Today, I made my first $100 through my online business (well, it was actually a couple of weeks ago, I just noticed it today :P)
You can’t imagine how long I had been waiting to be one of those people who is sharing their success story with the world. When I logged in my affiliate account and saw the image below, all of the sudden, everything changed… What I considered impossible became possible. And now I know that if I keep applying all I have learned until now, more will come.
As you can see, those $100 came from just one sale of a $449 product. This sale was actually my first organic sale as an affiliate marketer as well. By organic sale, I mean a sale which came as a result of a visitor who found my website through a search engine such as Google.
This is actually a very big deal because organic sales lead to earning passive income (as long as my article remains online and people find it through Google search, I will be earning money without doing anything as far as this specific article is concerned).
Anyway, since you are here, besides sharing my ecstasy with you, I’ll also share some of my website’s stats such as age, visitors, etc, as well as some tips that brought me this first sale in order to motivate you as well as help your business start bringing in money to you as well.
My Website’s Statistics
As you can see in the image right below, blog4cash was first created on the 3rd of August 2017.
At the time that I am writing this post, it’s February 2019. Now you are wondering, “Wow, did it take you 18 months to make your first affiliate marketing sale?”
The answer is both yes and no.
Yes, it took 18 months since I initially created this website to make its first sale. However, besides publishing 2-3 articles upon creation, I didn’t publish a single article again until June 2018. The website wasn’t even indexed in Google until that point.
From June 2018 until now, I have been publishing content as consistently as possible (once or maybe twice a week).
What I am trying to say is that despite having created blog4cash 18 months ago, I had been working on it just for the last 9 months so basically it took me just 9 months of relatively consistent work to make my first money through it.
Not bad at all…
Let’s take a look at my analytics now.
The analytics that you see in the image right below are from the last 29 days.
- 116 direct sessions with 81% bounce rate
- 113 organic sessions with 88.5% bounce rate
- 6 social sessions with 83.33% bounce rate
- 1 referral session with 100% bounce rate
- 1.4 pages per session
- 1:47 minutes average session duration
The overall image of the stats is not bad but the traffic is minimal. However, as you can see in the graph below, there’s growth in organic traffic as the months go by (and I keep posting high-quality content of course).
Ok, here’s what I’ve learned the last 2 years as an affiliate marketer.
A Bunch of Useful Tips To Reach Your First Sale as Well
1 • Keep Publishing Content no Matter What
When your website is still at its infancy, the only people who read your content will probably be your mom, dad, siblings, dog, as well as some of your close friends. And this is the best case scenario.
Let me tell you that this is fucking discouraging. Devoting hours towards creating content which no person reads is painful.
But if you want to become successful, you have to get past that. You have to keep writing despite the pain.
Your main job as an affiliate marketer is producing content for your website. If you stop doing that, you failed forever and as you saw in the introductory image of this post, success should be your only option, failure not.
I know that you will have the urge to quit.
Due to requiring so much effort and time without seeing any immediate results and not knowing if those results will ever even come, most people grow frustrated and quit a while after they start.
I am still thinking about quitting almost once every 13.5 minutes. Hell, I am thinking about quitting as I am writing those very words.
But then, I go on writing my post. I keep posting despite being tired and wanting to quit. And I am really glad I do.
It might take months of consistent effort and dozens of published articles until you start seeing other people getting interested in your content (I actually started seeing traffic after the 45th article that I had published).
But, if I had quit halfway there, I would have never reached one of the most important milestones of my business, my very first sale!
So, my tip for you is:
Keep publishing content even if your website is more desolate than a ghost town. Eventually, people will start finding you just as you found me. And if they start finding you, money will start flowing in.
2 • Be Consistent
The more consistent you are with your work, the faster the results you’ll get.
It took me 9 months of publishing once and sometimes twice a week to get my first affiliate marketing sale. If you manage to churn out content more consistently, it might take half the time or maybe even less for you to get where I am.
Consistency always leads to faster results not just in business but in every aspect of one’s life.
