As with every other venture, you need to have certain requirements before starting your affiliate marketing business. While having these requirements might not necessarily guarantee your success, not having them is a sure recipe for failure. So, it’s very important to have them all before taking the plunge.
So, what are the requirements?
1. A personal computer
It goes without saying that affiliate marketing is an online business. Although smartphones can be used to access the Internet without hassles, they cannot be used for affiliate marketing.
As an affiliate marketer, you’ll need to do a lot of content writing, email correspondence, and other sophisticated operations such as generating your affiliate links, monitoring your earnings, and so on. No doubt, you can do some of these things on your phone, but it’s always cumbersome.
So, get a PC before starting out as an affiliate marketer!
2. Reliable Internet connection
Running an online business is impossible without a reliable, high-speed Internet connection. So, you need to have unrestricted access to one as an affiliate marketer.
Don’t even think of using the cybercafé because that would be too expensive, since you’ll need to be online almost every day. Most Nigerian network service providers now offer very cheap data plans, so you shouldn’t really have any problem getting one.
3. Solid writing skills
Most of the online businesses I know involve a lot of writing. Affiliate marketing is no exception, as it entails writing quality content in the form of product reviews and other helpful blog posts.
Gone are the days when all you needed to do to make sales was to post your affiliate links in online forums, questions and answer sites, and blogs, with the aim of sending prospective buyers directly to your offer’s sales page.
Now, people are more skeptical than ever, so you need to take your time to first build trust. And the only way to achieve that is to offer loads of free, helpful information related to the offers you’re promoting.
4. An effective platform
As I stated earlier, to succeed as an affiliate marketer you need to build trust by offering lots of free, valuable information that is closely related to the products or services you intend to promote. Needless to say, you will need a platform for publishing this information. This could be a blog or a newsletter (mailing list).
Without a platform for publishing quality information, you won’t be taken seriously and you won’t be widely trusted as an expert. Ultimately, you won’t make sales and won’t succeed as an affiliate marketer.
Blogs and newsletters are the most commonly used platforms by affiliate marketers. So, you need to decide whether you’ll be setting up a blog or a newsletter, or both. Most experts recommend setting up both, but you can start with a blog and build up your mailing list gradually.
It’s widely known that most affiliate marketers have mastered the art of sugar-coating things just to convince people to buy whatever they’re selling. They emphasize only the bright sides of their offers and hide the dark sides, leaving unsuspecting buyers with unpleasant surprises afterwards.
But the truth is, your success in affiliate marketing would be short-lived if you’re not honest. You must describe products or services you’re promoting, exactly as they are. Mention both their upsides and downsides, so that potential buyers would be able to make well-informed decisions. If you’re afraid they won’t buy a product or service for any reason, offer them alternatives to choose from, so they can buy through your link after all.
The golden rule here is, do not lie.
Like most other legitimate businesses, affiliate marketing doesn’t bring returns overnight. Achieving success in it takes time. So, you need to really put in lots of effort to make it work.
While it’s true that affiliate marketing can be a huge source of passive income, that doesn’t happen immediately after you get started. It happens after you’ve put in all the effort required to complete you homework. Only then can you sit back to start enjoying your earnings, while maintaining your business with minimal effort. But, again, you need to work you tail off before reaching that stage.
Another point to note is that affiliate marketing can be very tough from the start. You might find it hard to create content. You might have a hard time attracting a loyal audience. And making your first sale might seem impossible. But you must never relent. Keep pushing on until you start seeing the results. Things will get easier with time.
Now, you know what and what you need to have before setting out on the journey into the world of affiliate marketing. If you already have all these requirements, then you’re good to go. But if you lack any or some of them, work towards getting them before starting out.