How To Start With Affiliate Marketing For Free

When you are an “online entrepreneur greenhorn” in the very early stages of your journey of building your first online business, it is very likely that you aren’t able to or just not willing to make initial investments into software products, services and education to support your business efforts. Not to speak of recurring investments. At least not yet!

I’ve been there, I know what it feels like.

And here’s the good news: There are ways to getting started in the world of “making money online” and setting yourself up for success COMPLETELY FOR FREE! The business model that I would like to suggest to you and that allows you to get rolling for free is called affiliate marketing. And in this article, I want to outline step by step what it takes to build your first blog and how to start with affiliate marketing FOR FREE.

What Is Affiliate Marketing? And How Does It Work?

Affiliate marketing, simply put, is the business of helping other people solving their problems by creating relevant content and recommending products and services to them that will help them solve what they are struggling with. Most people in today’s world are searching for solutions online using search engines like Google, Bing or Duckduckgo.

What you are trying to do as an affiliate marketer is writing relevant, interesting, and helpful content that attracts visitors to visit your blog. Once they are there, you can start building trust by providing helpful information to them. And ultimately, maybe, recommend them a product or service that will help them even further solving their problem and earn a commission in doing so.

That’s affiliate marketing in a nutshell, explained very briefly.

If you want to learn more about the very essence of affiliate marketing (the inner mechanics and the correct mindset, without any technical fluff and details) you may also want to read my article “How To Earn Money On Blogging: Exploring The Ingredients Of Affiliate Marketing” where I go a lot more into the details. We’ve just scratched the surface here…

Too Abstract?

That was more of a definition than something easily understandable or very actionable, right? Okay, let me give you a very specific example: I am an Affiliate Marketer. You are the person I am trying to help to solve his or her problem. Surprise!!! 🙂

Wealthy Affiliate Review - That's me
Hey there! We are Chris and Jana, your affiliate marketers for today. How may we serve you?

So, what is YOUR problem I want to help you solve?

Since you have found this website through a google (or bing) search, chances are that you have heard somewhere about affiliate marketing and would like to get started. But you don’t know what the fuzz it is all about and if it is the right fit for you. So you want to hit the ground running with as little financial commitment as possible.

Now, my job as an affiliate marketer is to give you the information you are looking for. That’s why I am sitting here at 6 o’clock in the morning, even before having my first coffee, with my wife and kids still sleeping in the next room, writing this article. And it’s fun! I do it because I really enjoy compiling my knowledge into articles. What drives me in the very first place is my excitement of helping others!

The Plan

However, excitement isn’t something I can pay my bills with, right? Full disclosure: Here is MY affiliate marketing plan for this article, plain and simple, laid out for you:

Start With Affiliate Marketing For Free - Roadmap

Step 1

Write a step-by-step guide that solves your problem, explaining to you how to start with affiliate marketing for free. My intention is to give you an actionable plan to success and that you know, once you’ve finished reading this blog post,
(a) what affiliate marketing is about,
(b) where to go to set up your first blog completely for free,
(c) what to write about in your first article, and finally
(d) how to find products and services to recommend to your readers (and how to do it).

Step 2

If I was doing a GOOD job when writing this article, then you will probably leave this blog knowing everything you wanted to know, starting your own blog, and live happily ever after. In that case: Great you made it here, thanks for stopping by and reading my content. Farewell, my friend, and all the best to you and your business efforts!

Step 3

But if I was doing a GREAT job when writing this article, you will know all the basics by the end of reading it, AND hopefully want to learn even more and dig even deeper… Maybe I was able to point out to you that it is absolutely possible to start for free and on your own, but that there is a much better option. One that is also FREE to start with, but offers a premium model as well that will get you in touch with an amazing community and incredible, actionable training that a single blog post like the one you are reading right now simply cannot offer (because then it would be a series of ebooks rather than a single blog post 🙂 ).

