Clickbank’s early success came from a certain segment of products.
The make money online and online business crowd. Whether it was a drop shipping program like SaleHoo, a keyword research platform like Long Tail Pro, or a make money book like the Rich Jerk, the Internet Marketing crowd and product categories were driving a good deal of business to Clickbank.
Also, people that wrote about affiliate marketing had the tendency to recommend Clickbank as one of the top networks out there, myself included. However, a few years back Clickbank came out with a program called Clickbank University, and although I am not a member, I know the devastating impact this can have on someone trying to co-exist in the make money world.
Why would you send your traffic to Clickbank when they have created a component product that they will then promote to the VERY people that you have referred to their network? It doesn’t make lot of sense.
Because of this, the internet marketing crowd, those running legitimate businesses in this space (such as myself and my company, Wealthy Affiliate), refrain from pushing Clickbank as a network. They simply cannot afford to give over traffic to a company that is creating a competing product. It is not the job of an affiliate network to create a paid “membership” on how to promote their very network, in my opinion.
No sane marketer would drive traffic to Clickbank, nor would ethically recommend them under this premise.
Clickbank is Legit, With a Few Complaints.
So this leads me to the pros and cons of Clickbank, as a network. I actually have a lot of nice things to say about Clickbank. I also have some things that I can efficiently summarize about what I do not like about Clickbank.
Pros of Clickbank
They have great affiliate technology
They pay on time (and offer many types of payment)
Their programs tend to offer higher commissions
They have a large network of products
Auto-approval on products (don’t discriminate against new affiliates)
Have both tangible (physical) and info products (digital)
Cons of Clickbank
They try to up sell you on services like Clickbank University
Some lower quality products
Doesn’t allow certain countries to join
Have to make commissions from several countries to get paid
All in all, what you promote at the end of the day depends on what is relevant to your given audience. If Clickbank has a product/service that you think would have a good fit with your given audience, then you could certainly try to promote it.
Clickbank is a LEGIT affiliate network, with some quirks.
Being an affiliate marketer, I can appreciate the fact that there are tools and platforms that can simplify processes, and make your life much more efficient as an affiliate. As a result, I want to spend some time walking you through the most powerful tools that you can leverage within your affiliate marketing business, but also explain why they are of benefit.
I see far too often people trying to force tools and expenses into their business, including WordPress plug-ins, including software, and including systems that they simply do not need (and that are a waste of money). The tools that I am pretty showing you are completely free, and they can absolutely have an instant and positive impact on your affiliate business.
Affiliate Marketing is Not Just a Process.
What thing that you have to be careful as when you get deep into the affiliate world, Is that you do not get lost in the process of what you are doing. There’re far too many marketers out there that have a tendency to want to automate their businesses, and ultimately removes himself completely from their businesses because they feel as though they are too good to do some hands on stuff.
I too fell into this trap several years ago when I tried to outsource every aspect of my business, and I felt I was too good to actually communicate directly with my audience. As crazy as that sounds, there is then natural tendency to want to try to move to the “4 hour work week” mentality. The reality though, that is not REAL.
So I want you to make sure that you never remove the actual human element from the affiliate marketing business that you are running. There are tools that you can leverage in parallel with your actual interaction with your business, and that can make your life more efficient, but there are certain things that he should not attempt to automate.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Your website and your business will move into a critical failure mode if you try to automate any of these elements, or source of off to some “amazing affiliate tool”. So be careful in that respect.
But there is good news. There are many things that you will be able to automate, to speed up, and to compartmentalize within your affiliate business.
Analyzing Your Affiliate Business First, Then Automate.
Sometimes the best way to army your business, is the first analyze your business and their process. What are some things that you’re doing on a regular basis, that you feel are far too manually. It is safe to see if you are writing something down, chances are it could be automated.
Also, if you are spending a lot of time in your daily activities doing one thing in particular, then this can also likely be sourced out to a tool.
Some main items that I tend to focus on when it comes to automation and streamlining processes are (but not limited to).
Keyword and Niche Research
Tracking Rankings in Search Engines
Affiliate Link Management/Cloaking
There’s a large subset of tonics with in view categories that can definitely help your business, but when starting out you are going to want to do so in the most cost-efficient manner (that is, free, or very close to free).
8 Free Affiliate Tools for Your Business
There are literally thousands of affiliate tools that you can utilize within your business. Over the years I have probably tried 100’s of them. Some brilliant and some a complete waste of energy.
The save you from the “trial and error” of all the tools out there, I want you to be able to piggyback my experience within the industry and my last 16 years within the affiliate marketing world.
(1) Affiliate Marketing Training / Help
Wealthy Affiliate. If you’re looking for the elite education, yet the most cost-efficient and away to get started with your affiliate marketing education, there is no other option that you should be considering. There are 1,000’s of resources, and over 1.4 MILLION Aspiring and very successful affiliate marketers with in the back office of Wealthy Affiliate that will be more than happy to help you out.
There’re two membership tights, one being completely free starter membership, the other being the Premium membership. By all means, if you are not already part of Wealthy Affiliate and you are ANY level (newbie to expert), you should at the very least be operating your affiliate marketing business with a starter membership working for you.
This is also where you can find me personally hanging out and helping people achieve success with their respective affiliate marketing businesses. In fact, if you’d join the free membership, I will be more than happy to coach you personally and help you overcome any hurdles that you may have in your journey to success.
(2) Keyword, Niche & Website Research (plus tracking rankings)
Being able to properly research keywords, niches and analyze websites is a critical component of success was absolutely any affiliate marketing business, and you need the right tools in place to do this.
Affiliate Tools that offer quality, reliable and useful data are hard to come by in this space And oftentimes it can be incredibly expensive, upwards of $1,000 per month.
Within Jaaxy you will be able to accomplish all of your affiliate marketing research activities, from keyword research, finding low competition keywords, finding and buy domains, managing keyword lists, analyzing competition, affiliate programs, brainstorm and idea generation and being able to track where you are ranked in all search engines.
Did I mention it is completely free to test drive and get 30 searches? 😉
Managing passwords can be frustrating and very time-consuming as an affiliate marketer. You are going to be joining a lot of services, using a lot of different products/tools, and joining lots of different affiliate programs. You want to centralize the management of all of these and you can use LastPass for this. . There are some browsers that are better than others with managing passwords, but none of them do as effective of a job as they should.
Because of this, I use Last Pass. It is a plugin that you can add on to both Safari, Windows and Google Chrome.
(4) Website Management / Hosting
The foundation of any successful business online starts with a website. As an affiliate marketer you want to carefully choose what company you use for your website platform, including the hosting aspect. There are many options out there, and they are not all created equally.
There are also many website platforms that you can use for completely free, but they are not all created equally either. You have probably heard of WordPress, Wix, Web.com, they all have decent platforms, but there are lots of advertising on your free websites and they limit your ability as an affiliate marketer.
All hosting is not created equal either. You want to use Managed Hosting where you have access to proper support, and hosting that you can rely on in terms of speed and up time.
Because of this, I recommend you utilize the SiteRubix platform within Wealthy Affiliate. If you create a Wealthy Affiliate account, you get TWO free websites that you can use for your affiliate marketing campaigns. As a Premium member, you get hosting for up to 50 websites. This includes over 10 website related platforms you can use for your business.