However, there are a lot of other factors that determine how long it might take for you to start making money through your affiliate marketing business such as
- Your niche
- Quality of content
If you want to find more about this subject, go ahead an check out my 2 articles below
- How Long Does It Really Take To Start Making Money With Affiliate Marketing?
- How Long Does It Take To Become A Full-Time Affiliate Marketer?
3 • Reviews Convert Well
It’s no secret that reviews convert well.
Someone who is looking for a review of a product is most likely 99% ready to make a purchase but maybe they are trying to decide between a couple of products and just need some more information as a little push before making their decision.
To tell you the truth, I don’t really like creating product reviews but it is no lie that they have the potential to drive a lot of traffic to your website as well as make you a lot of money.
Most of my current organic traffic comes through my product reviews. My first sale took place through a product review. I believe that despite not liking creating reviews, I will have to start publishing more from now on if I want to see more substantial results in terms of traffic and money.
Never oversell a product and never lie about its features. Just be truthful and honest about its pros and cons and how it can benefit your reader in order to maintain your reputation and credibility. Believe me, you don’t want to be the guy who made someone purchase a worthless product or a product which doesn’t deliver what you promised.
You can take a look at how I write my reviews right here.
4 • Try Targeting Low Hanging Fruit Keywords
A low hanging fruit keyword is a keyword which gets little traffic per month but has low competition as well.
For a brand new website which gets no traffic at all, targeting competitive keywords is not a smart move because the chances of ranking on the first page of Google over older and more authoritative websites for such keywords are slim to none. And if your content remains buried after the first two pages of the SERPs, no one is going to ever find and read it. And as long as no one finds and reads your content, you are going to be earning $0 per month.
Targeting low competition keywords for your articles dramatically increases your chances of ranking high enough on the SERPs for people to find and read your content. It’s always easier to catch a large fish in a small pond than a small fish in a large pond.
And when people come, money will follow.
5 • Get Some Good Affiliate Marketing Training
Both of those platforms will make your journey to making money online much MUCH easier by taking away all the guesswork and saving you tons of time, energy, and frustration which in turn dramatically decrease your chances of not making it.
- Project 24 review right here
- Wealthy Affiliate updated 2019 review coming soon
In addition, make sure to stay tuned because I am about to create a resource page with all the resources that have been of amazing help while scaling my business.
However, don’t put all your eggs in your training basket. Training is just training, it just shows you the way. It’s up to you and how you put everything together that will determine if you become successful or not.
6 • Be Patient and Give it Time
Many people go into affiliate marketing thinking that they will make money fast and effortlessly. Most of the time it’s not their fault… They just came across an article which claimed so in order to make them purchase a program or a course which will show them “the way”.
However, this is not the case… In order to become a successful affiliate marketer, you’ll most likely need to work your butt off for a significant amount of time. For some people, success may take place faster than others and it truly depends on so many factors that no person can ever predict an exact amount of time that it could take to get where you want (for more on this subject check out How Long Does It Take To Become A Full-Time Affiliate Marketer?)
Before you turn your back on affiliate marketing looking for another way to make money fast and easy, let me ease your mind by letting you know that there is none. If you want to make serious money which will not be just a fluke but a long-lasting endeavor, you will have to work for it, be patient, and give it time.
Affiliate marketing a real business and if you don’t treat it as such it will never become your business.
There’s no genie, no magic pill or formula towards making money in this world. There’s no way around investing time and effort towards success.
End of story.
7 • Create High-Quality Content
A while back, Kyle, one of the founders of Wealthy Affiliate posted this:
What does SEO mean to you? Here’ s a start, and here is something that has been at the forefront since Google started their business.
But it’s not quite that simple. Content could be spun, curated, or poorly architected. So let’s try a different approach.
Well what does that mean? That is based entirely on what you think quality is, which will be entirely different than the next person.
OK, let’s try something else.
There, you got it. This is what people are after, that is what Google is also after, this is the content people actually read and use, and this is also the content that leads to maximum engagement and conversions.
Here’s to creating more HELPFUL content!
Always put quality before quantity.