Step 4

With steps (1), (2), and (3) I as the affiliate marketer, went out of my way to provide you with a lot of free information. Maybe I earned your trust by being upfront, helpful, and supportive. Maybe, somewhere down the line, you decide to follow my recommendation… If you decide to do so, this will help me putting food on the table and paying my bills. Maybe 1% of the people reading this article will do so. 99% won’t! Yet, I have helped 100% of the people who came here looking for answers. And that’s a pretty good feeling, too!

That is my plan for today, and you can learn to do the same in ANY NICHE and on ANY TOPIC that YOU ARE EXCITED ABOUT!!! Isn’t that good news? Sounds great, right? Let’s get cracking!

How To Start With Affiliate Marketing FOR FREE?

Great, now that we’ve got the basics out of the way and know-how earning money with affiliate marketing actually works, let’s take a look at places where you can actually start building a blog of your own. Your very first website and own piece of internet property! It may sound like rocket science, but in fact, it is something that literally ANYONE with access to a computer can do.

It’s easy, it’s really exciting, and a moment you will always remember for years to come!!! We’re going to lay the foundation for your online business right now. Ready?

Content Management Systems: How Modern Websites Are Built

There are quite a few platforms that allow you to build your own website with a drag-and-drop interface and without any in-depth technical knowledge on your side.

In contrast to “the old days” when I tried building my very first business, affiliate marketers don’t have to be coders or tech-savvy nerds anymore. You don’t need to be a computer scientist and build your website by writing HTML and CSS yourself. You don’t even have to know what these two things are. In today’s online business world, most bloggers use so-called “Content Management Systems” (CMS), that allow them to focus on their core business: Content creation!

Start With Affiliate Marketing For Free - WordPress Is My CMS Of Choice
Thanks to Content Management Systems (CMS) and Hosting Services, modern websites can be created by virtually anyone!

There are also other CMS systems like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla, or even very specialized solutions like Shopify for people who want to set up storefronts on the internet.

However, in this guide, we will focus on WordPress. Over the years, WordPress has established itself as the de-facto industry standard, and it is the CMS that I personally use and that I feel comfortable with.

FREE Hoster Options: Your Blog’s New Home

Every website on the internet needs a place where it “lives”, a so-called server. Hosters are the companies that, well, “host” that server, i.e. they are the ones that run the computers that your website lives on. Usually, hosters also offer additional services like one-click-setups for your WordPress blog, tech support and so on.

For the sake of this guide, let’s take a quick look at two common hosters that are free and super easy to use for beginners:

Wealthy Affiliate

Wealthy Affiliate is my personal platform of choice. I said that before and I won’t back off from pointing that out 🙂 Sorry! Especially because Wealthy Affiliate as a platform combines everything you need for your affiliate marketing businesses for years and years to come.

Besides the excellent training and community, it also provides an outstanding hosting service called “siterubix”, and even with a completely FREE membership Wealthy Affiliate hosts a fully-fledged WordPress blog for you without asking for a dime from you.

It is all you need to get started. Plus, you will receive outstanding training from Kyle, which is one of the two owners of Wealthy Affiliate.

==> If you want to learn more about Wealthy Affiliate please read my FULL REVIEW here. <==

WordPress.com

WordPress itself offers a hosting solution for your very first blog on their own website WordPress.com. Just as with Wealthy Affiliate the hosting of your blog is totally free to get started. However, I don’t think they offer any kind of training on either the technical aspects of blogging nor on the business aspects of affiliate marketing.

Creating Your Website

For the sake of this guide, we will go with Wealthy Affiliate, because it is a platform that I really like and it combines

  • the creation and hosting of your blog for free,
  • a lot of training,
  • and a great community all in one place.

It offers an entirely FREE membership (hence qualifies precisely for what this article promised from the very beginning) but also a premium, paid membership if your business needs grow and you decide that it’s time to upgrade and can actually see the benefits of a paid platform (which beginners simply can’t, I get that, because I’ve been exactly there a few years ago).

If you want to learn more about the Wealthy Affiliate platform and why I recommend it from the bottom of my heart, please don’t miss out on reading my full review of Wealthy Affiliate here.

