February 27, 2017

How to Start Affiliate Marketing 2

Welcome back: You will already have a an idea of the landscape if you have read How to Start Affiliate Marketing 1. Today we will look at next steps: the all-important HOW and WHAT angles.



One of the first things to consider is how you will promote and sell products online.

Put yourself in the position of the buyer for a minute. Let’s say you are going to buy a personal computer, and you have done the research, talked to friends and family, sought advice from work colleagues and made your judgments between Windows and Mac, desktop and laptop, size of hard drive, etc.

You know what you want. Your next decision will likely be about where to buy the computer.

You will consider the prices offered by sales outlets and you might investigate the lowest on offer. But will you automatically buy on price alone? What about guarantees, bonus offers, after sales service? And how reputable are the various dealers? Will they be around to help you if there is an issue?


Most buyers will pay a little more if they feel comfortable with the store/person who is selling the product.

You are more much likely to walk into an Apple store and spend $2000 on a new super MacBook than you are to buy from someone selling the same model ​from the back of a van for $1500.

That’s because you trust the seller.

Now, as a would-be seller yourself, you will want to be seen by potential buyers as someone with both integrity and authority.

As an affiliate marketer, your store will not be a shopfront or a giant emporium where customers can stroll in and view your wares. No, your store will be virtual, in the form of a website. And it is through your website that you will build your reputation as someone reliable and knowledgeable.

(You can discover more about building a website here​, but before even doing that, let’s take a look at the “what” angle.)


Even before making your choices about the right website builders and hosts for you, you should decide what it is you are going to promote on your website.

JC Penney or Walmart sell a massive range of products. On the other end of the scale, there are specialist stores: McDonalds and their competitors have a limited menu based around burgers and other quick to cook foods. Other specialist stores sell even smaller ranges, some even have just one item in a variety of styles and colors.

As an affiliate marketer, you have the choice of hundreds of thousands of products to sell. However, the best advice is to find your niche. While you will never match the sales of some of the online giants, you can find a nice little corner of the market that will serve you well.


You might want to have a look at this advice from Kyle, the owner/founder of Wealthy Affiliate.

There’s a good possibility you have something in mind already. If not, write down a list of things that float your boat!

What are you passionate about?

Did you say hamsters?


You mean that subfamily of about 25 species, classified in six or seven genera, that are now popular as house pets, partly because they breed in captivity?

Good for you!



OK, so you feel strongly enough about hamsters to create a website and regularly post articles and news about those little critters. You will need to do exactly that to establish some authority in the subject. It will help that you already know so much about hamsters.

OK, fair enough. If you are committed to doing that, let’s move on.


The next question is whether you will be able to make money writing about hamsters. No matter how advanced you are in hamsterology, the chances of you selling any products through your Hamster Heaven website are minimal unless there are a lot of people out there who have a similar passion for the rodent and want to read your advice. (Getting them to find your website is a topic for another day!)


Of course, reading about hamsters on your site and buying a new hamster collar are two different things. Are there enough products out there for you to sell, products that people will buy? Do a basic search on products of which you are aware. Amazon is a good start, because if those products sell, they will stock them.

Still fixed on hamsters? You know there are millions of hamster owners and lovers out there who are falling over themselves to buy hamster stuff.  All good so far.


Now, given that, how is the competition? I don’t mean Amazon, but others out there who are writing regularly about hamsters?

How confident are you that you can play with the big boys who currently dominate the hamster market? Is there room for you? If you Google a few related sites, you will be able to develop a feel for how many sites there are and how well your intended niche is already covered by others.


You might find that hamster health and diets are well-covered in sites already but no-one is really covering hamster toys, which might be a market that is increasing exponentially. Perhaps that is your niche.

Then again, perhaps you have buried the hamster idea altogether. Go on to the next topic on your list. Ask yourself the same questions about passion, popularity and products, as well as examining the competition.

