Now that you are familiar with what affiliate marketing is and where to sign up, it is time to get all your ducks in a row.

1.  Decide on the tools you need

1.1  Newsletter / Marketing Email

If you plan to advertise through a newsletter or sending out marketing email, you will need a proper email address.  A professional email address is best.  For this, you will need to register a domain name and obtain hosting.

An email address such as news@hetjou.co.za is more trustworthy than a gmail account and is more likely to gain the trust of your readers.

You can register a professional email account with us, Hetjou! Web Design, from R60pm

1.2  Blog / Website

If you plan to do affiliate marketing through a blog or website, you will again need to register a .co.za domain name and obtain hosting.  In addition, you will need a web designer or you can design it yourself.

Free website and blog platforms are available to you.  If you decide on a platform such as Wix, your domain name will look something like hetjou.wix.com

For the sake of building a brand and trust with your readers, we recommend professional hosting and assistance.

CMS blogs and websites with us, Hetjou! Web Design, from R85pm

2.  Content

The toughest part of affiliate marketing is finding the right audience through content.

If you have no idea what content is or how to go about it, we suggest reading What is content and why is it important and Tips for writing website content.

Without relevant content, there is no point to your entire plan.  Nobody wants to visit a website that consists of advertisements only.  Visitors are there to read about a topic and see the advertisement alongside it.

You can write reviews or articles about products, hobbies, collectibles, services, share tips, short stories, etc.

As a working example

You could write an article about the simplicity and ease of online shopping and place an advertisement that matches online shopping with the article or blog post.

Below is an advertisement for loot.co.za, an online shop here in South Africa. The link is an affiliate link. Should you click on it and buy a product from Loot, I will receive a small commission for the referral. This is affiliate marketing.

Be creative and match advertisements as closely to your topics as possible.

When your article matches the advertisement, your reader is more inclined to click on the ads if your article is persuasive and interesting.

3.  Updates

The more original content you publish, the more readers you will attract.  More readers mean a bigger chance of them clicking on an affiliate link.  Publish as often as possible.

Check back on older articles and blog posts to ensure that your ads are still running.  Often the ads will update automatically.  But sometimes the campaign ends and you are left with a blanked-out space where the ad should be.

If you run a blog, you will need to check back for comments too left by readers.  When you engage with your readers they build a relationship of trust with you.  

4.  Marketing and Patience

In the beginning, things will be slow.  This is not a get-rich-quick activity.  Ask yourself how many times you click on advertisements or buy something online.  Not that often?  Be realistic in your expectations and keep working at improving your marketing skills.

If you are focussed on newsletters and email marketing, then ask friends to forward your details to their friends.  This way your brand name and the products that you represent will start to spread.

You may not have visitors for weeks.  This is mainly because search engines, like Google, are indexing your website or blog.

You can even use Facebook, Twitter and such to bring visitors to your blog or website.

You will get out what you put into affiliate marketing.

Thank you for reading along. We hope these steps will set you on your path to successful affiliate marketing.  Please give us a Like, share it with a friend and leave us a comment or question.