If you have been doing online business for some time you might hear people telling you that blogging is dead, let me tell you that it is not true, they are just trying to sell you something.
In this post, I am going to highlight the importance of blogging for affiliate marketers and how to start an affiliate marketing blog.
Importance of blogging for affiliate marketers
Blogs are an essential part of your affiliate strategy. You can use them to promote your own products or to promote other people’s products i.e. affiliate marketing.
If you post quality content on your blog, search engines, such as Google and Bing, will reward your blog with some of the highest quality prospects for free.
When people start reading and sharing your content, your blog authority will increase with time.
That means when you put content on a blog it shows up quickly in search engines and people will find your blog posts and you’ll start to build up a relationship with prospects.
Each post on your blog is actually a separate webpage – so you can create huge content and a keyword-rich “website” by blogging frequency.
How To Start An Affiliate Marketing Blog
I use WordPress for all my blogs and if you’re just starting out I will recommend that you do the same as it is very easy to start a WordPress blog.
Here is one of my blog traffic after three months of posting one or two articles per week and then posting it on Facebook
Not bad for blogging two times per week and an investment of a few dollars for domain name and hosting.
Blogs are not an expensive investment and can help bring you an online second paycheck very quickly. Here are the steps to get it set up.
Step #1 – Pick a niche
A niche is a market you want to get into, and your blog should target a specific group of people, for example, if weight loss is a niche but weight loss for women is more specific, you can start a blog about weight loss for women and post tips and recommendations about this topic to your audience.
Also, you can target a certain hobby, for example, you can start a blog about football (soccer) or you can go a little bit deep and start a blog about Arsenal football club and target their fan base as your prospect.
When it comes to choosing a niche you should make sure that you have an interest in it, this is very important because it is not fun to write about something you don’t like or enjoy and people can actually spend money on it (this is how you will make sales).
You can learn more about how to find your affiliate marketing niche here.
Step #2 – Buy a domain name
You must have your own domain name if you want to promote affiliate products using a WordPress blog.
However, if you don’t have money to spend, you can buy a domain name for just $1 at GoDaddy, just google ‘GoDaddy one dollar domains’, but if you have $10 I will recommend buying your domains at namecheap.com
NOTE: You want to pick a title that has some type of related keyword in the title. If possible go for a .com.
Unfortunately, a lot of the best domain names are gone, so you’ll need to be creative. Keep it short and snappy if possible.
You can learn how to find and register a domain name here.
Step #3 – Host Your Blog
Pick a good company to host your WordPress blog. Blogs hosted for free on the WordPress.com servers are not allowed to have any type of advertising (including affiliate links) so that’s why you need to buy your own domain name and find a hosting provider to put your blog on.
If you are new and this is your first blog, I will recommend that you host your blog at Cloudways. This is because there are cheap and they can handle a low-traffic site.
But when you start having some traffic to your blog and making some money (for me I will say if you get more than 1000 page views per day) you will need to get more reliable web hosting, my highest recommendation when it comes to web hosting is WpxHosting.
If you have some extra cash, you can skip Hostgator and start with WpxHosting from day one.
You can read here on how to get hosting and set up your blog.
Step #4 – Install your blog
Installing a WordPress blog is very easy, you can just go to your hosting dashboard and find a WordPress icon, click it follow the instructions and in 1 minute you will have WordPress installed on your servers.
But I know this is not easy for everyone so my recommendation to you is to go to fiverr.com and for $5 you can get someone to install and configure your blogger.
If you want a really nice design and premium themes there are a lot of guys that can do that for you on fiverr.com for less than $100.
Step #5 – Add WordPress Plug-Ins to Your Blog
WordPress plug-ins enhance the effectiveness of your blog. Some plug-ins help with SEO, others help arrange comments, and others help you track stats with Google Analytics. Even without any plug-ins, WordPress is great, but adding a bunch of these free plug-ins will “soup up” your blog and make it work even better.
You can find the plugins at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/. Some of the plugins that I use on this blog are:
Akismet – A comment spam manager that is part of the base WordPress install. You really need to enable this plugin otherwise you’ll get all types of spam on your blog.
Yoast Seo – This plugin really helps improve your Google ranking. The higher your rankings, the more traffic you get. The more traffic you get, the more opportunities to make some money and gain some readers.
WP-Super-Cache – This dramatically decreases the load on the hosting provider’s server so everyone stays happy in case you get a lot of traffic. If you don’t have this and you get a lot of traffic to your blog, your hosting company could shut down your site.
Most Popular Posts – This plug-in allows you to list the most popular posts according to the number of views or comments.
Pretty Links – There is a free version of this plugin, which allows you to mask and shorten affiliate links you might be promoting on your website.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP)- Displays Google Analytics Reports and Real-Time Statistics in your Dashboard. Automatically inserts the tracking code on every page of your website.
Jetpack by WordPress.com-Bring the power of the WordPress.com cloud to your self-hosted WordPress. Jetpack enables you to connect your blog to a WordPress.com account to use the powerful features normally only available to WordPress.com users.
Smush-Reduce image file sizes, improve performance, and boost your SEO.
Wordfence Security – Anti-virus, Firewall, and Malware Scan
Step #6– Get a Google Account & Use Analytics to Track Your Blog Stats
I really recommend getting a Google Account – https://www.google.com/accounts/. Use Google Analytics to provide statistics on your blog traffic (use Google Analytics Dashboard for WP for WordPress if you use this service).
