Essential Tools for Affiliate Marketing

Introduction

Hello everyone, Harvey here and today I want to discuss the main tools you will need to start an online business. It sounds easy and with the right guidance and assistance it really is. Without that guidance and the correct tools it can be costly, both in time, emotion and funds. Today there are several sites that offer to build you a website in under 30 minutes and I have to say with companies like WordPress and GoDaddy, this is very possible.

Before you can create your website there are a few essential tools you will need such as a Domain Name. You get your domain name and you purchase it and create your website. Where are you going to host it, how will you build out the site? What theme will you use to make your site attractive to visitors? Where will you get your ideas to generate content and add images? Last but not least how will you attract visitors to your site and hopefully convert them to consumers through your affiliate program partners.

All of these questions I will answer. I will also suggest where you can get all of these tools for free and if not free for a cost that will not break your bank or budget.

Regardless of the nature of your business, whether it be a brick and mortar or online, it will cost you in terms of start up funding and ongoing funds. The brick and mortar business from day one can run you into the thousands of dollars (lease, renovations, marketing material) and I am speaking from experience. The online can also run you into the thousands that is if you get caught by a scam and there are several of those. Again I know because I have been caught by a couple.

I want to help you avoid those shiny get-rich-quick schemes and get your online business started in a safe and friendly environment. So without further ado, let us get started.

Domain Name

What is a domain? As mentioned before to start a website, you will need a domain name. When people go looking for a product or service that is what will appear in a search result along with others. Let us say your business is into selling dogs online. As someone looking to purchase a dog, I would type into Google or Bing “dogs for sale.” Well in my search your website address or domain name would appear with others. It is your address online. It is where your business resides in the virtual world.

People view the domain name similar to owning real estate. When someone is looking for your home or business address today they put it into a Geographical Positioning System (GPS) and get instructions that if they follow will lead them to your address. Well a domain name is very similar. When they put it into a search engine, it takes them automatically to your website, or show a list of possible locations on the internet.

The only difference is you can see a piece of land or building. On the internet, it is virtual and yet it can increase in value. How that happens is by you building out your website. The more advance your site the more it increases in value. The main thing is once you purchase your domain it is yours. Ideally you will be searching for a domain that is either a.com,.net, or.org. Why? These are the ones that tend to rank the best in Google, Bing and Yahoo and usually in the order listed. That is nice but I want one for my country (e.g. .ca, .NZ). Nothing wrong with that, but usually the ones mentioned above will show up before the country designated ones. Should you want to limit the range of your target audience to the borders of your country. Then by all means snatch it up if it is available.

There are several locations on the web where you can purchase new or existing domains. People have purchased domain names, and bank them hoping that someone will want it and will be willing to pay a higher price. They will sell the domain name for an agreed price.

Popular website like GoDaddy, Domain Registration, and Google Domain are well-known websites where you can search for a domain name and purchase it.

I just did a quick search on my name, HarveyBrown.com to determine its availability, and what do you know it is already taken, but if I make an offer to the owner I could end up with it. The.org and.net for my name are available for a reasonable price. The average price is usually between $12 to $17 United States Dollars (USD).

Web hosting

Now you have a domain name and it is registered to you. Like your home or brick and mortar business, it has to reside somewhere. This is where the web host comes in and provides storage for your website on its server along with others. This can be a monthly or yearly cost and can also become costly once you sign up. Most of the websites where you can find your domain name also provide a web hosting service. GoDaddy, Google Domain ad others do provide this service and it can range from $12 to $96 USD per month. All these prices are competitive and subject to possible increases after the initial subscription price.

One of the best that I have found so far is Wealthy Affiliate. Their cost for hosting is $13.99USD and that is annually not monthly.

Site Builder

To make your website attractive and one where visitors want to revisit, you need an attractive theme and help with the structure, if you are not tech savvy, which I am not.

When I was starting my online journey, I received several offers to build a website. The majority of these offers came from organizations that wanted to build the site for me. All I had to do is tell them the business I wanted to create and sit back and wait for the site to be sent to me. They would search the domain name, register it, pick the theme and create the framework. Being naive to the whole process I had no clue what the cost of such a fantastic service would be.

Well it ranges from “Do It Yourself,”(DIY) with help for a small amount, usually around $500, up to $5,000. That last one was the deluxe model. That particular company ranged from $700USD for the basic model up to $5,000USD for the model with all the bells and whistles that would guarantee me sales.