Step 1: Set Up A Wealthy Affiliate Account

First things first: Let’s get you your very own Wealthy Affiliate account. To get started, CLICK HERE! All you need is your best email address. A credit card or so isn’t required at all!

Start With Affiliate Marketing For Free - Wealthy Affiliate Signup

Next, enter your name, and, most importantly, choose a username that suits you. Make it something memorable that you can identify with, as it will be your alias for everything you will do on Wealthy Affiliate. Be it chatting with the community, asking questions on the training, or reaching out to support. Finally, enter your password of choice and you’re all set.

Start With Affiliate Marketing For Free - Wealthy Affiliate Signup - Step 2

Step 2: Create Your Blog

Now for the fun part: On the onboarding page, hit the button labeled “Dashboard”.

Start With Affiliate Marketing For Free - Wealthy Affiliate Onboarding - Highlighted

Then, click “Websites” in the top menu bar and select “Build A Website”.

Start With Affiliate Marketing For Free - Wealthy Affiliate Create A Website - Highlighted

In the new dialog, select a name for your blog. In this case, I named it “My Example Blog” and for the domain name I chose “myexampleblog.siterubix.com”.

Make sure your name suits the content you want to write about and resonates with your audience. You don’t have to overthink this too much. But “Rocket Space Ship Blog 1337” would be a bad choice if you want to write articles about cats, for example. “Cat Toy Review Center” on cattoyreviewcenter.siterubix.com might be a much better choice! What do you think? As this blog will be your “brand identity”, it’s worth thinking about this one a bit. As who do you want to be known across the worldwide web? Do a short brainstorming session, think a bit about it. But don’t overcomplicate things…

Finally hit “Build my Website” – And you’re done! Pad yourself on the back! You own a website. That’s pretty incredible, isn’t it?

Start With Affiliate Marketing For Free - Wealthy Affiliate Create A Website Part 2 - Highlighted

For now, I do not want to overcomplicate things: Your blog is ready to go and you can start writing content. Of course, there is still a lot of stuff you can configure inside of WordPress, but your initial framework is ready and waiting for you to populate it with articles. So let’s get to that!

If you want to learn more about how to configure your WordPress blog, change themes, etc. I would highly encourage you to either take the training offered inside Wealthy Affiliate, which will walk you through the process step by step, or read my article about getting started with WordPress (when published).

What To Write About?

Done with padding your back? Great! Then let’s login to your new blog by clicking “Login now” on the page that you were forwarded to after creating your blog.

Start With Affiliate Marketing For Free - Wealthy Affiliate Login To Your Blog

So now your sitting in front of your newly created, pretty empty blog. But what to write about? Well, you’ve already chosen the broader theme of your blog. The topic you are excited about (or just very interested in) and want to tell the world about. Maybe it’s cats? Or video games? Or insomnia?

The first step, before even thinking about recommending products to anyone, is to create helpful, exciting, and relevant content for your readers. There are several techniques that you can use to come up with ideas. Of course, you can, in theory, write about ANYTHING YOU WANT! It’s YOUR blog, after all!

Your First Piece Of Content

For now, we are going to do exactly that. What we are going to do is giving your blog some personality. We’ll create a simple “About Me” page, where visitors to your blog can stop by and learn a little bit about who you are and what drives you. It adds to the soul of your blog and gives it credibility and personality!

Later, when you want to create your first blog post on a “real-world topic”, so to speak, you have to dig a bit deeper. What this basically boils down to is the topic of what is known as “keyword research”. Covering the topic of keyword research, however, and therefore coming up with new blog post ideas would certainly be beyond the scope of this already way-too-long article. If you want to learn more about it, please read my article about keyword research (when published), or, yet again, check out the excellent training over at Wealthy Affiliate.

When I said “real world topic” I didn’t mean to say that the “About Me” page isn’t important. It is! It’s about you, and YOU are the heart and soul of your business. It’s the first step in the process of creating tons of content designed to HELP people!!!

So let’s get started…

How To Write Your First Blog Post?

Back to your “About Me” page. In your WordPress dashboard, which is where you will find yourself right after logging in, hit “Posts” then click “Add New”.