It’s much better to have 20 high-quality published articles on your blog than having 100 crappy ones which serve no other purpose than making your website look fuller and depleting the disk space of your web host.
Just like you are here, people will come to your website for help and if you don’t give them what they came for, they will leave and never come back.
8 • Practice Makes Better
When I first started producing content, it was one of the most difficult things that I had ever done in my life. I remember that I used to sit in front of the screen for hours before I was able to write a 300-word post which I believed was way too long in the first place.
Fast forward a few years, I am able to write 2k words and maybe even more in just one day or two. If you told me back then, I would never believe you but nevertheless, here I am.
A few days ago I came across an awesome video which you must absolutely watch if you are one of those people who struggle with
- creating content
- writer’s blog
- being creative
- making excuses
- finding motivation
9 • Be Yourself!
Yeah, I know, such a cliche, right?
But being yourself is actually what separates you from everyone else who is doing the exact same thing as you.
How to be yourself in this kind of business you ask?
- Share your story, people love reading other people’s stories
- Express your opinion even if you get judged
- Share your point of view
- Don’t be a copycat… Just seek ideas and inspiration and improve on them in your own unique way
- Write in your own style
Always remember that being yourself is your superpower… The world needs you to be YOU!
10 • Try to Keep Yourself Motivated
Easier said than done right?
How the hell do you keep yourself motivated to do a job that requires putting tons of effort without even knowing if it might or might not pay off sometime in the future?
- Choose a niche that interests you or that you’re passionate about
- Always keep your eye on your ultimate goal
- Celebrate small wins and milestones
- Read other people’s success stories. There’s no better way to keep yourself motivated than seeing people who have started before you finding success because if someone can do it, you can definitely do it as well. To help you out, here are 16 Real-Life, Motivating Wealthy Affiliate Success Stories 2018
- Just refuse to give up. This kind of motivation takes a lot of will power but it can be so powerful if you do that the right way. What I am constantly saying to myself is that I’ll die right on my keyboard before I give up. And I fucking mean it.
11 • Know Who You’re Talking To
Every single blog post that you’ll ever publish on your website, either this is a product review, how to guide, best of list, etc, is meant to be read by certain people.
Always have those people in mind.
What information are they looking for? What kind of problem are they looking to solve? How can you serve them the best? What questions are they looking to answer? How can you make their life easier?
If you do that, you’ll be able to
- increase the quality of your content
- never run out of content ideas
- overcome writer’s block
- write faster and more effectively
- increase your conversions and sales
- show your audience that you understand what they are going through and thus gain their trust
Behind every successful business, there’s a satisfied customer.
12 • Fuck the Naysayers
While building your business, you will come to talk about it with several people in your life and chances are that most of them will think that you’ve gone crazy. Hell, some of them will even try to talk you out of it…
- “What? You are building a business online? This will never work…”
- “You are wasting your time”
- “Don’t do this man. Just be like all other normal people”
- “You don’t have what it takes”
FUCK every single one of those people.
Those who have not walked the path that you are walking, know nothing… So why listen to them? Would you take advice on becoming fit from someone who wouldn’t move their feet even if their life depended on it? I don’t think so.
When someone tells you “You can’t”, reply “Watch and learn bitch!”
Do your thing… Prove everyone wrong.
When you do, most of them will keep asking you to show them how you did it.
13 • Follow Me
Within this website, I am trying my best to monitor my journey to quitting my job by creating my very own online affiliate marketing business. My path is full of ups and downs and throughout my articles, I will be sharing everything I learn, the setbacks I face and how I overcame them, mistakes I make, useful resources I come across, motivational words, etc.
If what I write helps even just one person quit a job they hate to live a better, happier, more fulfilling life on their own terms, I’ll consider myself successful.
If you are on your journey to quitting your job or if you wish to start right now, I would love to help you out in every possible way and that’s why I absolutely recommend to sign up for my newsletter and always stay up to date with my latest updates.
If you want to chat with me literally about anything, you could also contact me directly. I’d be more than happy to hear from you and help you out.