Conventionally speaking, I am a paper and pen sort of guy. I love to write out my daily task, there is something about being able to put my agenda on paper that makes it easier to manage. Just a personal thing. I had tried moving my task management to Evernote, but I just didn’t love it and I found myself not using it like I should, it may have had too many features.
Until I found Trello. This platform is AWESOME, it is free and it has lead to a lot more productivity in my day to day tasks. You can create projects, you can share and manage projects with others, and you can manage entire teams of people through the Trello interface.
If you want to add efficiency to your day to day activities and have much better perspective as to what you are accomplishing, I recommend you get yourself an account.
To be a content marketer, you need to have an environment that is conducive To efficient writing, but also encourages you and motivates you with proper goal setting. SEO is the fundamental Foundation for most affiliate marketing businesses, and content is the basis for any successful SEO campaign.
Having the appropriate tools in place for your writing efforts, and ones that offer you insight into SEO are imperative to your rankings. There are a few tools that I recommend in this space, both of which offer free versions and are very high quality.
Although there is no such thing as a “free autoresponder”, there are companies out there that are offering a free trial. One of my core recommendations is GetResponse.com. There are many advantages to using them, but one being that they have “lead pages” that you can create right within their platform.
What a powerful platform thinking want to affiliate is Wealthy Affiliate. What is unique about this is that it is an all-inclusive environment for creating, growing and managing your business. With over 1.4 million, you have the most active community and platform for coaching, help, and also an environment that you can leverage to create partnership, build a network, and also build a following.
Any confusing how to manage a bunch of different tools within different environments, and it isn’t even more difficult when they don’t speak to one another efficient manner. For example, when it is nice for your website platform to communicate directly with your hosting platform, which would be able to communicate directly with your support channels, your keyword and research platforms, website analysis, and your content platform.
That is the capabilities that are offered to you with in this all-inclusive environment, and I like all the other platforms mentioned above (Many of which are included within the wealthy affiliate membership), it is completely free to try, use and build your business from.
I am very active within this platform, I run several businesses, and I am also actively helping people within the community throughout the day, every day, accomplish the same thing. If you want my personal coaching in access to the only all-inclusive environment for building an affiliate business, I really do recommend you consider at the very least setting up a free starter membership.
You Are Officially Equipped.
So there you have it. These are tools that are recommended for your affiliate business, and affiliate tools that will allow you to bootstrap your business. Conventionally speaking, the Internet business used to be a lot more expensive in terms of start-up costs. This is almost been minute mile next to nothing and you can truly operate a very successful business on a budget of less than $500 per year.
Do you that you need to make sure that you are making the best use of the free tools and software out there, spending money where it matters and where it benefits you (on the websites, coaching, hosting, etc), And also not always your money on overpriced education or services that you can get for free or much cheaper elsewhere.
I hope this is offering you a great deal of insight, but also ends up helping with your affiliate marketing ventures moving forward. If you have any questions about the affiliate tools I use, or you would like to offer up some other tools that you use in your business that are free (or very low cost), I recommend that you leave these below.
Affiliate marketing has been gaining more and more popularity in recent years, in particular as a result of the proliferation of social media and the fact that so many more people are using affiliate marketing to promote products/services to their friends and family through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
The problem is that any time there is opportunity and money to be made, it attracts the vultures and unscrupulous that are in the business of “taking advantage” of people. As a result, there are many companies portraying themselves as affiliate marketing, and many affiliate marketing scams popping up.
I want you to be very careful out there. In this post, I am going to break down what an affiliate marketing scam looks like to help you avoid getting taken advantage of.
The Industry is Changing, Be Careful.
When I started out online back in 2002, affiliate marketing was just gaining popularity. You had mostly tangible products (physical) and service based companies starting to realize the potential of having a base of affiliates promoting their companies.
Instead of these companies relying on “in house” marketing team, they were able to attract 100’s if not 1,000’s of affiliate marketers to promote their services. They didn’t need to pay them unless they generated revenue for them, so it was completely performance based and they didn’t need to pay the salary of expensive employees or deploy significant ad budgets…they let the affiliates do the work for them.
Move forward to 2018, the industry has changed and in recent years we have seen a cross over of companies trying to set foot in the affiliate marketing industry, that actually are not affiliate marketing. We see companies charging WAY too much for affiliate education. We also see companies up selling the hell out of their customers, taking a low ticket product and then forcing a customer to pay several $1,000’s by the time they are done with their pitch fest.
This is unacceptable in my eyes. It is ruthless, and it is something that ethical affiliate marketers (the ones I associate with anyways) don’t stand for.
Fortunately for you though, there are obvious signs that you can look forward when trying to determine whether a program is an affiliate marketing scam.
5 of the Most Typical Affiliate Scams.
There are a few very common types of affiliate marketing scams. You can pretty much put every unethical company within this industry under one of these umbrellas.
(1) Low Ticket to High Ticket. There are many scammers out there that will try to sell you on a very low ticket item, stating the given price and everything you need to succeed is $7-$49, but in reality there are $100’s if not $1,000’s in up sells immediately after you purchase the given product. Not only that, they make you feel really guilty if you don’t spend more money (tell you things like “you are worthless”). It is horrible.
(2) Free Plus Shipping Book. You probably have seen these within your social media accounts. Companies pitching you on the idea of getting a free book, plus shipping. That sounds good in logic, but the problem is they are doing this to get your “contact details” which they are then going to used to promote all sorts of other stuff to. The “books” are usually completely promotional in terms of their intent, lacking actual value and substance.
(3) Join Program, to Promote (MLM). Often times companies that are within the MLM (multi-level-marketing) world will present themselves as being “affiliate marketing”. Anything that is MLM, is NOT affiliate marketing. The big difference, multi-levels. You have to be careful when you are joining these programs as they will get you in, often times at a very expensive price ($1,000-$50,000) and to recoup your costs, they will get you to promote the very same program to others.
Many of these programs are taken out by FTC every year for being fraud, pyramid or ponzi schemes. The problem: If you are involved in them and promote them to others, you are just as liable as a participant as you are being the owner of the company.
(4) Social Feed “I am in” for more details. You see this on Facebook or Instagram all the time, but you will also see it within Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat as well. A marketer tells you how much they are making, how you can “change your life” and then pitch you on the idea that they are going to teach you how to make money just like them.
Firstly, most of these people pushing these videos on social media are not making any money (unless you buy into their crap), and secondly, they are almost certainly about to throw you into a network marketing scheme where you need to peddle the same garbage to others.
(5) Showcase Lifestyle and Money. You can pretty much chalk up any program that sells itself solely on lifestyle, on “mindset”, on flash cars or houses a scam. These companies tend to lack product/service substance. If you are being sold on this emotion and you want to be sitting on the beach or driving the Ferrari like the person selling on you on this idea in the video/sales pitch, make sure you know what they heck you are getting into first!
If are currently research a program and it fits into any of these categories, be careful. There is a good chance that you are about to get involved in one of the affiliate marketing scams that are present within the online world (IE, the wild west) these days)>
So if These are Affiliate Scams, Why Do They Exist?