Start With Affiliate Marketing For Free - Wealthy Affiliate - Create New Post

This will bring up your WordPress editor. Simply type “About Me” in the “Add title” textbox and then, in the content section below, start writing a bit about yourself.

Don’t overthink it! Just write as you would talk to a friend! Don’t try to write any kind of “high literature”. That is not what blogging is about. Just be yourself!!! If you need some inspiration, you can check out my “About Me” page HERE.

Start With Affiliate Marketing For Free - Wealthy Affiliate - Create Your About Me Page

When you’re done, hit “Publish”… That’s it! Again, time to give yourself a pad on the back. Well done! You’ve just created your first blog post!!!

That’s it for your “About Me” page. In the long run, however, you’ll have to think about your “business plan” when writing content, which is to attract visitors and thus create some traffic. Therefore you want to find topics to write about that people actually search for, not some random ideas you have brainstormed at your desk… That’s where the keyword research kicks in. Again, it’s no rocket science, but simply out of the scope of what I can teach you in a single blog post. You can, however, learn more about it here (when published).

Let’s Talk About Making Money

Okay, I want to quickly touch on the “making money” part of affiliate marketing. As you can imagine, getting into all the ins and outs of affiliate programs, commissions and proper linking is a bit out of scope for this article. To get a general idea of how this stuff works, I’d encourage you to read my article on the general concept of affiliate marketing here.

Start With Affiliate Marketing For Free - How To Make Money
Your blog is the foundation for all your business activities – and for you making money…

After you have created a bunch of articles with the intention to help your visitors (and thus, drive traffic to your blog), it’s time to finally think about product recommendations.

In most cases, you would do so by writing a product review of a product that you like and think would help your audience solve their problems (see, there is it again: the focus on helping). Once you have that review ready, you would link from your existing articles to that review, wherever appropriate.

Another Real-World Example

Real-world example again: THIS article you are reading RIGHT NOW is one of those “being helpful, trying to give you information to solve your problem”-articles. As you may have noticed above, every now and then I will link to my review of Wealthy Affiliate (oops, I did it again)! That’s a review-type article with the intention of recommending you a product that I really like and that I am convinced of.

You may, however, also write reviews on articles that you DO NOT like and spread the word of warning. One example of such an article would be my review of Online Marketing Classroom. The rationale here is (a) to issue a fair warning if you think a product is bad and (b) recommend the product that you think is the better alternative. However, it’s fine to place commission-paying affiliate links even in negative reviews. You issued a warning. If someone still buys the product, why shouldn’t you take a fair share?

If you are interested to learn about a variety of affiliate programs that you can start with adding to your own affiliate marketing business, you may probably want to check out my article on the best free affiliate programs for beginners (when published).

But I’m No Writer… And No Expert!

Start With Affiliate Marketing For Free - You Do Not Have To Be An Expert
Are you an expert in your niche? Great! But you don’t have to be! All you need is a desire to help others…

Let’s quickly touch on two very common misconceptions that beginners have when it comes to writing a blog. When I say: “Everybody can be a good affiliate marketer”, many people would object because they think that you have to be a “born” writer or highly trained expert in your niche.

That is not the case! People usually want to trust other people’s opinions and recommendations, and learn from experiences that other folks have made. Let me put it plain and simple: If you have ever, in your life, recommended stuff to any of your friends, then you are already an affiliate marketer. You just didn’t know!

Be yourself and share your knowledge and experience! If you are genuinely excited and/or interested in a topic, and just write about it as you would talk about it with a good friend, then visitors will come (and their trust and most likely money will follow).

Conclusion

Oh crap, 3000 words already… Time to wrap this one up! If you made it here. Awesome, thanks for staying with me!!!

It is totally possible to start an online business from scratch, and it is even possible to do it totally for free. However, I’d argue that affiliate marketing is probably the only business model that allows us to do this. However, as with everything, the rule “you get what you pay for” applies.