Here is some more sound advice about finding your niche.


This article is the second in a series How to Start Affiliate Marketing.   There are endless possibilities, but plenty of challenges too. If you are really keen to get your teeth into it, there is no better place to learn the ropes than Wealthy Affiliate. You can read more about that here. and you can join FREE to learn even more.

That’s our take. What do you think? Please leave your comments below.

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Steve - February 27, 2017 Reply

Sounds Good… So how do I start affiliate marketing?

    Mike - February 27, 2017 Reply

    Well, you could wait until I finish my series on getting started, or you could go to my Wealthy Affiliate review page and have a look at the many ways to begin. Good luck. I hope I haven’t offended you if you are a hamster lover.

Marcelo - February 28, 2017 Reply

Let’s build a hamster website! 🙂
I loved the way you explained this part of affiliate marketing with hamsters. Great idea!
I’m also waiting for the next article to understand a bit more about it. So far, I believe one of the most important things is commiting yourself with the website and write a lot of articles about the subject.

    Mike - March 1, 2017 Reply

    Hi Marcelo
    I believe that the passion for a topic is the key to success. You can have a popular subject, little competition and products available, but unless you do the hard work and write, write, write, it is tough to build any sort of authority, which is the thig you need if you are going to be successful. If you can dominate your niche, the money will be there. PS. I appreciate your offer to partner with me in building a website on hamsters, but I will have to postpone until at least I have learned more about the little guys and gals.

Nikos - February 28, 2017 Reply

Affiliate marketing is becoming more popular every year and people prefer to shop online. Like you said trust is essential and you have to build a relationship with your audience in order to make sales. Writing content that your readers will find helpful i think is a great to achieve that. I don’t know much about hamsters but you described the necessary steps to become an affiliate marketer accurately. I am looking forward for the next articles.

    Mike - March 1, 2017 Reply

    Thanks Nikos. I learned more about hamsters writing the post than I ever knew before. Still, I am no authority, and as you point out, it is necessary to establish a good relationship with readers if you want them as customers.

Jim - February 28, 2017 Reply

Actually, I like hamsters. Since, I have six kids the issue of bigger pets like dogs and cats was too much work. It’s always been hamsters and goldfish (and ant farms) for us. I haven’t considered this as a niche. Thanks for the idea. (I better hurry because others who read this might beat me to the punch).

    Mike - March 1, 2017 Reply

    Yes, Jim, I’ve opened the can of worms on Hamsters. I expect the number of sites devoted to the little furry things will grow exponentially in the weeks to come. So indeed, you should hurry.;)

Sigrit - March 1, 2017 Reply

Really nice post. You cut the finding a niche proccess to nice pieces and it made me think more about my own niche that I later found out to be overcrowded. Had I only read your post earlier.

    Mike - March 1, 2017 Reply

    Cheers Sigrit. My next post might well be more on “finding your niche”. It isn’t easy for some.

Graham - March 1, 2017 Reply

Hi Mike, I have been reading a lot about Affiliate Marketing recently and came across your posts. It really does sound like something I could get into. I must say awesome post, fun to read and really informative, you’ve helped me get a bit better understanding of what I need to do. I have bookmarked your site and look forward to part 3. thanks again

    Mike - March 1, 2017 Reply

    Thanks Graham
    There’s much to be done to build a solid base. I have never found an industry where there are so many distractions, so it’s best to follow a map. Wealthy Affiliate has provided that for me. Worth a look if you decide to jump in. Check out my Wealthy Affiliate page for more details.

Josh - March 2, 2017 Reply

Wow! Who knew how easy it is to get started in affiliate marketing! I guess if you can make money off of hamsters online, then you can make money with any product. Looking forward to your future articles on how to actually make money with Affiliate Marketing!

    Mike - March 2, 2017 Reply

    It is easy to get started, Josh, but the beginning is where people make the mistakes that will cost them later. Start, but start well!

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