beginner online marketing

How to do affiliate marketing on a shoe string

Do you feel alienated by the requirements of internet marketing or affiliate marketing training. This is a quick overview of the things that you need to know if you are to have a shot at affiliate marketing. You have to go in depth on each for you understand the mechanics and details of how it is done. Use this as your checklist.

Whatever training you undertake, it is not a one to one recipe for success. It teaches you the concepts and principles, you have to figure out how to apply  it to your niche and your customers accordingly. Context and perspective is key to your success within your specific area of application.

Define the purpose of your business

Ever since the beginning of time, people have always been faced with challenges they needed to overcome in order to survive. This led to others coming up with ways to solve those problems in order for other to have convenience. For example, people needed water which they could get from rain or from a stream. However, when one lived nowhere near a water source, someone decided to dig a well to provide the water. Then make a device to draw water from the well when the level became too deep. Another designed a gourd or bucket to draw the water with. All this was solving problems to increase utility or convenience. That is solving people’s problems to address their needs. This is what business is all about. Solving your customers problems.

The importance of setting goals for a beginner

So in the internet marketing space what kind of problems need solving. People go to the internet to look for things. Google solved that problem by creating a search engine. They were not the first, but they perfected it and continue to enhance it. It then resolves a key issue for millions of users. Google is like the highway. You are there to provide the service at the end of the highway, or the petrol stop along the journey for those who want to fill up their vehicles with fuel. Your product that you are selling. It may be electronic gadgets or informational service like reference books for architecture or a how to guide on entrepreneurship. You could also write reviews of other people’s products. It may be the movies that you have seen and you give an opinion and a rating, or a comparison between phones or tablets features which help others to decide which one to go for without having bought the gadget first.

People buy from people they trust, so your job is to build that trust.

So whatever you are selling, define the purpose for it clearly. You then need to provide as much useful information as is useful to the target audience, it may be in the form of specifications, pictures with details, a written summary or detailed description of the product, the pros and cons of each e.t.c. Avoid writing things that are fluffy and meaningless. Do your research and base your articles and blogs on facts and statistics that are verifiable and reliable. There are tools for this purpose like keyword research tools that can assist you on this journey.

What is your niche?

You niche is that specific area of the market where you want to concentrate your efforts on. Make sure your research shows that there is a demand and an end customer who is will to engage with your content and products and eventually be willing to spend money to get the value that you are offering. Once again, you need to identify that there is a need that needs to addressed, a problem that needs solving and a customer that is willing to pay for that solution. Otherwise you will remain a hobby that is just passing time away. You also need to understand the popularity of your service or product, the existence of sources of information. One way to make this easy for yourself to find something that you are passionate about. This way you will not get easily bored by the content or research as your passion will help you stay motivated to research and innovate within your niche. Be open minded and engage with your audiences and others in that same niche to expand the horizon of your sources for credible information.

How to find a niche for a beginner

Where would you put up your business?

On the internet, your business place is in the form of a website that you will build in order to host your content and be the front shop for your customers. There are many tools available on the internet now for people to build websites. I have done a review of some of them in the link below. You can basically have a website up and running quickly these days. This gives you time to concentrate on the actual specifics of your business or niche.

How to build a website in 4 easy steps

Review of Wix Free Website Offering

One of the key activities you need to do is to choose your business address. In online business you the address of your website is the domain name. Care and considered thought needs to be given to this task because this address constitutes a good foundation or anchor for your branding. A domain name that capture the essence and character of your product is more desirable. This is because in addition to people searching for features or names of your products, the domain name can gain you a lot of mileage if there is a one to one or close relationship between the product and the domain name. For example a domain like portrays the key business value the company offers. It is your pal that enables you to do payments. A domain like which offers cheap domain names says it all in the domain name. If you offer piano lessons and you get a domain like you will have great search mileage when people are searching for a place to learn how to play a piano.

It is not always possible to acquire the domain name that you prefer because someone or many people have beaten you to it and have already taken the one best name and all its alternatives. You will have to be creative around the synonyms, product features or even some out of the box radical names that you can come up with. With affiliate marketing business many people are now basing their names on their names which become the brand names. You can also use descriptive names which are aligned to the keywords you choose. There are article on choosing keywords that work for your review.

How do you create great content?

Content is king and relevance is the key that Google. If there is one thing you need to focus on in your online business is content. Content determines the value of your offering. It determines the depth and the breath of your offering, how much you know about the product and about the customer. And it has to be tailored and arranged in such a way that I makes effective sense to your target audience otherwise it is pointless.