If you expect to start and run your business for free, then your possibilities are limited, of course:

  • You will not have your blog hosted on your domain (i.e. you’d have to stick with cattoyreviewcenter.siterubix.com instead of cattoyreviewcenter.com)
  • Chances are that you’ll only find limited or low-quality training. Wealthy Affiliate, yet again, is probably one of the very few exceptions (access is limited for free members, but the quality is the same)
  • In my experience, it’s hard to find a community of like-minded individuals outside of “gated communities”, that are as serious as you are about your business. I tried it, and I never found a free community that would compare to any paid community that I have seen ever since. It’s hard to explain, but finding a helpful, engaging, encouraging, and motivating community of supportive peers is very important, especially if you plan to work alone and from home.
  • Free tools often offer limited access. Take Jaaxy, my go-to keyword tool, for example. It offers a free version and a premium membership. While the free version works fine in the very early stages, it limits you to a certain number of analysis requests per month… That’s a pretty tough limitation, especially when you are still learning your craft and happen to make mistakes along the way.

However, it is doable, and if you have to decide between not starting at all, and starting totally free, then I’d yell at you:

“START! Don’t wait! START TODAY, and start for FREE!”

Starting TODAY is always better than waiting for TOMORROW. And if you feel like it, you can always upgrade to a paid plan at a later date, whatever platform you choose!

My Recommendation: The All-In-One Solution

So your options are:

Search the web for free approaches. Read tons of articles and how-to guides and figure out everything for yourself. It’s the hard way, for sure, but it can work, no doubt about it. But chances are that you will get distracted along the way, lose interest, or simply give up way too early because you lose focus.

OOOR

Accept help and guidance from a community of experienced affiliate marketers that know their craft and have been where you are now years ago. There’s a Chinese proverb that goes like this:

To know the road ahead, ask those coming back

That’s the approach that I took years ago, and I don’t regret it. I’m still a member of the very community that helped me so much, and today, I am able to pay it forward to those trying to understand the road ahead… However, even with years of experience on my back, I know that there is still “a lot of road ahead”, and I am happy for the support I get from these guys on any given day.

So once more, with my final words of this article, I would like to invite you, nay, encourage you to check out my Wealthy Affiliate review. Allow us to help you get started. You won’t regret it! I promise.

==> Read my FULL REVIEW of Wealthy Affiliate and get your own business rolling TODAY! It’s FREE!!! <==

Rock It From Home - Wealthy Affiliate Review
Make sure to check out my review of Wealthy Affiliate
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8 thoughts on “How To Start With Affiliate Marketing For Free

  1. Partha Banerjee says:

    Hi Chris,

    I’m initially going to go slightly against context here, SORRY, LOL.

    But, I’m always in two minds whenever I’m asked whether you can earn money from affiliate marketing for free.

    Obviously, your article is more geared getting started for free, but I note that even you have mentioned that your choices (and potentially your chances) are limited when looking to go the “free” route.

    There’s certainly a wealth of material available for free online about affiliate marketing, but in my mind it’s about piecing all this information together.

    So, if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, then it’s going to be extremely difficult to move your business in the right direction.

    This is what I love about platforms such as Wealthy Affiliate.

    You are literally taken by the hand and guided through the process step-by-step.

    So, it is literally like following a course or reading chapter after chapter in a well laid out book.

    With that said, I know there are many others platforms available that purport to teach affiliate marketing, but they tend to lack in material and don’t follow any real structure.

    However, for me, if you’re serious about earning a living from affiliate marketing, then I feel you have to spend some money along the way.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking fortunes, but there are certain expenses, such as domain cost, hosting, additional training, etc.

    Don’t you think?

    Additionally, I note that you’ve mentioned a few free CMS systems here, such as WordPress.com, Joomla, and even Wealthy Affiliate’s very own siterubix.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t many of these free CMS frown upon advertising in any form?

    So, would this mean that you could potentially create a website for free, but some of the CMS platforms won’t allow to use them for affiliate marketing?

    Apologies, if I’m way off the mark here, but I’d appreciate your input on this is possible Chris.

    I will say that this is only my second visit to your site Chris, but I have been extremely impressed of both occasions.