They exist because they make money. They make money, because people get sucked into them. The FTC and other government driven regulatory entities that are created to protect you from such scams are very busy. Quite often they not going to waste their time taking down a company until it reaches a minimum of $10MM+ in revenue.
Thus many of the smaller programs will survive and survive for some time (sometimes forever). You can help prevent these companies from sustaining their unethical affiliate businesses within the online world simply by understanding that they are scams and avoiding them altogether. When you get ripped off, you are giving the monster in essence money.
If you don’t feed them with your hard-earned money, they are going to have to legitimize themselves at some point or completely get out of the affiliate marketing world altogether.
Go Affiliate Marketing Legit.
There are absolutely legitimate opportunities. If you have read this and are feeling a bit discouraged by the affiliate marketing industry as a whole, please do not be. The affiliate marketing industry is VERY ethical, it is vast, and it is full of an incredible amount of opportunity.
In fact, in my 16 years within the online world I have yet to see more opportunity. Affiliate programs are popping up everywhere, all major brands/services in the world have affiliate programs, and affiliates have a subset of over 550 MILLION (yes million) products and services they can promote in exchange for a commission.
Whether you are interested in cats and dogs, make up and beauty, sports, health & fitness, technology, etc… there is an opportunity for your to carve yourself out a very successful business within the affiliate marketing space. No experience necessary.
There is a legitimate process to building a business online though. It looks a little something like this.
Choose a direction for your business. This could be anything and there are a million and one niches out there.
Build a website/blog to promote your business. This is very easy to do these days. Within platforms like Wealthy Affiliate you can have your very own niche website ALIVE online in less than 30 seconds. Yes, 30 seconds.
Get Traffic to your business. There are MANY ways to do this. One of the primary methods is getting rankings in Google, Bing & Yahoo (which is free to do), but you can also pay for traffic, leverage social networks, and use email marketing just to name a few.
Generate revenue through affiliate programs. This is where the affiliate programs come in. There are millions of products, likely within pretty much any niche, that you can promote in exchange for an affiliate commission. These commissions range from 2% to 75% depending on the company and can lead to a HUGE stream of income.
That is it. The process in a nutshell, all you need is a platform that provides you with the training and the environment to create, grow and manage your business. This platform is Wealthy Affiliate and it is completely free to try through their elite Starter Membership (no obligations whatsoever).
By lesson 4 alone within the training, you are going to have step 1 & 2 above complete. By the first course alone, which is included in your starter membership, you are going to understand the process of getting ranked in Google with your website, getting traffic, and how you can build out you business in the most appropriate manner for long term success.
I digress. I hope this article has offered you a lot of insight into the “bad” side of the affiliate marketing world, and if you have been seeking out any of the FIVE types of scams that I have suggested you avoid, I hope you do so.
If you have any bad or good experiences within the affiliate marketing world you would like to share, opinions or questions that you want to get feedback on, please leave me a comment below. I would love to hear it, I could chat about this stuff all day!
There are a few big differences between someone that is highly successful within the online world, and something that is consistently failing. Any guesses what that could be? The education that one has. The tools that one has. And support that one has. Does Wealthy Affiliate deliver on all of these levels, and if so, how?
In my Wealthy Affiliate review I am going to keep it REAL with you (hence my website name, RealDealAffiliate.com). I don’t benefit from beating around the bush or giving you half-truths, my goal is going to be to help you assess whether the platform and community at WA is going to be the right place for you to make your home base for your business.
I think you are going to be impressed, but there are also some things that I want you to be careful about. So please read on and if at any moment you have any questions or want to offer you own personal reviews/feedback, feel free to head to the bottom of the page and leave me any insights you have there.
The Company: What is Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate is a platform and community dedicated to affiliate marketers and internet entrepreneurs. Since 2005, the team at Wealthy Affiliate has been dedicated to helping people succeed online, which at the best of times, can be a difficult task consider how quickly the internet changes and how rapidly the affiliate marketing world can evolve.
The website, funny enough, started out as a keyword list website for affiliate marketers. Every week, WA would offer a new subset of keywords to help affiliates build successful pay per click campaigns. It worked. People loved the service, but then they started requesting new features.
A way to communicate.
Personal help and coaching.
Training on how to build an online business (and the various facets)
All kinds of tools
The ability to network with others
And on and on. Here Wealthy Affiliate is over a decade later, 25 employees strong, over 1.4 MILLION members strong and growing at a faster pace than ever, and the platform is becoming ubiquitous with THE place for affiliate marketers to create and grow businesses online, but also to mingle with some of the most affiliate marketers in the world on a daily basis.
At Wealthy Affiliate you are going to learn the proper process to build a business online in any niche of your choice, without needing any requisite knowledge. It is actually very straight forward, and it is the process of building a business online that worked back in the early 2000s and that will work in the 2020’s.
Here is a quick breakdown…
So as you go step into the platform at WA, you are going to be given all the training, tools, services, and coaching that you need to build a business in ANY niche using this exact process. It isn’t complex, but of course, any successful business takes a bit of hard work (so please don’t think this is a get rich scheme, it simply is not).
I have personally worked within many niches over the years, from the dieting niche, to the hosting niche, to record look-ups and people looking for their ancestry.
Any direction that you head, there is an incredible opportunity and with over 550,000,000 products/services that you can promote as an affiliate and earn revenue, there has never been a better time to get rolling online (and do so with Wealthy Affiliate).
So that is a quick breakdown of the process and how WA started, now I want to give you a full and thorough review of the various aspects of Wealthy Affiliate, from my perspective.
The Community: The WA Family is the LifeBlood of Your Business
With over 2.2 MILLION active members, WA is definitely a place that you can hang out, get help, create friendships, and even business partnerships. There is something profound about being able to get up at 2am with an idea and being able to run it by others within the community and get affirmation. Or working on your website late at night and being able to fire out a question and get an abundance of help in a matter of minutes.
Wealthy Affiliate is not just a community, but rather one that cares. If you have hung out at Facebook, you know how negative the vibe can be there and it actually turns out to be a depressing experience. Hanging out within the platform at WA is simply different.
People are there for the right reason, they are there to help, and at any given moment there will be 1,000’s if not 10,000’s of people online that you will be able to interact with to help push your business forward in a positive direction.
The Education: What Can I Expect From the Training
Education Recommendations: Very Newbie to Very Advanced
Format of Training: Video, Text, Live Classes/Webinars, Instant Chat
# of Resources: 1,000’s of training modules
Hours of Live Classes: Over 400 HOURS
The best way to learn, hands down, is to DO. If you implement what you learn, that is when the real learning takes place. This “applied knowledge” approach is the one taken within Wealthy Affiliate and as soon as you step in the door, even as a Starter member, you will realize just how interactive and hands on the training is within the community.
There are some very important features that are offered within the WA training environment, that maximize how efficient your path to truly learning this stuff becomes and ultimately speeds up the process of you actually creating a successful and sustainable business online.
There are several formats of training within Wealthy Affiliate that you will be able to harness to go from a complete newbie, to an expert within the affiliate/internet marketing space.
Core Training Courses
So whatever you’re learning style is, we cater to it. Within every training modules, there is a comment/coaching section where you can get help if you ever have any questions, or you can start a conversation about one of the topics discussed and get further insight into it. There isn’t a moment where an expert within the community isn’t available and offering support through the various training channels.
