Practicing affiliate marketing is not an easy task. You may have dabbled into affiliate marketing and came out with nothing, or you might be a newbie wanting to taste the waters of affiliate marketing. Whoever you are, I want you to get this right: you can make money with affiliate marketing programs. The secret lies on putting all the puzzles together to form one big picture, and working to achieve success. But what puzzles? That’s exactly what we’re going to consider in this affiliate marketing basics.

If you are not familiar with affiliate marketing, it is generally define as a process whereby you promote the products or services of other people in return for a commission. You are the affiliate and the person that owns the product/service you promote is the merchant. Here is the basics of affiliate marketing: You sign up for an affiliate program to promote a product and you will get a special affiliate link. Promoting the product involves persuading as many people as possible to click on your affiliate link and buy what you’re promoting. Anyone who clicks on the link will be taken to a page where they can get more information about the product and buy it. If they buy, you’ll be credited for the sale because the person bought through your affiliate link. If they don’t buy immediately, you’ll still be credited for the sale if the person comes back to buy within 30 or 90 days.

As a newbie or a struggling affiliate, there are several puzzles you must put together, most of which you will see in any affiliate marketing training course. Let’s look into some of them.

1. Finding a profitable niche: To succeed in affiliate marketing you have to define your niche. You have to decide which type of products to promote. Is it weight loss products, self-improvement products, make money products or muscle building products? There are many possibilities but then, not all niches will make you money. Some niches will just leave you broke and frustrated. Hence, you have to know how to find a niche that will make you money.

2. Doing keyword research: Keyword research helps you to write articles that will rank high in search engine listing. This way you will bring your affiliate links in front of many people and this increases your chance of making a sale through your link. Therefore, you have to learn how to do keyword research.

3. Choosing the right affiliate products: The affiliate products you choose can make or break you. Choosing a product that is not in line with your niche is not reasonable. You cannot sell a weight loss product to someone who wants to make money online. Even if a product is relevant to your niche, it doesn’t mean that it is profitable. Some products are more profitable than others and there are many ways to check if a product will be profitable or not. You can check through a site like Amazon.

4. Learning HTML coding: Having a basic knowledge of HTML coding will go a long way to help you. This is because as you practice affiliate marketing, times shall come when you will need to make text links, image links, video links, embed videos or audios into a webpage, format articles or insert third party scripts like AdSense, Google analytic, CPM advertising scripts into your sites etc. A basic knowledge of HTML will help you a lot.

5. Learning email marketing: When it comes to making money with affiliate marketing program, your greatest asset will be a list of the email addresses of your customers and potential customers. This is because people hardly buy something the first time they visit a sales page. Another reason is that you can offer your list with multiple products in your niche. Therefore, you have to know how to get their email addresses, how to use an autoresponder, how to create wonderful opt-in forms etc.

6. Having a website: You can make money without a website, but if you’re serious you have to get a website. You can either build one yourself or outsource it at freelancing sites. You can also use free blogs or free website templates. For people still at the basics of affiliate marketing, using free resources is recommended since they’re still testing the waters.

7. Generating Traffic: To make money with affiliate marketing, you need traffic. Without people coming to your website, you can’t make a sale through your affiliate links. There are numerous ways of attracting traffic to a website. There are both free and paid methods you can use, but the bottom line is that you must give people reason why they should visit your website and keep coming back. In other words, you must have interesting content.

9. Monetizing your site: As an affiliate marketer, you will not be depending on your commission as your only source of income. You can maximize your income by monetizing your website with different types of advertisement.

10. Knowing affiliate marketing tactics: There are many tactics professional affiliate marketers use such as Joint Ventures, back-end selling, cross-selling, outsourcing, article marketing tactics etc. If you can identify some of these tactics and use them, you’ll succeed.

11. Doing On-site SEO: You can optimize your web pages for certain keywords you want to rank for. This involves putting your keywords in places like the meta tags, heading tags, alt tags, anchor texts etc. This kind of optimization can bring more buyers to your website if you target buyers’ keyword phrases.