Affiliate Marketing Game Plan

Affiliate Marketing Game Plan

AFFILIATE MARKETING GAME PLAN

The article you are reading now is probably the most important post on this site because without a game plan, you will fail at affiliate marketing. You can’t just “wing it” and expect money to start pouring into your PayPal or bank account. There are soooo many variables that go into being a successful Affiliate Marketer which necessitates your creating a business plan (or game plan to make it sound more fun). With that being said… “Green 34, Green 34, Set, HUT HUT”.

It’s awesome that you are here on my website looking to learn and become a better Affiliate Marketer. I am grateful that you put your trust in me to guide you. The very essence of this website is all about affiliate marketing so it goes without saying that I will have links throughout my posts and pages. These affiliate links will send you to an outside source for a product or service that I myself am either currently using or have used in the past. By clicking on these links, you understand that I may be paid a commission if you purchase or sign-up for a service. I WILL NOT promote an offer that I do not agree with or trust just to make a quick buck. The LOVE of money is the root of all evil. I do not love money, I love my readers 🙂
The money earned through my affiliate links helps support my wife and me. If you purchase through my links, it is greatly appreciated and my wife and I thank you 🙂

NICHE SELECTION

Before you begin your new career as an Affiliate Marketer, you NEED to know what you are going to promote. The worst thing you can do is look up what is selling hot and start grabbing affiliate links and plastering them all over your website. You will quickly get a bad reputation and will quit before the plaster dries. Ha!

True, you need to sell what people want; but do you care about what you are promoting? As you will learn early on, if you are promoting something that you don’t care about or have no idea about what the product is or its benefits, you will find it near impossible to write articles or stay on a schedule to keep your website up to date.

For example: I love astronomy. I have a 10″ Dobsonian Telescope, various sized optics, filters, star charts, and more. So, I know Astronomy and could easily write articles and create videos without any trouble. I also would love doing these things as a way to make money (and I will in the future when I have more time). I could choose Astronomy as my niche and enjoy what I’m doing.

Now, let’s say I could make a lot more money promoting diet items. If money is the only goal I am pursuing and I chose Dieting as my niche, I would fail. Why? Because I don’t care about dieting. I have no need to lose weight, I find dieting to be a very boring subject, and I do not have enough knowledge about the ins and outs of dieting without spending a ton of time researching. There is no way I’m going to spend hours learning about something I don’t care about, to make an income. This then becomes a job which defeats the purpose of becoming self-employed. I would dread waking up in the morning to start my day writing articles and working on my website.

Moral of the story here is: Money isn’t everything. Do what you love and you will find it easy(er) to be an Affiliate Marketer. I won’t go into detail here about how to research a niche because you can find that info elsewhere on this site. I just want you to know that Niche Selection is the first step to take.

DOMAIN NAME

Choosing your Domain Name isn’t as simple as thinking up a cool phrase and putting “dot com” at the end. There are several factors to consider when coming up with a name, such as:

Here’s a handy tool for you to look up that cool Domain Name to see if it is available:

You must do this research to help you rank on the search engines. For example: Your friends call you “Crazy Bob” so, you think that would be an awesome name for your website. Your niche is Fishing. There is no one on this planet who will type “crazy bob” in the search box when looking for fishing tackle, or rods, or anything fishing related. Not even your friends because the name does not suggest anything about fishing. You will soon regret that choice when your friends have a blast at your expense. I can see the goofy fish drawings and jokes as I think about it. Ok, I’m getting off subject.

However, on the flip-side, if your niche were entertainment, this could possibly work. I would add one more word for clarity. But there is absolutely nothing you can do to make that name work for fishing.

You need to know what type of website you want to build. If it is a blog or review site, the name should be all-inclusive of what you plan to promote. This website is named “Affiliate Marketing Boost” because I am promoting products for affiliates to help them start off their careers on the right path. I have another site that teaches beginners about cryptocurrencies. I named that “Dip Your Toes in Crypto”. The name suggests crypto for beginners.