The Websites: An Elite Marketer Needs a Great Website Platform
The websites platform at Wealthy Affiliates gives you the tools you need to create and operate a very successful business within the online world. A website is the foundation for your business, so it is very important that you have a website platform that can grow with you, one that is stable and efficient, and one that follows alongside the quick moving pace of technology.
Wealthy Affiliate provides you with this environment through the SiteRubix platform and competes directly with the most advanced hosting platforms in the Managed WordPress space.
I don’t want to confuse you with too much on the technical side, but there is certain things you need to look for when it comes to building a website. These are the “factors” that will contribute your success as they are requirements these days to run an online business.
To be the best, you need to expect the best out of your service providers and websites/hosting is no different.
Website Speed (fastest in the industry)
Website Ease of Use
A Sophiscated Management Environment
On Site Engagement/Communication
These are all very much focal points with the Wealthy Affiliate website & hosting offering. With each year that passes, you can come to expect innovations within the website platform at Wealthy Affiliate that push it far beyond any offering. To be great at online business, you have to have a great website and be confident in the company that is hosting your website. WA offers you this.
As a Starter member, you get ONE completely free website (hosting included). As a paid Premium member, you can host up to 10 websites, including on your own domains. The quality of hosting alone offered within the Premium membership (which is $49 per month), is comparable and superior to the $250 per month managed WordPress hosting packages out there in the industry. Just for some perspective.
The Toolkit: With the Right Tools, You Can Shape a Sustainable Business
We all battle a constant “time crunch” in our lives. There simply are not enough hours in the day and this has been something that I have been faced with during my entire time spent as an internet entrepreneur. I have always sought ways to add more efficiency within my business. This has typically led me down the path of automation and efficiency tools.
Some main tasks that you will be doing within your online/affiliate business are building websites, researching niches & keywords, creating and publishing content, and analyzing and assessing websites and your SEO campaigns.
Fortunately, these are things that are provided to you within Wealthy Affiliate, some of the tools allowing you to free up literally 100’s of hours of your time through the course of the year. I want to explain each of the platforms in a little more detail.
Efficient Keyword & Niche Research
Research is a big part of any successful online business. For example, one of the core task of getting ranking in Google is being able to effectively find low competition, high traffic keywords to target with your campaigns. This can easily be achieved through Jaaxy, a platform that you have exclusive access to through Wealthy Affiliate.
As a member of WA, you have access to Jaaxy, the world’s most powerful research platform for affiliate marketers. It offers you a large subset of tools that you can leverage to maximize your time when it comes to research.
Here is a sneak peek at the entire subset of tools that are included within the Jaaxy platform alone:
As you can see, you are well equipped from the research side of your business and you don’t have to go off elsewhere and buy (and manage) tools that are inferior to what you get within the state of the art platform at WA.
Estimated Time Saved: 12-15 Hours Per Month
Amplify Your Content Creation
Content is KING, as they say. It is part of any successful business, in particular within the online world. SiteContent is the marketers dream platform and it is included within the Wealthy Affiliate platform.
You also have access to features that will help you create a beautiful, high ranking site. This includes access to the SiteContent images platform that offers you over 1+ MILLION high definition images that you can use on your website, SEO tracking features that help you optimize your content, grammar and spelling checkers, image optimization, and the platform will even check all of your content for uniqueness before you publish.
You can set writing goals and track these through any set period of time. This accountability naturally is leads to a lot more productivity in your writing and you will be provided with reports of your daily/weekly/month writing achievements.
Did I mention that you can publish directly to your website from this platform, making content management and publication and absolutely breeze.
Estimated Time Saved: 10-15 Hours Per Month
Website Creation & Automation
Building a website in 30 days used to be MY reality when I started out online in 2002. It was a freakin’ headache. I had to learn how to program, I hate to create my template designs myself, and I had to basically manually create the code for every single page on my website. My first website I ever built was not only UGLY as sin, but it actually took me 30 days to build.
Faster forward 16 years later, and I can now create a website that is 100x more powerful, much more beautiful, has way more features, and is “success” ready in less than 30 seconds using the website platform at WA. You have access to over 4,100 different designs (see below), and you can build a website faster than you can pour yourself a coffee.
There has been a great deal of technical advancements that have led to this, but what this has done has allowed ANYONE to create a website and ultimately a business online. Gone are the days when you had to be a “techie” in order to create a successful business online.
Estimated Time Saved: 50-60 hours per month.
Website Analysis & Management
As you establish your website and your business, it is going to become imperative that you have some oversight into what is working for your, what isn’t, and what you can do to improve your website so it ranks better, so it gets more engagement and traction by your website visitors, and what you can use to amplify your overall website results.
There are two platforms specifically that will work hand in hand within WA that will help you with this. The SiteHealth Platform is going to offer you tracking and progress in terms of your overall “health” of your website, kind of like a maintenance and health dashboard. You can see what this looks like below.
It will monitor your website activities and tell you how you can improve them. This will led to your website being built in a way that appeals to search engines, more traffic, and WAY better results in your business.
The second tool, is SiteRank. This will track your rankings in Google, Yahoo and Bing and tell you if you are going up or down within the search results.
Ideally you want to land all of your rankings on Page 1 of search engines, and you are going to come to understand with this automated ranking tracking platform where you are ranked and why. This is a HUGE time saver.
Estimated Time Saved: 10 hours per month.
The more time you save, the more time you have to be productive within your business. More productivity, leads to more revenue for your business (the ultimate goal, right?).
As Wealthy Affiliate evolves and innovates, you can be sure that there are going to several platforms released ever year (without any additional cost) that will make your life more efficient as an affiliate marketers.
The Coaching: Need Expert Help, You Have More Than Just That
Coaching Types: PPC, Content Marketing, SEO Marketing, Social Media
Coaching Formats: Live Chat, Q & A, Ask a Question, 1-on-1, Direct Access to ME (pic below)!
# of Coaches: 1,000’s YOU Get Instant Access to
It takes a village to raise a child, but what if the same thing could be stated about an affiliate marketing. Wealthy Affiliate is truly that village with the interactive and very hands on coaching elements that you have immediate and 24/7 access to.
With over 1.4 million active members, Wealthy Affiliate has become the place where newcomers go to learn affiliate marketing and create online businesses, but something that is very apparent is that it is also the place where very successful affiliate marketers and internet entrepreneurs pay forward their knowledge and skills to newbie to intermediate marketers.
Live Instant Chat Help. Within Wealthy Affiliate you have access to the live chat platform, which you can utilize to get instant help. This is a great coaching medium to use if you are looking for a quick way to get support, but it is also a powerful medium to connect with other fellow entrepreneurs, network, and build relationships with very successful marketers. At any given time there are 100’s to 1,000’s of people interacting or lurking on the chat platform and you can expect your questions or a simple to be met with a response very quickly.
Average Response Time: Less than 1 minute.
Training Q & A. As you move through the training, you are encouraged to ask questions when you have them. All training modules, videos, tutorials and live classes within Wealthy Affiliate have a comment area where you can leave any questions that you have as they pop up. This works really well because others that are involved in the same level of training and that have COMPLETED the training will be notified.