    You have a vast array of useful information, I love your honesty and openess, so you’ll probably have to put up with my loitering on a regular basis from now on, Haha.

    Thanks
    Partha

    Reply
    1. Chris says:

      Hi Partha and thanks for your comment! That’s a lot to unpack, so let’s get started 🙂

      1.) Lone Wulf vs. Following a Training:

      I completely agree that you CAN, in theory, teach everything yourself and/or only use free resources. I also agree that the hard part is to get everything together and find a way to get an affiliate marketing business of the ground and really make it work, all by yourself. What I think is even more difficult, though, is to stay motivated.

      What do I mean by that? Affiliate marketing is a pretty long-term oriented approach to making money online. It will take some time until google recognizes you and your content as being worth to be ranked on page 1, and hence until you get some “free traffic”, i.e. visitors who will potentially follow your product recommendations. It can, and that’s probably the bad news, potentially take months or even a year until you see your first commissions rolling in, and hence it can be very hard to judge if you are on track or missing out on something essential.

      That’s where communities such as Wealthy Affiliate come in and really shine: Because there are people who know what they are talking about, who have been in your situation and who can tell you if you are making any mistakes and what they are. They can also assure you that you are on track and that success is just a matter of time. Personally, I need to hear that every now and then (even nowadays).

      2.) Free CMSes:

      I’m not exactly sure if I understand your question. What I understand is that you want to know if a free CMS such as WordPress and/or hosters place ads on your blog and prevent you from placing affiliate links? I’ve never heard of this, I have to admit.

      The CMS itself by the way is detached from the hoster. What I mean by that is that the basic Worpress CMS is ALWAYS FREE! You can download it to your hard drive and even host it on your own machine, without the need for any third party hoster. It is the underlying software and basic framework, that helps you organize your content, like articles, images, etc. You have 100% control over this part, and no one will be able to place any ads without you knowing. If a third party hosts this CMS then it is possible to “inject” ads into your content from a technical point of view, but I’ve never heard of this…

      I think that if you have your blog hosted at a platform like Wealthy Affiliate or WordPress.com for free, then they won’t place any ads there without you knowing (at least for Wealthy Affiliate I can promise you that they don’t). However, since your domain is hosted on a Subdomain (such as myexampleblog.siterubix.com instead of myexampleblog.com) it will probably never get as much trust as if it was hosted on its own domain and thus probably lower rankings.

      That’s why I would conclude that, yes, you can get started for free. To get the bigger picture and also get your feet wet. But in the long term, you will need to invest. Not big, but small investments will ensure that your business is built on a solid foundation and has the potential to grow in the long term!

      I hope that answered your questions, Partha. If not, please don’t hesitate to reach out yet again. I’m always happy to help 🙂

      All the best,
      Chris

      Reply
      1. Partha Banerjee says:

        Hi Chris,

        Thanks for taking the time out to respond.

        Okay, yes I completely get you about the “lone wolf” scenario, and staying motivated is indeed one of the hardest aspects of affiliate marketing, and working online in general.

        And even though I mentioned that most information is freely available online, you’re completely correct, piecing it all together, in the correct order is extremely difficult.

        In fact, I would go as far to say that the information that is available in a simple rolled-out course on a platform such as Wealthy Affiliate could take someone years to find for free online.

        Simply because they have no real idea of “what” they should be looking for, and where to find it.

        As for the “free” CMS, I’ll give you an example.

        My first foray online (many years ago I should add) was centred around doing affiliate marketing completely for free.

        I set up free blogger blog (Google’s own free blog service) and Squidoo lenses of Seth Godin fame.

        Things went very well for a while, but unfortunately after the big Google updates of 2011 and 2012, these free sites were frowned upon and lost Google rankings overnight.

        Eventually, affiliate marketing was banned from these free CMS, and in fact, Squidoo became completely obsolete.

        So, I guess what I was trying to get at is, with free CMS you are never really fully in control of what you can and cannot publish.