If your website is built around one particular product, your name choice is even more tricky because you have to zero in on the product. For example: you are promoting “rent-to-own homes” for a company you found on MaxBounty. You might call it “AmericanDreamforAll.com”, or something like that.

One thing I suggest you must absolutely do is buy a .com extension – NOTHING ELSE. The only time you should buy other extensions is if you are buying them for yourself to protect your domain name. If your domain name is “CrazyBob.com”, you may want to keep others from using it, so you buy CrazyBob.org, .net, and so forth. That is the only time you should buy an extension other than .com. Think about it… if the .com name is taken, you most likely will get yourself in trouble using someone else’s business name. There will also be confusion with your traffic because they will most lilkely be looking for the other business. Your visitors will be on and off your site in seconds which will create a terrible bounce rate making your SEO ranking terrible.

WEB HOST

After you select your Domain name, you will need a Web Host. Unless you’re flipping your Domain, I would keep things simple and buy the Domain name through your Web Host. Some Web Hosts offer a free Domain when you sign up with them but that is only for the first year in most cases. They cost a little more too but not much more. I’m talking $12 compared to $6. The reason I say it’s simple is you don’t have to worry about pointing your Nameservers to your website. If you don’t know what Nameservers are, I made my point ;P

You need a Web Host because this is where the “magic” happens. Your Domain Name and Website are hosted here. There are “free” hosts out there but DO NOT settle for a free Web Host. You will fail because there are too many restrictions. Plus, they will have their own ads placed all over “your” website which will make you look very unprofessional and look like you have no business trying get your visitors to your site to buy anything from you. Besides, Web Hosting plans are very affordable, costing as low as $35 for a full year. There are many to choose from so it can be a bit confusing when you are just starting out. But if you trust my recommendations, may I suggest Bluehost and D9 Hosting.

If you are on a very limited budget, I would recommend Bluehost. If you purchase their lowest priced plan named BASIC, you will only pay $35 for a whole year. But the tradeoff is you can only have one website and you’re limited to 50 GB Disk Storage – although this is plenty of space for only one website. Also, this price is only for the first year. Before you decide on the Basic Plan, consider your plans for growth. If you have no intention of having more than one website, then this will be just fine. However, I would suggest purchasing the “Domain Privacy” add-on. Do not make the mistake I made years ago when I got started in affiliate marketing and I was trying save money wherever I could. I did not purchase the Domain Privacy and I immediately regretted it because within hours I began receiving spam calls on my phone and even spam text messages. It was so bad that I purchased a new SIM card with a new phone number. I will never again purchase a Domain without it. This costs $15/year so you could have a 1-site webhosting, domain name, and domain privacy for only $50 for your first year. This is a great price to get started as an Affiliate Marketer but keep in mind that the following year it won’t be as low. The total annual price will jump to $140 ($107 1-site web hosting, $18 domain name, and $15 domain privacy). This is still a good price but not a great price anymore. There is another Web Host that I also recommend and am currently using that would be a better choice if you have a little more money in your budget to start. And they offer UNLIMITED FREE website transfers. 

D9Hosting costs a little more than Bluehost for your first year but is a LOT less expensive afterwards. I never heard of D9Hosting until I joined John Thornhill’s Partnership to Success program. I was leery to sign up to another webhost because I just renewed my Bluehost subscription, but John explained that D9 is a very friendly platform for Affiliate Marketers, and they understand our needs. I am so glad I decided to sign up because my web pages load quicker and their support is Top Notch! Don’t misunderstand me about Bluehost though. My pages loaded just fine, but the speed difference blew me away. I would have never known a web page could load faster if I didn’t sign up for D9. After my first year my renewals were a lot less than Bluehost’s renewals, but that point is irrelevant for me because I am still using Bluehost for other projects. Because of the speed difference, I use D9 for my affiliate sites and I use Bluehost for my domain flips. The reason I don’t have all of my domains on D9 is because I upgraded to their Multi-Site plan which gives me WHM (Web Host Manager) access so I can have individual cPanel accounts for each domain. However, this plan doesn’t have unlimited disk space or bandwidth, so I have to divide my Disk Space and Bandwidth between up to 40 cPanel accounts. It is too much work for me to constantly do the math everytime I buy a couple domain names to flip so I kept Bluehost which has unlimited everything. D9 also has their unlimited plans but not their Multi-Site plans, except one but that is too expensive for me at the time of writing this.