Average Response Time: Less than 10 minutes.
Ask the Community. There is a question platform within WA that you can utilize to ask a question about ANYTHING related to your business, or anything that you need help with. These questions get exposure from the entire community at WA and it is a rare occasion that you don’t have specific help and often times several people helping you within minutes.
Average Response Time: Less than 5 minutes.
Personal 1-on-1 Coaching. As a Premium member within Wealthy Affiliate, you have the ability to get private coaching from whoever you like within the community. That is why it is critical once you get in, to network with others and to “follow” those that interest you, these relationships will prove to be valuable to you down the road if you ever need anything. There is something to be said about having access to all the elite affiliate marketers in the world, which you do within WA. Average Response Time: Depends on the member you contact, usually within 6 hours.
From ME directly. Yes, when you join through me, or through someone else, it doesn’t matter. I am there within the community to coach you, help you, and offering you accountability and motivation every step of the way. Even if you want to just stop by and say hi, I would love to hear from you. Or if you need a bunch of help, I also want to hear from you!
You can see my personal profile here at WA and see how active I am getting back to people, my goal is to try to answer everyone within 24 hours, sometimes on weekends if I spend time with my family it can take longer, but typically I am much quicker (sometimes within minutes!)
Average Response from ME Personally: Less than 24 hours.
You won’t find a day when I am not interactive and helping 100’s of people within WA through chat, through answering questions or offering personal support.
If you join through me, I am going to be offering you my support and personal coaching immediately. This is real, the CEO of the company will be someone you can access directly and I will be reaching out to you within the first few hours of you joining just to make everything is cool.
The Success: Are People Succeeding Within WA?
In a word, yes. Wealthy Affiliate has been in existence since 2005 and since there have been thousands upon thousands of success stories posted within the community. Everything from a newcomer posting an exciting story about how they made their first affiliate sale, to someone being successful enough to quit their day job, to people having their first million dollar years within the online world.
I want to share a few recent success stories with you, just to give some perspective as to what people are accomplishing. This is a fraction compared to what people are achieving, but it will give you a good idea!
What you will not find is that WA people is not a community where people boast about their success (and belittle others). Many of the most successful folks go quietly about their business. No differently than within the offline world, you have people that enjoy sharing their success, and people that share it private.
I personally, in my 16 years online haven’t ever shared how much $$$ I make with anyone and I surely don’t share income with people that I don’t have an intimate relationship with. Why? Because this to me is private information and I have no reason to share this. I rather focus on helping people create what I have, and offer the best help (and platform) in the industry to do so.
There is the tendency to see people bragging about MONEY, cars, houses, or other material things when they don’t have much of it. Wealthy Affiliate is a community of achievers and elite affiliate marketers, some people share their successes which is amazing, but for every one of the 1,000’s of success stories you read, there are 10,000’s of other quietly going about business and helping others at WA with theirs. 😉
You can be one of our next success stories at WA, I can assure you of that. You can set-up your account at WA and be rockin’ and rollin’ within 5 minutes from now. You really have nothing to lose and the Starter account doesn’t require a credit card, or have any obligation. Just free access to the Wealthy Affiliate platform, the community and me.
The Vegas Opportunity: Where Brilliant Minds Collide (And Have a Blast)
I also wanted to mention that there is a unique opportunity offered to EVERYONE within Wealthy Affiliate as well, the WA Super Affiliate Conference. As a member, you of course can build a business within any niche you want, but WA also offers a very lucrative affiliate program for those that are interested in promoting it.
If you can achieve 300 sales in a given year, you get an all-inclusive, 4 day trips to Las Vegas where you get the Royal treatment. This is fully paid for and includes a 3-day conference, amazing meals, entertainment, drinks and even some gambling if that is what you are interested in.
You are also going to be meeting with some of the top affiliate marketers in the world and have the ability to “talk shop” with these folks, gain new insights, and share some of yours. This is achievable by absolutely anyone, including folks that are just starting out.
The Oops: Sometimes Change Can Really Suck.
We will be the first to say it, not everything is perfect at Wealthy Affiliate. Nothing in fact in this world is perfect and can be improved upon, and that is what is so exciting to a technology company whether it is Facebook, or in our case Wealthy Affiliate.
Within any given year, we roll out 10-12 entirely new platforms within Wealthy Affiliate. These could range from something related to “content creation” a brand new website platform, a new way to community, or about every 3 years we will go through a completely different design.
Because of this, there can sometimes be too much and Wealthy Affiliate can have short spurts of being a bit disorganized. This I amount to growing pains, but it is a good position to be in. We not only are offering people new services within WA (at no extra charge) we are giving them tools to make them much more efficient in their respective businesses.
So as we grow and improve our offering, there will be slight growing pains, the odd bug to sort out, and then odd frustrating. But one thing we promise you, we are completely present within the community as the co-founders (usually within WA 10-12 hours per day), and we have team of over 25 programmatic geniuses behind the scenes to make the technology mesh and operate efficiently…and to fix these bugs before the average member even notices them.
We stand behind our service at Wealthy Affiliate being the BEST in the industry, but it will never be OUR BEST (if that makes sense). That is good for YOU, the end user. You can simply assume that there are going to be a lot of great updates that take place through the course of any year.
The Real Deal: WA Will Take You to the Next Level.
Of course, I have a bit of a bias because I am co-founder of Wealthy Affiliate. But that also gives you the reader unique access to me directly, and some unique insights into the ethos behind Wealthy Affiliate and the fact that we truly do care about you. Wealthy Affiliate is unique in that respect, we are not focused on how much money we can make off of members, rather how we can make members more successful within their respective businesses/niches.
WA has never been a business about making as much money as possible, if we were, it would be much more expensive. The price of the Premium membership is actually cheaper today, than it was back in 2005. That should say a lot about our mission to help people and in the process, offer the most cost-efficient, yet BEST platform in the world for affiliate marketers and Internet Entrepreneurs.
In fact, I don’t want you to spend a cent on a service until you have tried it. I also don’t want you to take my word for it as we just met, I would rather the community and platform speak for itself. Here are the next steps to getting rolling, to seeing what WA is all about, and to start your bright and very successful journey online.
Step 3: Get back to me when I personally reach out to you (and I promise I will)
Step 4: Have fun!
Upon joining, you are going to be emailed with some instructions on how to get rolling, but I want you to remember that you have full access to ME (Kyle) personally when you jump into the community. If you ever need to reach out to me after you create your account, you can do so on my profile:
Direct Access: My Wealthy Affiliate Profile (Kyle)
And lastly, if you have any questions at all about WA, you want to offer your own personal review, or you have any other sort of feedback/questions about the affiliate marketing or online business world, please leave them below and I will be more than happy to help. I promise to get back to you quickly, so expect a response within 24 hours max.
There’s a lot of confusion within the affiliate marketing world, and among newcomers to this space. The problem I see is there is so much misinformation out there about what it is, how you will actually be making money, and the process itself, It is no wonder that people are completely confused.
First off, I know for a fact that you can because I have been doing this full-time for the last 16 years within the online world. The idea whether it exists, to me, is no different from arguing whether air exists.
