There is a lot of information on the Internet to help newbies learn affiliate marketing. Nearly everyone who’s ever earned a dollar online has something to say about it, but if you’re new to the field, how can you know what’s good advice and what’s not worth the pixels it’s written with? Here’s my pick of the top 10 free resources for new marketers to get you started.
1. WordPress. If you’re going to work online, you’re going to need a website, and WordPress is the easiest to use content management system available. Most web hosts offer one-click installs, which means you can have a professional site up and running in just a few minutes. Since WordPress is open source, there are thousands of developers busy building plugins to extend the functionality and make it even easier to use. No matter what your niche, you’re sure to find a free theme to fit. But if you want something custom designed, there are lots of talented designers out there who can help.
2. Google. Yes, Google. Not just the search portal, though that’s important. Google also provides analytics tools for webmasters and the best free keyword research tool online. They also have extensive help files and tutorials to teach you how to use the tools they provide.
3. Twitter. Twitter is not just for selling. It’s also a great research tool. If you use TweetDeck you can set up searches on your keywords, use the results to find new people to follow, new products to promote, and new topics to write about.
4. Ed Dale’s 30 Day Challenge. If you are starting at the very beginning and need some hand holding, you can’t do better than Ed’s 30 Day Challenge. Much like the Problogger program, Ed gives you daily tasks to complete beginning on day one with choosing a niche. He provides videos, software (free for 30 days), a forum, and lots of encouragement. He says his goal is for you to earn your first buck on line, but a lot of 30 Day Challenge graduates do much better than that.
5. Problogger.net. Darren Rowse blogs for a living, but don’t make the mistake of thinking all he does is sell ad spots on a high traffic blog. He is also an affiliate marketer. He promotes products directly on his blog and via email to his list, all while teaching new bloggers how to build a better blog. His 31 Days to a Better Blog program will give you step by step directions for an entire month of blogging. Finish the program and at the end you’ll have a great start on a sustainable blog, and 30 days of blogging momentum to keep you going.
6. Nicole Dean. As it says on her site, “Nicole Dean jumps out of bed every morning, excited about teaching others how to make money online.” Listen to her podcasts and you’ll know it’s true. Nicole is truly excited about what she does and is thrilled to share. She talks about service businesses, information products, affiliate marketing, blogging and just about every other business model out there.
7. Lynn Terry is one of the most down to earth, girl next door affiliates out there. She spells it out for newbies and veterans alike on her blog, and is always available in her forum, Self Starters Weekly Tips, to provide good solid advice. She also hosts a weekly webinar each Tuesday at noon Eastern.
8. Copyblogger.com. Copyblogger won’t teach you how to blog or how to be an affiliate marketer, but it will teach you how to write compelling copy that sells. Nearly all affiliate marketing models – blogging, email marketing, even selling via Twitter – require some form of copywriting to make it work. Brian Clark of Copyblogger is the master of online copy, and he and his writers freely share their knowledge with the world.
9. Warrior Forum. The Warrior Forum claims to be the oldest community of Internet marketers online today, and one look will tell you why. Most any time of the day or night you will find more than 2000 users online reading and posting and helping each other learn about all aspects of online work. Warrior Forum has a paid membership option as well as free. A warning, though: you could waste a lot of time in there, so be careful to only spend the time you need to learn.
10. SEO Fast Start. If you’re not sure what keywords are or how to use them, SEO Fast Start by Dan Theis will give you all the information you need. Dan has developed a system that will not only help you determine your keywords, but teaches you how to use them to drive targeted traffic to every page of your site.
There are thousands of sites online that promise to help you learn affiliate marketing. It pays to do your homework, and only take advice from those who are affiliate marketers first, and instructors second.