Affiliate marketing FAQs
Affiliate marketing is an online business model that involves promoting products or services created and distributed by third-party online merchants in exchange for getting paid a commission for each sale you refer.
In layman’s terms, affiliate marketing is the process of being compensated for helping businesses sell to more customers.
Here’s a bird’s eye view of how affiliate marketing works.
- You join a merchant’s affiliate program
- The merchant gives you a unique affiliate link that points to their e-shop
- You promote your unique affiliate link online (blog, forums, social media, paid ads, etc.)
- Every time someone clicks on your unique affiliate link and makes a purchase on the merchant’s e-shop, the merchant pays you a commission
There are thousands of successful affiliate marketers all around the world. Some of the most well-known ones are:
- Pat Flynn
- Matt Diggity
- Matthew Woodward
- Doug Cunnington
- & more
You can check out a roundup of my 17 favorite examples of affiliate success and their backstories right here.
- Billion-dollar industry
- Very low startup & operational expenses
- Huge income potential
- Flexible & versatile
- Passive income
- Simple to implement
- No technical background
- No customer support
- No physical setup
Affiliate marketers can be divided into five main income groups:
- Total beginners: $0 – $20,000 per year
- Low-level affiliates: $20,000 – $50,000 per year
- Intermediate affiliates: $50,000 – $100,000 per year
- High-level affiliates: $100,000 – $500,000 per year
- Super affiliates: $500,000+ per year
Some of the factors that influence how much you earn as an affiliate marketer include:
- target niche
- available resources
- previous experience
- marketing efforts
- & overall mindset
Here’s a rough income growth timeline of a typical affiliate marketing business:
- months (0-3): no earnings
- months (3-6): first affiliate sale
- months (6-12): $100-$500 monthly
- months (12-18): $1000 monthly
- months (18-24): $3000+ monthly
This timeline isn’t a guarantee of future performance but rather a mere approximation of the income growth of an average affiliate business. Your own timeline could be shorter or longer than projected.
Over the years, I’ve seen aspiring affiliates striking a gold vein just a few months into the industry. On the other hand, I personally know people who’ve been struggling to grow their affiliate revenue to $1000 per month for several years.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most affordable money-making models out there.
Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to get started as an affiliate marketer along with their associated costs:
- web hosting & domain name: $2.95/month (Bluehost)
- keyword research tool: $49/month (Jaaxy)
- expert guidance: $49/month (Wealthy Affiliate)
- email autoresponder: Free for up to 1000 subs (MailerLite)
Please note that on top of expert guidance, Wealthy Affiliate also provides free access to hosting and a keyword research tool so you don’t have to purchase them separately.
The process of getting started with affiliate marketing can be broken down into the following four simple steps:
- Pick a niche
- Launch a blog
- Build an audience
- Promote affiliate products
No, you don’t.
Affiliate marketing is very simple to get started with by virtually anyone regardless of age, education, background, available capital, tech-savviness, professional network, etc.
In fact, most 6-figure affiliate marketers were no more experienced than you currently are when they first ventured into the affiliate marketing industry.
Nonetheless, being knowledgeable in fields like marketing, sales, content production, business management, etc., could help you reach your financial goals somewhat faster.
I won’t lie to you…
The journey to making money online is hard and the path is full of potholes. But as long as you don’t give up, as long as you never stop moving forward, no matter how slow, you’ll eventually reach your destination.
The first sale is just a milestone and not your final goal. Don’t loosen up once it takes place… Take advantage of this momentum and keep creating content non-stop. Keep serving your readers in the best possible way. Work harder than before because more money is on its way. You just have to reach out and get it for yourself.
Thank you for taking the time to read about my first sale.
Hopefully, you gained some motivation and insights and hopefully, some of what I wrote will help you get your first sale faster.
Have you made your first sale just yet? If yes, how long did it take you? If not, how long have you been trying? Do you have any tips to offer for all the other readers?
Let us know in the comments below.
If you have any questions or need any further help or guidance from me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a PM on my Wealthy Affiliate Profile.
I’ll be thrilled to help you out.