I am going to settle this argument once and for all and am going to be going into detail answering the question of Can you make money affiliate marketing, and if so what is the proper process of doing so and how exactly do you make money within the affiliate world. .
The Process of Making Money as an Affiliate
As an affiliate marketer, you have access to over 550 million products and services that you can promote as an affiliate. When you join an affiliate program, it gives you access to promote given products and services that are available within that program.
Some companies off their affiliate programs independently (they operate and manage them in-house), and some are part of what are called affiliate networks, a grouping of many affiliate programs.
When you join an affiliate program you get access to certain promotional materials like affiliate links, banners, and sometimes more sophisticated widget that you can add your website, you can also promote many other places.
For example, If I were to join the Amazon affiliate program, that would give me immediate access to promote 100’s of millions of products on Amazon. Let’s say I wanted to work within the organic skin care niche, a quick search within Amazon would indicate that I could promote over 70,000 different products and services on Amazon alone.
And that is just ONE affiliate program. Amazon pays 6% on every sale that I need, so if I sell a thousand dollars worth of product, I am going to earn $60 in affiliate commissions. These are paid either through check, or through Amazon gift cards. Every affiliate program pays a bit differently, but almost all will offer you several forms of payment.
Misinformation is Rife Within the Affiliate World.
Part of the problem with those seeking to create an affiliate marketing business, is that the industry is full of outdated or simply incorrect information being propagated through all corners of the Internet. Companies are making money selling you a course that are based on “theoretical” affiliate marketing principles, stuff that should work but probably won’t.
Then you have companies pretending to be affiliate marketing, when they are not. They are a scheme, an MLM, or something that is completely different (that is, a scam).
Then you have old products/services that were ONCE good in their glory years, but haven’t been updated to keep up with the trends in the affiliate world, new technology, new platforms, and new techniques and strategies that are being used by affiliates.
So although the opportunity is significant within the affiliate world, it can be difficult to achieve success if you are linking up with the wrong people. That is why education element, and having access to the tools and support you need to build a proper affiliate business is going to be imperative to your success.
There is a right way to build a business online, and there is the wrong way. The proper way of building and affiliate business, has remained the same for many years.
You have a potential customer, and you have a product (that has an affiliate program). You as the affiliate, your goal is to connect the potential customer with the product through relevant content and/or through various marketing channels.
To do this, you will want to have a WEBSITE that will act as your storefront for customers, and offer you the ability to promote one of the over 550 MILLION products/services that you can promote as an affiliate.
There’re many platforms online cleaning to be high quality affiliate education, but which one do you choose. If you don’t do your due diligence, you are likely to end up joining a company that is “pretending” to be affiliate marketing and they end up offering a low quality education, and worse yet, some of these programs are multi-level-marketing and are acting as a wolf in sheeps’ clothing.
So how do you know when is a good education, from what is potentially poor or misleading education. Here are a few tips when looking for high quality affiliate marketing training.
The Company Reputation. Is the company legitimate (do they have a good standing with the BBB.org). Are there positive reviews about this company online. Have they been in business for some time.
Free Trial or Free to Try. If you can’t get insight into what a company is offering, then you shouldn’t even be considering. If there is no free trial or at least a sneak peek (outside of their sales pitch), then avoid it.
Cost Efficient. Building an affiliate marketing business should not be expensive venture, even the education aspect of it. If you are spending more than $500 per year to run your business, including the websites, hosting, tools & technology, coaching, and networking, you are overspending. Companies charging more than this are likely in the business of “taking your money” and not helping people, so avoid overpaying.
Are They Clear With What they Offer. If you are to go to a company website, you go through the content and you still are unsure of what you will be doing, and what they are offering, then avoid this company at all costs. If they are selling you on the idea of owning a big house, expensive car, sitting on the beach, or “you can do it”, without telling you what you are doing, you are almost certainly going to be getting yourself involved in a scam.
Do They Offer You Everything You Need to Run Business. To run an online business, you need a website, you need hosting, you need keyword & research tools, you need proper training (ideally some sort of interactive training as well), coaching and mentoring, and the ability to network with others that are involved in the business. If a company is missing one or more of these, then you are not getting everything you need to properly run a business.
I personally have been working directly and helping affiliates for the last 12 years of online and it has been the sole purpose of my business. My affiliate home base (and where I educate and help people) is through Wealthy Affiliate, and if you are interested in building an affiliate business, I recommend that at the very least you take a look.
Of course, you can feel free to do some research online and see what best suits you, but I can tell you that there isn’t a more progress, forward thinking, cost-efficient and caring platform in the world for affiliate marketers. That is something that I will stand behind.
Here’s the breakdown of what I would recommend as the ONLY (and top) affiliate education platforms online that you should consider, and I am basing that on the criteria I mentioned above.
WealthyAffiliate.com: Been in business since 2005 (visit website here) Free Trial: Yes (unlimited Starter membership) Cost Efficient: Yes, very. $49 per month (or $359 per year) Clear What They Offer: Yes Everything You Need to Run Business: No, there will typically be lots of extra costs. Who It’s For: Beginner to Expert Affiliate Marketers
Quick Review: Wealthy Affiliate is the elite affiliate marketing platform in the industry. With over 1.4 million active members, you have access to the largest resource of experts in the space, but unlike most communities of this size, the environment has a true “pay it forward” vibe to it.
It offers a true all-inclusive environment where you have access to everything that you need in one place to create, grow and manage a very successful business online (or several of them). This includes training (all formats), live classes, websites, hosting, keyword/research tools, content/writing platforms, support, expert coaching, and the ability to network with over 1.4 million fellow aspiring and successful Internet Entrepreneurs.
Udemy.com: There are some good courses there, they are a legitimate platform Free trial: Yes, you can see “some” of the courses before you buy typically. Cost efficient: Fairly, $15-200 per course. Clear What They Offer: Yes Who It’s For: Generalize Affiliate Marketing Skills Everything You Need to Run Business: No, there will typically be lots of extra costs.
Quick Review: Udemy is a wide open education platform, with training resources across a breadth of topics. You can buy individual courses and training within their network. Some of the affiliate marketing training is really high quality, but it is lacking the fundamental tools to build an actual affiliate marketing business (websites, hosting, research tools). So the courses themselves are good education, but there will be many costs beyond that.
You are also required to pay for every course, so you definitely do not have access to an environment where you have all the training you need, it is more of an la cart type education platform.
Affilorama.com: Have a long-standing track record in the affiliate space Free trial: Yes, you get some access (including their forum) Cost efficient: Fairly, $67 per month (+ $1,000+ in up sells) Clear What They Offer: Yes Who It’s For: Beginner to Intermediate Affiliate Marketers Everything You Need to Run Business: No, there will typically be lots of extra costs.
Quick Review: Affilorama, founded by Mark Ling and expert in the affiliate marketing space has been one of the few programs to survive since the 2000s. The reason is result of the long-standing focus on offering a good service and platform at a cost-efficient price. They are also one of the few education companies in the affiliate marketing space that offer a free trial, which I am absolutely an advocate of and respect.
Although the time investment and the commitment to being update has suffered a bit in recent years, the framework and principles taught within Affilorama are still consistent with the industry. Do know that there are additional costs outside of the initial $67 per month.