        Therefore, if the platform decides that they don’t like what you write, or that they no longer wish people to use their free sites for affiliate marketing, then all your hard work (just like mine all those years ago) could disappear overnight.

        This is why I always believe that you have to spend some money on affiliate marketing.

        At the very least, if you purchase your own domain, then you own it, and you can decide what goes on it.

        Anyway, I don’t want to take over your comments section, LOL.

        Thanks once again for your response, it’s much appreciated Chris.

        Partha

        Reply
  2. Matthew/Deloris says:

    This is the perfect breakdown that I needed to see that Affiliate marketing is still the right place we need to be. Reinsurance, to us and even going to school for digital marketing and science courses.
    Along with the WA platform, we get the best of two worlds and trying to utilize both and implement them on our website at the same time. We have been getting better and this article has just pushed us again to keep writing.
    Because your right, you don’t have to be an expert writer. You just have to convey a message to a targeted audience and help them with what they possibly may want.

    Cheers,
    Mathew&Deloris

    Reply
    1. Chris says:

      Hi Mat, hi Deloris. I’m super excited and happy to read that my article contributed to your motivation! That’s pretty huge compliment. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m happy that you decided to go for it. My number 1 advice: Don’t quit! Give it at least a year. Wait for the results and let them motivate you when they happen!!! All the best, Chris

      Reply
  3. Hannie says:

    A very good explanation, Chris, and I really love your sense of humor. I bet you know what the Dutch say in that regard about the Germans? It’s obviously not true, as I do have have a sense of humor to recognize it, but can’t write it down like you do. 🙂

    Anyway, you have covered all the aspects of affiliate marketing, as far as I know and have experienced it myself.

    Personally, I find the ‘find programs or products to promote’ the most difficult part. I don’t want stuff that is wrapped in plastic, I don’t want polluting or unhealthy products and in general want products that live up to my standards. Which are high. 🙂 OK, maybe too high, so I am making it hard on myself. But that’s how it is.

    Do yu have any idea how to handle that?

    Reply
    1. Chris says:

      Hi Hannie and thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate it! Finding products that will suit your high standards, huh? Tough question, but one that I’m also struggling with, as that’s not as easy. I’d say that you basically have three options:

      #1 – Review products that you are familiar with and that you do own!

      If you produce content in a niche that you are excited about and have experience in then you already KNOW many, many products that may or may not suit your high standards. You can leverage that in that you can write positive reviews and recommendations for those products that you like and publish warnings and negative reviews of those that you don’t like (and then recommend those that you think are the better option). One example of that approach would be my review of Online Marketing Classroom (which doesn’t live up to my standards) where I issued a warning and recommended joining Wealthy Affiliate instead.

      #2 – Review products that you are not yet familiar with and that you do not own!

      If you come across a product that you think is great but that you do not own yet but would like to review and recommend, then see if you can reach out to the company or author or creator (or whatever) and ask if you could get a review copy or sample. When you’re blog has already generated some authority and sales you can throw that in your request. Or simply go ahead and buy it, then review it… Look at it as an investment! Some affiliate programs do even offer free (mostly time-limited) access to their products for reviewers. Those are the best, in my opinion, as this proves that they have nothing to hide!!!

      #3 – Reviews that I personally don’t like!

      What I personally do not like as much is the recommendation that I have heard of in the past to write a review of a product that you have not personally tested and just go by researching other people’s reviews. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s somewhat hard to write a really unique review about a product or service when you haven’t had the chance to make up your own opinion about it. I know that many people do it, though, and are quite successful with it.

      In my opinion, that is the “best” route to review and recommend products that DO NOT live up to your standards, simply because you have never seen them yourself and hence couldn’t check if they live up to your own expectations or not.

      Conclusion

      As a general rule of thumb, I would stay away from Clickbank products (as there’s quite some scam going on there) or at least make sure that you test the product you recommend for yourself. I would search for products and services to recommend very broadly and open minded on google and amazon and then see if you can reach out to the company that makes the product to get a review copy/sample or review access.

      I hope that answers your question, Hannie!
      I wish you all the best,
      Chris

      Reply

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