Because D9 offers FREE unlimited website transfers, I would recommend starting with Bluehost for your first year and then switch to D9 before renewing. This is if you are starting on a very limited budget. If you can spend a little more to start, I recommend D9Hosting to start. Here is how much your first and subsequent year will cost you:

Web Hosting – D9 ONE plan ($57), Domain Name ($11 – only free if buying 36 months up front, or any plan higher), Domain Privacy ($4) – TOTAL $72. Bluehost’s first year will cost you only $50. However, let’s look at subsequent years:  D9Hosting – Web Hosting ($96), Domain Name ($14 – 3 dollars higher to renew. Dumb, I know), Domain Privacy – $4) Total $114. Use Coupon Code “SAVE40” to get 40% off your FIRST payment. In other words, you will get 40% off your first annual payment or 40% off your first 3-year payment. The more years you pay for, the more you save, but of course, the more up-front costs to start your business. So, spend wisely.

THEME BUILDER

Your website is the heart of your business, so you want it looking fantastic. To do that, you need to use a Theme Builder. There are many builders out there to choose from. I use 4 different theme builders. Why? I’m still trying to figure that out myself. I like diversity, I suppose. But, if you are just starting out as an Affiliate Marketer and need to choose one theme builder that is the easiest to use and build with as a beginner, without any hesitation I say OptimizePress is what you want. Let’s look at the 4 theme builders I use so you can make your decision on which one to use. You only need one 🙂 I will list them starting with the best, in my opinion.

OptimizePress

OptimizePress was created by Internet Marketers for Internet Marketers. All the page templates you need to build your websites to promote or sell products as an Affiliate Marketer are provided for you. OP is what I use to create my Sales Pages, Opt-in Forms, Thank You Pages, Exit Pops, and more for my own products. For an additional cost, you can add Funnel Builders and Shopping Carts to your OptimizePress subscription. This was by far the easiest theme builder if you are just getting started as an Affiliate Marketer. We will look at the easiest one at the end of this list. Dip Your Toes in Crypto is an example of one of my sites that I use OP to build with.

Pricing:

ESSENTIAL – $99/year (1-site license, build unlimited pages, unlimited Leads & Traffic, SmartTheme Marketing Theme, 250+ Conversion Optimized Templates, 30+ Premium Integrations, Regular Product Updates & New Features, Email Support)

SUITE – $199/year (20-site license, everything in Essential plus: OptimizeFunnels, Optimize Checkouts, OptimizeLeads, A/B Split Testing, Metrics Dashboard, OptimizeUrgency, Premium Template Collections, and more).

You can pick up OptimizePress here.

DIVI

DIVI by Elegant Themes is my most favorite theme builder of them all. The ONLY reason I have it listed second is because OptimizePress is created specifically for Internet Marketers and this list is directed towards that. It’s not that you can’t do the same things with DIVI, because you can. It’s just that OP has the Page Templates already to go, so it’s less work which makes it quicker to build an affiliate site.

DIVI is awesome! They provide over 230 “Layout Packs” and are continually adding new packs every month. These packs provide all the main pages you need to build a complete website such as Home, Landing, Blog, Contact, About, and so on. You can add Modules to these pre-built pages or start from scratch. The builder is color coded too so it’s quick and easy to add, delete, and move around your columns, sections, and modules.