So as you can see, there are appropriate services available if you want to learn how to build an affiliate marketing business and truly one that will actually generate you revenue. There is a right way to build an affiliate business and a wrong way, most companies simply do not cut it (the 3 mentioned above do though).
Why Most People Fail Affiliate Marketing.
Before I leave you today, I want to share a few insights into why people fail, and what failure truly looks like within the affiliate marketing world.
There is one contributing factor that I see on a day in, day out basis as to why people don’t achieve success online. Patience.
There is a natural tendency to treat any business venture, and compare it to a job. Most people want instant results, because well, you earn an hourly wage with a job and it should work the same way in your affiliate business right? Actually, no. It is quite the opposite.
Before you establish a business and can actually even promote affiliate programs, you typically are required to have a presence (website) and a foundation built. That is exactly what is taught within Wealthy Affiliate, but most newcomers to the affiliate marketing space never get to that point because they are not equipped with the proper tools and training to get them there.
Once you have your foundation of your business set out, at that point you can start generating success and building a business online. This success will snowball and before long, you will see your traffic and revenue grow. For me, that started around the 3-month mark in the affiliate marketing world and here I am 16 years later (being full time online and very successful as an affiliate).
So please, promise me that you are not going to treat this like a job. It isn’t, affiliate marketing is a business and the time and energy you put into your respective business today, typically takes 3-4 months to really start to materialize and show you the fruits of your labor.
I personally have a vested interest in not seeing you fail. My mission for the last 12 years through WealthyAffiliate.com has been to harbor and create very successful affiliate marketers. That is what I have been able to do, and that is what I plan on doing moving forward.
If you want my personal help and coaching (and to get rolling for no charge), simply roll on over to Wealthy Affiliate and set-up your account. Upon doing so, you will have direct access to not only the most comprehensive and elite platform for affiliate marketers in the world, you will have access to ME. 🙂
This is going to be the quickest affiliate marketing walk through you ever have had. The problem with the affiliate marketing world is part in parcel the result of so much misinformation about the industry being out there, companies pretending they are affiliate marketing (when they actually are not), and the fact that many companies try to over-complicate things in order to sell you their over complicated affiliate marketing product or service.
I am going to set the record straight and truly simplify things for you and help you comprehend the affiliate marketing space in the most concise way possible. In fact, if you bear with me for the next 5 minutes, you are not only going to understand affiliate marketing, you are going to be well versed and ready to use my article as a “spring board” to your affiliate marketing career.
Ready? Cool, let’s go!
The Affiliate Marketing Process, in a Nutshell
Affiliate marketing has three entities. You have an affiliate (you), you have an affiliate program (the company/product owner) and you have a customer (the person buying).
As an affiliate, you can join an affiliate program and this will give you the ability to promote a product/service or a subset of products and services. An affiliate program will give you a special and unique “affiliate link” when you join their program, which will give you the ability to promote their services, and for it to be tracked.
If, as an affiliate, you send someone to the product website and they make a purchase, you earn flat rate sale or percentage commission. These typically range from 1% – 75%, depending on the company or product/service.
Let’s look at a little chart breaking down the process.
As an example, let’s say I join to become an affiliate for Amazon (known as Amazon Associates). As an affiliate I can promote over 500 MILLION (yes, million) products as an affiliate. It is actually quite amazing when you consider the sheer size of the opportunity.
If I drive somebody from my website, my social media account, or from an email I send out to Amazon through my affiliate link and they purchase something, say as an example, a toaster, I earn 6% commission for that. If the toaster is $100, I get paid $6.
Although that may not sound like a lot, people are buying 100,000’s of toaster every day, and people are buying 100’s of millions of products from Amazon every month. What if you sold 30 toasters per day? You would be earning $180/day.
What if you were selling a more expensive item on Amazon that cost $1,000 and paid $60 in commissions with every sale? If you sold 30 of those, you would be earning $1,800 in commissions every day. That is the reality of affiliate marketing and this is just one very tiny example.
So now that you know how the affiliate marketing process work, let’s talk a bit more about YOU, the affiliate.
Who Can Become an Affiliate. At What Cost.
Generally speaking, affiliate programs are completely free to join. In some very rare cases, an affiliate program will charge a small, nominal fee to attempt to prevent fraudulent affiliates (and verify you are real), but that is quite unusual.
Affiliate programs should be free, they shouldn’t charge, and if one is charging you to be able to promote their products/services, chances are they are not an affiliate program (they are likely a scam, or something completely different).
So the awesome part about affiliate programs is that they are completely free to join and as an affiliate, you can promote pretty much every brand/product/service you can imagine and earn a commission for doing so. There are over 550 MILLION products and services that you can promote as an affiliate.
How Affiliate Programs Work
An affiliate program is in essence a piece of tracking software that allows affiliates (you) to promote merchants (the company) and earn a commission. The affiliate program will typically track all clicks, all sales transactions, and calculate all commissions. They also allow you to manage your payment details and personal details.
Here is an example of what an affiliate program stats look like, these are the stats from WealthyAffiliate.com’s affiliate program.
Affiliate program stats are automated and accurate. As affiliate tracking technology has advanced, so has the ability to get more sophisticated and granular with your affiliate tracking campaigns. Affiliates now have a great deal of control and can track conversions and the source of conversions quite easily.
Affiliate programs typically offer promotional materials such as banners, widgets, or even plugins that you can leverage on your website or social platforms. The more comprehensive the affiliate program is, the better equipped affiliates are to promote that given product/service, so it is advantageous for a company to offer a high quality experience for their affiliates.
What is an Affiliate Network?
An affiliate network is a grouping of affiliate programs under one company. For example, an affiliate network like Awin.com (the largest in the world), you can promote 6,000 different companies and their respective products from under one roof.
There are 100’s of affiliate networks out there, with 100,000’s of companies and brands within their networks. Joining an affiliate network can save you a lot of time and is a lot less management as an affiliate (to manage all of your passwords, links, payments, etc).
Instead of having to join 1,000’s of programs independently, you can join one affiliate network like Awin or Cj.com and promote 1,000’s of products under one management area and get paid through a single payment for all of them.
Some of the most popular affiliate networks in the world are:
CJ by Conversant
The Affiliate Opportunity & How to Get Paid.
All affiliate programs/networks pay different. They all have different pay schedules. Typically an affiliate company will offer multiple forms of payment.
It is also very typical for your payment to be centralized in US Dollars. It is becoming a standard within the online world to pay affiliates in US dollars, but some companies certainly will pay you in your own currency and many payment gateways will do the conversion for you from USD to your country currency (like PayPal)
These may include:
As an example, the Wealthy Affiliate affiliate program (which I manage) pays primarily through PayPal, but we also offer cheque payment in addition to those and if someone meets a certain payment threshold we can offer bank wire payments.
Affiliate programs don’t make it difficult to get paid, if they did, no affiliate in the right mind would promote the given program.
Where Do You Go to Run an Affiliate Business?
So you want to get started within the affiliate marketing world, but you are not sure where to go. It is tough these days with the influx of programs and education that are claiming to be best. The problem with many of the services out there is the fact that they are not actually even “affiliate marketing”.
