Even though affiliate marketing is one of the simplest online businesses you can start with very little or zero budget whatsoever, there are some skills you need to be successful in affiliate marketing.
A common misconception is that you have to be skilled in IT, coding or web design in order to succeed, and that’s not true. Of course, that will definitely give you a significant advantage over the others.
But, there are so many tools nowadays to use that you don’t really need to be a programmer to make landing pages and successful marketing campaigns.
Actually, with affiliate marketing you get to learn most of the things you need to know on the go, and there’s no other way to do so.
That’s why they say (and it’s true) that you mostly fail with affiliate marketing until you actually have spent so much money on your self-education that you start making money out of it.
In this article, I am going to talk about some of the things you need to research and practice before diving into digital or affiliate marketing.
Learning as much as you can about those will save you both time and money, so read carefully.
#1. Understanding How The Internet Works
Now, of course, you won’t be able to understand how the internet works and every single thing that happens in it, but you do need to understand what makes it actually work.
It’s important to understand how data packets function, or what IP addresses are for example. If you don’t know that already, an IP address is short for Internet Protocol, and it’s basically your device’s current identifier (because those things might be dynamic).
IP addresses make the entire function properly because they allow you to connect to various different servers and perform all the tasks.
That’s quite important to understand because, in affiliate marketing, you are going to be working heavily with internet traffic, and, most likely websites.
And if you were to upload your own landing page onto your web hosting service, you’d have to connect to it via it’s IP address and FTP (File Transfer Protocol).
All of those things serve as guides for data packets on the internet, which you receive and send millions of every night you browse the internet or watch some YouTube videos.
Aside from the technical aspect, you need to understand that every piece of content on the internet has its purpose, and in 99% of the cases somebody somehow is making money off of it.
Understanding the dynamics between website visitors, advertisers, publishers, bloggers, content creators are going to give you the ability to see things from their perspective and make more successful campaigns.
It would be good for you if you could also research how exactly Ad Delivery systems like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Propeller Ads operate, and how can they provide you with so many audience targeting options.
Do you actually know what cookies are?
That’s also something quite important to know, as it plays a major role in affiliate marketing, and audience targeting, so be sure to also do your research and learning about it.
#2. Search Engines are SUPER Important for Affiliate Marketing
On the internet, search engines, or more specifically Google *cough* have all the power.
If Google decides your site is bad for the web, they can cut links to it, remove it from their platform, and basically decrease your visits drastically.
But just as bad, big and almighty Google is, it is also the best thing that can happen to you. It is a website that gives you traffic entirely for free, and all it wants in exchange is good content. That’s it.
Search engines have become really smart in the past couple of years, and they can now sense through the bullshit, so they know if you are just faking your content to rank higher and get some visitors, or if you are genuinely creating valuable content.
Aside from the fact that Google is a webmaster’s best friend, Google is also the best platform for any type of marketing. Why?
Because people who are on Google, and are searching to buy something, most likely have already decided they want to buy it already, and you don’t even have to put as much of selling and pitching to them.
Running search ads is one of the best ways to promote every single type of product you can think of. Alas, it’s quite more expensive than the other methods, but it’s definitely worth its money in terms of conversion rates.
And, for example, if you had an eCommerce store and were promoting ads on both Facebook and Google Search Ads. Which one do you think would give you more credibility?
That’s right, Google of course because they also have stricter advertising policies in general.
#3. HTML and Image Manipulation for Successful Affiliate Marketing?
Nowadays this step isn’t that important, but if you are going to indeed start doing affiliate marketing, the least you can do is learn how HTML works, how the code is structured, and what does it mean.
Learning the basics of HTML is definitely one of the skills to be successful in affiliate marketing.
Because imagine you had to go and change some links on your landing page. That would sound extremely scary to most people when in fact it’s extremely easy once you just learn what the different abbreviations mean.
If you were to go even one step further and learn how CSS works as well, you would even be able to change styling elements, colors, and essentially anything in terms of design on your HTML pages.
Even if you were using WordPress and page builders all the time, you will still, at some point get into a situation where you will have to edit some code. In that case, it would be much better knowing how to do that yourself instead of seeking freelancers to do it for you.
Another quite important skill to have is learning how to make the images that you want. Of course, you are probably not a graphic designer, but don’t think for a second that this skill is hard to learn.
There’s so much software out there available, we even have a Top 10 Graphic Design Software in 2020 rubric on our website that you can check out as well.
And some of those tools are made for total beginners, and you should definitely start with those. You will see for yourself that once you’ve already manipulated more than 100 images, you will feel the need for better software yourself.
And not to mention that these tools are pretty intuitive and their functionality is basically the same. For example, changing colors, changing fonts, adding texts, adding backgrounds, and overlays – all those are utilities that will help you create banners and images for your campaigns or even your landing pages.
If you are a beginner and you are planning to outsource all the HTML and designing work, you would be making a big mistake, because you are most likely going to have a couple of unsuccessful campaigns until you reach a successful one, and having additional expenses for freelancers is not something you want that early on.
#4. Domain and Hosting
This one is pretty straightforward, and yet many people start websites without even knowing how those two actually function. It would take you less than 20 minutes to learn what both of those terms mean, how they operate, and how you can set them up properly yourself.
And you should even go one step further in learning what SSL Certificates are, what VPS is, how to connect to a VPS, how databases and encryption work, how to install various software on a server, what the different types of servers are, and, essentially as much as you can.
This is one of the cornerstones that need to be covered before you get into any kind of online business or venture because if you don’t understand them now, you might make some really bad mistakes in the future that could cost you a lot.
Learning those skills will help you on your journey to be successful in affiliate marketing.
#5. Other Major Internet Skills To Be Successful in Affiliate Marketing
By now, just by knowing at least a little about all of the things listed above, you are going to have a really powerful skill set that’s going to save you both time and money.
Not to mention, it will differentiate you from the other beginner affiliates and will give you a significant competitive advantage, which, in this environment, is really important.
Here’s a list of some other things I wish I knew when I started affiliate marketing. My suggestion is to just Google them or YouTube them and learn from the best materials available on the topics:
- How does the cost per click system work?
- How to make landing pages?
- How to steal/rip landing pages?
- How to start an email marketing campaign?
- What are the different types of paid traffic?
- Which are the best affiliate networks at the moment?
- How to do SEO?
Affiliate marketing takes very little knowledge to start with, and if you stick with it, it gives you life-long skills that you would be unable to learn from somewhere else.
It’s a weird combination between being a salesman, digital marketeer, an entrepreneur, and a psychologist. That’s actually true, and I have discussed it with some fellow marketeers.
Because, once you get into it, you get to learn so much from the processes, and from the data you see, that you begin to understand so much more about the internet than you previously had.
Even if you are not successful with affiliate marketing, you can rest assured that it will most likely give you way more than a Masters in Marketing would give you, and those skills can be applied to almost any job or business out there, even non-digital ones.