So the challenge for you as a beginner is how to get great content when you are new to the niche. You could learn from the experts in the industry. However you should refrain from copying content as Google will figure it out and will penalize you for it. There are some unavoidable things when things are similar. For example a cellphone or a drone has the same main components which are standard. Their description may also be fairly standard. However, who you will learn with practice is how to put the same things more creatively. Create more imagery around them, craft stories, or stories from your clients about the parts. Use analogies. For example, I have always been fascinated by the dragon fly and drones remind me of them. So I tend to use that comparison on my drone posts, or use bird imagery to describe their flight. Even though I got some content from other experts I put my own flavor and my own wording in the description. Where necessary I acknowledge the site that I got the information from. That way I refrain from infringing on copyright laws as I declare the source of the information.

That brings me to images. There are many sources of free images, one of them is your phone or personal camera. If you can take relevant pictures nicely you could use them. You could also get them from free image sites like or stock photography sites where you may have pay a modest price for them. There are also site and services like where you can create your own images from combinations of images and layouts. This will help with creating relevant captive content.

You can also create videos with your content at is becoming a very popular content delivery mechanism.

Where do my clients come from?

Your customers are the people that are scouring the internet looking for solutions. Therefore your google ranking is going to be your signpost for showing people where to go. This requires you to build content that is relevant enough to be ranked higher than the competition.

What is search engine ranking?

You therefore need to research your keywords very carefully and utilize them to create great content.

How to do keyword research for a beginner?

Once you have built content you need to start doing additional marketing efforts in the various spaces that people hang around and interact. It is the time to engage with social media. Posting in Facebook group, and tagging your keywords on twitter can help you increase connectivity with target audience as well as increase the value of your offering. Linking back from these social media spaces including posts on Instagram etc will help you get a following of relevant potential customers who you can direct to your web offering

Social Media for online marketing

Facebook Basics for beginners

How to use twitter for social media marketing

How do you make it all pay off

The end goal for us all is to start getting paid for what we do at the end of the day. One sure way of making money is becoming the middle man between the customers with a need and supplier with some reliable and well known products. That is what we call affiliate marketing. You promote the products and get a commission for the sales you make. Depending on the product and profit margin, commissions range from tiny to substantial.

Once you get the first client it is generally relatively easier to get two, then three then many multiples of same. If you work on your ranking the more people who find your offering in their searches on google, the more potential clients you will be able to capture.

With time you can also start creating your own products to offer clients. You could start off by offering them for free. As long as they are adding value you can easily then create other products that you can change a fee for.  Once people know that you offer value they will be willing to part with their money in return for your value.

You will also benefit from referrals if your products are that good.

I hope that this gives you a good run through the whole business model. Please do leave a comment or suggestion below on what needs to be fixed or what needs answering.





  1. Great breakdown. I love how easy a business is to start nowadays. I love how you start about setting up a goal for beginners. I have hesitated to setup a goal myself because then I would be afraid to not meet those goals. I like this thorough review you have done.

    1. Thank you for the feedback Austin. Today we have all the information and resources to get started and the support to make it work. One needs to be focused and diligent in the doing in order to be successful in the face of so much competition.

      I understand your hesitation concerning setting a goal as I have experienced it many times. I used to keep my expectations low enough to avoid disappointment. But after a while I looked back and saw my peers way ahead of me and reviewed my position. I noticed that the biggest difference between us was that they had ambitious goals. We all had the same or similar resources and opportunities. I recently decided to start stretching myself, set ambitious goals, take failure in my stride and move on. What I discovered is that even with some failures, I achieved more than I would have if I had aimed low. 

      A high school roommate used to say, try aiming for what you want, if it doesn’t work out so what, change your approach or try another thing.

      All the best.

  2. Your post ” How to do affiliate marketing on a shoestring” was very informative. I normally don’t read posts that are that long but it had some great information so I kept reading.

    I really believe that you are passionate about what you do and believe that you are knowledgeable in your niche.

    Your site is very easy to navigate and find what your looking for.

    Thank you
    Krystye Kearney

    1. Thank you Krystye for braving the length of the article. I am glad that you found it useful. Indeed I am passionate about it as I see the potential and rewards it can bring to those who are willing to pursue the craft. 

      I will always strive to keep it simple as I find that making things easier helps others to focus on the key value adding pieces of their work and reap fair rewards for their efforts. 

      I really appreciate your feedback.

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