DIVI includes a Page Builder named “Extra” which I use a lot. It is a magazine style builder which is perfect for blog style websites. You can color-code your categories, add a news ticker at the top of your blog, and so much more. The only negative I can say about Extra is that there are very few pre-made templates, so you will be building from scratch.

However, where DIVI shines is their Layout Packs which cover a ton of niches. This is a big advantage over OptimizePress. Here is an example of one their packs. It is a new affiliate website I am just now starting so if you are on my mailing list, you will be seeing this right from the start while I build it. The website is VeganTheHealthyWay.com. I’m using the Nutrition Layout Pack and will be leaving it pretty much the same. I will be using PLR articles but will of course be re-writing them. You can learn about PLR in the Learning Center. I will then place my affiliate ads in strategic places throughout the website.

Pricing:

ANNUAL – $89/year (UNLIMITED WEBSITES, unlimited pages, product updates, DIVI builder, Extra builder, Bloom (email opt-in plug-in), Monarch (Social Media plug-in).

LIFETIME – $249 1-Time (everything in the annual plan PLUS lifetime updates and support).

If you can wait until Black Friday, they have incredibly low-priced deals on everything, including their Lifetime plan. You can pick up Elegant Themes’ DIVI here.

Easy Page BUILDR

Just as the banner above states, Easy Page Buildr is indeed the most affordable and easiest page builder you will ever use. I am not overexaggerating when I say that all you basically do is click and type. You have the basic pages you need for a complete website, and you need to add more pages you simply click “add page” and then type the name of the page. Then you start designing it. The easiest way for you see how easy it is to use is to go to one of my sites that created using it. Go to NoMoreDailyCommutes.com to check it out.

To see Easy Page Buildr in action and how quick and easy it is to build pages, check out my Easy Page Buildr Review here.

So, if this is so easy and affordable, why do I not have it listed first? Believe me, it has been a tug-of-war within me trying to decide where to put this on the list but ultimately, I decided to put it third purely on cosmetics. As you will see if you go to NoMoreDailyCommutes.com, it doesn’t have all that “eye candy” that today’s modern websites show. I like my websites looking sexy, so maybe I’m being unfair due to personal preference.

However, because of the lack of all those extras, this page builder is not only quick to build but it is also very quick to load. Quick story, I was having trouble building one my websites and becoming VERY frustrated I thought about Easy Page Buildr. Why? Because as I was cursing at my monitor “this is such an easy task, why aren’t you showing my changes?!” I remembered I had purchased EPB a little while back. So, I gave up with the builder I was using and started all over with EPB. I created a whole website with all the pages, text, graphics, and payment buttons in less than half an hour. 20 minutes I think it was. Of course, I already had the copy and graphics already done from the other site, so I just copied and pasted. But still, 20 minutes later I had a completed website. By the way, it turned out that there wasn’t anything wrong with my page builder I was having trouble with. It was my browser’s cache. After starting fresh the next morning, I had clarity and immediately thought of clearing my cache and everything was back to normal.

If you are on a very tight budget and are trying to spend as little as possible to start your career as an Affiliate Marketer, then this will be perfect. It costs only $10. Yes, just ten dollars and this is NOT a monthly payment. You own it forever.

Pricing:

LIFETIME – $10 (1-site license)

You can pick up Easy Page Buildr here.

LocalSitesGo

LocalSitesGo is something I recently purchased to do a review on. However, I haven’t had any time to do a review because I am having so much fun playing around with everything this theme builder has to offer. As a matter of fact, the website you are on right now was built using LocalSitesGo. Normaly I would have used DIVI but there are some elements in LSG that caught my eye and I wanted to try them out. I will update this post with a link to my review after I record it.