I had built websites before using WordPress and those sites were okay they were for associations to which I was a member. The crazy thing is now that I have a better understanding of what will attract potential consumers or new members to click on the affiliate program’s on my site, make a purchase or join, I would have taken more time to design those sites.

To create a serious and compelling website you need training on what it takes to move your business online from being a dream to becoming a reality. On reading comments from other online entrepreneurs, the one thing that stopped most of them from earning a sizeable income on line was to know how to structure their sites properly so visitors not only landed on the site but lingered.

What I like about Wealthy Affiliate is there are no promises of building an award-winning site for me and there are no upfront monetary investments. What they do promise is to teach me how to design and build my website using tried and proven methods starting for free with the option of going premium for $49 per month or an annual fee of $299USD. Included with the training on how to structure a website there are over 13,000 website theme to choose from and a community willing and able to assist with any problem or question. The choice is yours whether you use a free theme or a premium that will cost you, but that is your choice.

Content Ideas

My website is created, it is being hosted by one of the hosting services, now what? Remember the saying “Build it, they will come?” That is partially true. With the use of a search engine, people will find your virtual online business, but what makes them stay and eventually click on an affiliate program banner and purchase something from that merchant? What separates you from the other affiliates or publishers that makes me want to stay on your site? The answer is content.

Your site not only has to be attractive and compelling, it has to also establish trust with the visitors and you as an authority on whatever is the nature of your online business. To achieve that you have to create content on the subject and let the public know that your business exists.

Using Keywords is the way to be successful on the internet. For people to reach your website, the search engines have to find you. All searches are based on keywords that people base their search and that is how you attract visitors. Your content has to contain the keywords that Google’s, Bing’s and Yahoo’s robots will search the World Wide Web to find and if the content on your site has them then your website will appear in the search results.

There are several tools on the internet that you can use to find keywords to write you content about. One is Google itself. Content Idea Generator and Keyword Pro and others.

Videos and images are becoming more and more popular on websites and for visitors to spend time on your site it is highly recommended that you include at least images on each posts. There are sites like Getty Images where you can buy images. There are others that will allow you to download images for free, such as Unsplash. You will need access to one of the free sites as you move forward.

Wealthy Affiliate has now provided access to over 1,000,000 free images on the internet. As a premium member you have free access to those images, and they are all very high quality.

Social Media

When we speak about social media, everyone knows Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and SnapChat. I am sure most of us are members of one or two of these sites. They are an integral part of affiliate marketing. To spread the word about your website and the content it is important that you become a member of as many of these sites as possible.

Through these sites, people will be introduced to your website and as you publish posts they will get to read and share the information with their family and friends. Everyone on Facebook or Twitter has their own community, to which you are a member. I equate this to a spider’s web. The centre of the web is you, but every junction in the web has its own leads and the owner of that junction can and will share your information. They say there is approximately 300 million users of Twitter alone. If you can generate an audience of 1000 per month that has the potential of generating a good monthly income and that is just from one social media site.

Conclusion

What I have tried to do is to introduce you to four of the essential tools you will need to start your online business and to generate an income once you are up and running.

Most of these tools are online and can be used usually for a fee (one time or monthly). I have found a website that has all the tools I have mentioned and more, in one location and as a member you have access.

Your first introduction is for free, that is correct you have access to two domains that you can use to build your website. You have access to the first ten training sessions. You have access to a Keyword searcher. A place to build out your content, with spellcheck and grammar. It also has thousands of free, high quality images that you can use in your content. After, the trial period you can join the Premium membership for an introductory cost of $19 for the first month after that you will pay $49 per month. A bonus that is not mentioned a lot is your access to not only the owners of the website but approximately one million members around the world, who are knowledgeable and available to respond to your questions or problems and that includes me.

What have you to lose? The first ten lessons are free. If you decide this is not for you, you simply walk away, with your website.

Click here and start making your dream a reality.

Please leave your comments or questions below I will respond.

Hello, I am Harvey the creator of My Living The Dream. I was born on the beautiful island of Jamaica but grew up in the United Kingdom. With my family I immigrated to Canada and settled in Ottawa, Ontario. The capital of Canada. I am retired and I want to travel and enjoy my retirement. Get out of the cold and take vacations somewhere warm and low key. That is why I started this website. I figured if I can earn sufficient “crazy money,” that would allow me to travel five months of the year my dream can come true. I want to show you how you can turn your dreams into reality.

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