Step #7 –Get an Autoresponder
You need to build your email list if you want long-term success with your affiliate marketing career.
In simple words list building is the process of collecting email addresses from your prospects, you give them something valuable to them, and they give you their email address in exchange., then you send them emails with tips and recommendations, and you may include your affiliate links in those if they buy you make money.
To get started you need to create an account with aweber.com and then create a form that will integrate with your blog, there is a plugin for that and again if you don’t know how to do this you can get someone to do it for you for just $5 in fiverr.com
To get the sign-up form on your blog, you’ll simply need to get the HTML code for the sign-up box to your blog/website developer and they’ll know what to do next.
You can read here how to turn your blog into a list-building machine
Step #8 – Start writing/posting to your blog
As soon as you’ve set up your blog, write an introductory post welcoming your readers, introducing yourself, and describing the purpose of your blog. After that, be sure to post consistently. At the very least, you should post twice per week.
How to Create a Word Press Blog Post
After you log in to your WordPress blog, click on posts then click on add new.
1 – This is the screen you’ll see to start.
2 – Add the content in the main box.
You need to add the title of your blog post and the content.
3: Add categories
You also need to choose 1 category related to the content. Again, when you start your blog, you won’t have any categories, but you can just click the “Add New Category” link. This will allow you to organize your blog posts with related content.
4: Optimize your content for search engines
If you use the Yoast SEO plug-in, you can also enter additional keywords and a title tag for the blog post. Scroll to the bottom of the post and enter the “title”, “description”, and “keywords” related to your content.
5: Add images to your post
I recommend adding 3 to 4 images in your blog post, this will make your content attractive and easy to read, here is how you do it.
To add images within a post, look for the image icon in the top left of the screen you’ll see these icons. Click the square icon beside the word “insert”.
Once you click on the images icon, you’ll see this screen. Click “Select files” to choose your image and choose an alignment.
You can also add a caption (this will be keywords) and a link URL (if someone clicks the image it will take the visitor to that link). This example below requires the SEO Friendly Images plug-in.
6: Add links to your blog posts
Links are an absolute must in each post, these can be links to the sources of your information, important pages on your blog, or just affiliate links. Here is how you do it.
To create a link within your blog post, highlight the text you want to use as the link text with your mouse and then click the little “chain link” icon (it will only be available if you’ve highlighted text in the post). Then type in your link URL and Insert it.
7: How to add youtube videos to your post
Adding videos can make your posts more interesting, these can be your own videos or someone else videos, here is how you do it.
And if you want to insert a Youtube video into your blog post, you must first go to YouTube and copy the URL from youtube.
Then go back to your post and click add media, then insert from URL ( you will insert your youtube URL ) then click insert into post, your youtube video should be integrated into your post.
Click the Preview tab to make sure your blog looks the way you want it to, and then go back and hit publish to make it live on your site.
Step #9 Get traffic to your blog
This might sound cliché, but do you remember I said that we use a blog to drive traffic to our affiliate offer? That is true but when you have a new blog no one knows about it, it will take you forever to get traffic to it, you need to drive some traffic to it.
There are many ways to drive traffic to your blog but I think Pinterest is the best place to start, it works in almost any niche but works better with niches that are related to women, but again women are involved in each and every facet of our life.
I just added this method to my traffic arsenal, if you do this in the right way you will get an unlimited amount of traffic to your blog.
This is how you get traffic from pinterest.com
Create a business profile, this is simple just go to Pinterest and create a business profile if by accident you created a personal profile you can change it to business and follow the instructions.
Verify your blog
In order to get access to Pinterest analytics, you will need to verify that you own a blog, there is a plugin that can help you to verify your blog on Pinterest, you can use that.
Create 5 to 10 boards and add some pins on them.
You need to create 5 to 10 boards in your Pinterest profile, I will recommend using categories on your blog as board names and in each board add some related pins, you need to do this so that if someone visits your profile can see that it is an active profile and has some content in it.
Find the influencers in your niche and follow their followers
This is the crucial point, you need to find some influencers in your niche, (for me anyone with more than 10k followers is an influencer) and follow their followers.
This is important, if these people are following someone who has content similar to yours there is a good possibility that they will like your content.
20 to 40 percent of these people you follow they will follow you back, I will recommend following at least 100 people per day and if you do this daily in a month you will have more than 500 followers, those are people who have shown interest in a content like yours and if you write good content for sure they will visit your blog.
Join group boards
This is when things get serious when you get more than 100 followers you can start asking to join group boards.
This is how it works:
There are some large boards on Pinterest that has many contributors and many followers, all you need to do is to ask the moderator for that board to let you in as a contributor, and once you’re in you can start posting your content in those board and get an insane amount of free traffic.
How to identify a group board
The trick I use is to go to the profiles in my niche with a lot of followers and I start to examine their boards, if you see a board with more than one image on it (like in the red circle in the image above), it is a group board, most of the time if you click to that board you will find instructions on how to join it, just follow the instructions and they will let you in.
This is how you can drive an insane amount of traffic from Pinterest.
This is how you start an affiliate blog and drive traffic to it, I know it sounds like a lot of work and to be honest with you it is (and it is a good thing because most people won’t do it and this reduces the competition).
Thank you for reading, if you like the content I produce feel free to share it and also to subscribe to my email list below so that I can send you an email each time I publish a new post, thank you.