I have LSG last in this list because it is not intended to be an affiliate site builder. Its purpose is to design websites for local businesses like restaurants, auto shops, pet stores, and so on. This is meant to be a way to earn an income as a web designer. And one of their upsells includes a business website for you to have paying clients come to so they can see what you offer and order jobs from you. This is an excellent way to make money if you are comfortable meeting people face to face. Remember, it’s for local businesses. I will be posting a review of LSG on another website of mine named EndYourDailyCommute.com. That review will be for its intended purpose.

To re-purpose this as an affiliate marketing theme builder, you will need to have some experience with site design and a little creativity. I say this because the included (100) templates have nothing to do with Affiliate Marketing so you will need to come up with the graphics and copy. This is where PLR comes in handy if you are at a loss with what to write.

The core of LocalSitesGo is the theme builder Elementor. I’ve always steered clear of Elementor because the free version is useless for affiliate marketing, and the paid version is too overpriced for what you need to keep adding to make it comparable to DIVI. However, what caught my eye and got me thinking about re-purposing LSG for affiliate marketing is the fact that they include over 110 Elementor elements. These include things like Table of Contents, Flip Box, FAQ, Ninja Forms, Weather, and so much more. They also provide features that I haven’t seen anywhere else, not even in DIVI 🙁

Pricing:

LIFETIME – $49.99 (Unlimited Websites)

If you like the design of this website, you can pick up LocalSitesGo here.

AUTORESPONDERS

No matter which theme builder you decide to use, you will soon come across Contact Forms. WordPress provides a free one to get started with but this doesn’t allow you to collect your contacts into a list and set up an autoresponder. So, what is an autoresponder? Simply put, it enables you to respond to your site visitors that sign up to receive newsletters or emails automatically, any time of the day and any day of the week or month, at any interval you desire. An Autoresponder is so vital that if you skip out on this or don’t take this seriously, YOU WILL FAIL!

A Contact Form is not an Autoresponder. It is a contact form. Visitors may have questions about your products and services. They would fill out the contact form with their name, email, and a message and click submit. You then check your email and if there is a message from your contact form, you respond to the query. This is fine, however what if you are having a sale or you have a product you want to promote to your mailing list? First off, what mailing list? The email addresses you will have by using a Contact Form are from visitors who have questions about whatever on your site. There are not very many visitors that use them. I rarely ever have someone fill out my Contact Forms. Second, if you want to let your visitors know you have a sale or promo, you must email all of them individually. If you have only a handful of customers, this isn’t a problem, although having only a handful of customers is a huge problem ;).

To use an Autoresponder effectively, you want to use it with an Opt-in form. An Opt-in form provides a way for your visitors to accept your offer to send them alerts about new posts, products, freebies, and so on. By opting in, the visitor gives you permission to receive email from you. You usually want to offer something of value on your Opt-in form to persuade as many of your visitors to your site as possible to sign up. You can offer a free eBook or training. When your visitor signs up, your Opt-in form captures their email address. If you have an Autoresponder connected to your Opt-in form, these email addresses are added to a “List” that you created in the Autoresponder.

So, what do you do with with this list? Here’s where the magic happens; you can set up your Autoresponder to email a series of informational emails on a schedule or you can simply send a “Welcome” email immediately after they sign up. You can do whatever you want. And this is all automatic – you don’t have to sit at your computer and watch for a new order or sign-up so you can send an email real quick thanking and welcoming them.

For example: Let’s say you get 10 new sign-ups daily. You can have your Autoresponder set up to send a series of emails to each new sign-up. DAY 1 – send a Welcome email immediately after sign-up. Then 1 hour later send another email thanking them for signing up and offer them something of value. DAY 2 – send an email about a new post you wrote. DAY 3 – send an email with a promo. And so on for as many days as you need. Then tomorrow when another 10 visitors sign up, the email sequence gets sent to them the same. This is all done without you doing anything more after the initial set-up.

~ I’LL BE ADDING MORE TO THIS POST SHORTLY – KEEP CHECKING BACK! ~

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