Where do you start your research?
Well I am going to speed up your research drastically. There is an elite platform in the affiliate marketing space, which I happen to be very much involved with (and that I can coach you within) called Wealthy Affiliate. It is where the “who’s who” of the affiliate space not only hang out, but where they managed their respective businesses.
This is the one platform that you must have if you plan on learning affiliate marketing, but also if you want environment where you can get all the tools, websites, hosting, training, coaching and interact support to create and grow a business within the affiliate marketing world.
There are two membership options, a completely free Starter membership (free to try) and a cost-efficient, more advanced Premium option (as low as $29 per month). I recommend that you get rolling on the Starter membership, as I recommend that you always “try” a service before you consider every purchasing anything.
Within the first few lessons you are going to have your own affiliate coach, chosen a direction for your business, your own affiliate website (with hosting), and access to training that will truly take you from a beginner to an affiliate marketing expert.
I have also created a video on the process of affiliate marketing and how it REALLY works. I would recommend you check this out if you get the opportunity.
If you have any questions about ANY aspect affiliate marketing, I am more than happy to share my knowledge and help with you. Feel free to leave any questions below and I will be sure to get back to you right away.
Being an affiliate is something that is near and dear to my heart. My name is Kyle and I supposed you could call me a seasoned affiliate marketer. I love everything about the affiliate world (well, almost) and I have been ingrained in the affiliate marketing industry since 2002 when I got my start online.
I am not your typical rags-to-riches story, those are just annoying and you can head to any “make money fast” site online if you want to read that. Instead, I am going to explain exactly how I got acquainted with the affiliate world and what my path to success looked like online.
A Little Back Story
Growing up I was always a big dreamer… I knew I wanted to be great at something, I just wasn’t sure what. My first goal was to be a baseball player, my hero was Rickey Henderson of the Oakland Athletics. He was fast, he as a great player, and to this day he holds the stolen base record. My problem, I wasn’t fast, and I wasn’t tall enough. Game plan destroyed.
Move forward 12 years later, when I was in school for computer science. I wasn’t all that interested in becoming a coder for the rest of my life, but I was very much interested in the business application of computers which was why I went to college for Computer Science.
It was while I was in school during a lab that I discovered affiliate marketing from a fellow student. He was making decent money with it already and was very cryptic about how it worked, but they showed me their revenue stats and I was blown away that they were actually making money on the internet.
I Saw Others Succeeding, I Got to Work
I saw the light, so to speak. I knew very well that if others could make money online, I could absolutely make money online as well. I just had to get a grasp of the concept of affiliate marketing and how it worked. I also needed to figure out how to get traffic.
My First 30 Days Online
My first 30 days online were a real eye-opener. Back in 2002 when I started out, I surely didn’t have access to advanced website platforms like SiteRubix @ Wealthy Affiliate, where you can create beautiful looking websites in a few clicks.
It took me over a month to fumble through building my website from code, literally. It ended up looking like a dog’s breakfast as well, something that I was proud of at the time, but looking back my first work was horrendously ugly.
So my first month online, I built a website…something that you will be able to do in minutes today.
The 3 Month Mark
The 3-month mark, I made my first sale online. I was very careful when getting rolling, the reason being is that I didn’t understand things like search engine optimization, I started within the PPC world with a budget of less than $5 per day.
Before I started my campaigns though, I needed to do market research, find affiliate programs, and learn how to properly construct ad groups. To show my old age (currently 35), when I started Yahoo was the most popular pay per click (PPC) network and I slowly learned the PPC game.
I made a few more sales in my 3rd month.
The 6 Month Mark
This is when things really started to get interested. I learned that once you have a “formula for success down” to increase your level of success it is just a matter of doing more of the same thing. In other words, SCALING your business.
By month 6 I was making consistent sales daily, my ad budget continued to climb as I continue to reinvest my money into my business which allowed it to scale. I was starting to near the $10,000 per month mark around month 6, with a great deal of these costs going towards advertising.
The One-Year Mark
I graduated from school, I got a job. That is what “œconventional wisdom” said was the proper way to go about your life. So that is exactly what I did, I followed convention and I got a job that I didn’t love working as a webmaster/designer for a telecommunications’ company.
I actually didn’t mind the work, but I didn’t love the environment. If you work in a normal job, you can probably appreciate that most people don’t want to be there and it can really drag you down.
Things were going really well on the affiliate marketing business front though, to the point where I was able to quit my job a few months later and become a full time affiliate marketer. It felt incredible, it felt a bit risky, but I was at the point where I was earning much more within the affiliate marketing space than I was within my $57,000 per year job.
I can tell you though, that underlying risk and pressure when you take a chance can actually serve your business well. It can be a true motivator and I know firsthand that this has contributed to a great deal of my personal growth (and business growth) over the years.
Then in 2005, Something Happened.
2005. The inception of WealthyAffiliate.com took place.
This was a pet project and something that I wanted to do for a long time, I knew firsthand that I could teach others how to build a successful business online, just as I had. I joined forces with Carson, whom was also a successful affiliate marketer and I went to school with to create something that was truly unique at a time, a platform for affiliate marketers to learn the PROPER way.
It all started with one member. It was initially more of a “keyword list” website where we offered people a place in which they could list of high quality PPC keywords, along with potential ad groups. It was a huge success, people loved the service and we charged folks $359.88 per year and people absolutely loved the Wealthy Affiliate service.
12 years later, Wealthy Affiliate has evolved into the ONLY place internet entrepreneurs and affiliate marketers will ever need to go if they are looking create, grow or manage their businesses online. But it has been a lot of work.
The 15 Year Mark
Here I stand, 15 later being full time online. Most businesses don’t make it past 1 years, many more don’t make it past 5, and a very tiny percentage are thriving past 10. Why me?
I think my biggest quality and it is one that you should instill in yourself if you are struggling to achieve success online is to PUSH through the struggle. Keep at it.
A very small percentage of people out there are willing to push forward and push harder when times are tough. Why? Because QUITTING is the absolute easiest and most efficient thing you can do to remove yourself from any struggle. Don’t quit, don’t give up, and you will be WAY further ahead of 80% of people out there and also well on your way to creating a very successful affiliate marketing business online.
Trust me. I am not smarter than you, I just believe I work harder when it becomes hard to work!
My Mission With RealDealAffiliate.com
Like the name, I want to bring a whole lot of reality to the affiliate marketing world. There is a lot of outdated and false information out there and there are a lot of “expectations” that people have without truly understand what is involved in affiliate marketing.
I am going to shine the light on the affiliate world and provide you with a full spectrum of current, insightful and sometimes opinionated content that is based on my over 15 years experience within this space.
This includes everything from traffic generation methods, website development and design, affiliate marketing related product and service reviews, as well as straight up opinions that I feel need to get heard.
I am speaking on behalf of an industry and a base of affiliates that often times doesnt have a voice, but also speaking on behalf of merchants and affiliate programs that truly need that extra push to extend their reach within this incredible world we have come to know as affiliate marketing.
Join the journey with me. Follow me. Ask me for help. Offer your own opinions. Thanks for stopping by Affiliate Reality and listening to my story. Your story can be just as incredible and exciting with a little hard work and dedication.