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For those of you that have not been following our blogs, Cath and I have decided to escape the 9 to 5, and start working from home, generating an income online. This seemed a lot easier than it actually ended up being, with places like Pinterest and Google flooded with “work from home opportunities”. With so many options out there, how do you know what works and what doesn’t? Who are scammers trying to sell a ‘get rich quick option’ and who are legit ‘Guru’s’ earning 6 figure income?

Have you ever tried typing the words “Make Money Online” into any search engine? The answers you will find will include Affiliate Marketing, Get Paid for Taking Surveys, Making Money Through Social Media (Facebook and Instagram), Blogging, Proof Reading, Transcribing, Making Money on Pinterest, E-Commerce, and Teaching English Online to name just a few.

We had to look at all of these options and find what could work for us. And trust me, we’ve researched and/or tried all of them… Bear in mind, we have a family to support and can’t just “wing it” as this is not a side hustle for us. Surveys took too much time and paid too little, and neither Cath or I have nearly enough followers/friends on Social Media to make that a success. Transcribing and proof reading weren’t for us, and e-commerce takes too much start up capital and lots of logistics. Cath tried Teaching Online, but the times for her to teach were crazy due to the time zone difference, and with homeschooling our two boys, there’s no way she could function on 2 hours of sleep a day.
Affiliate marketing intrigued us the most. With affiliate marketing, you don’t need any start up capital nor any products of your own to sell. Everything happens online, so you don’t need any storage space. The time it takes to do is very flexible, and it is one of the easiest ways to start making money online. Affiliate marketing is when you promote somebody else’s products and earn a commission when a sale is made. The products can be physical, like on Amazon, digital, like an e-book or digital download or can be a person promoting their own online courses.There are great e-books available on Amazon Kindle, that can give you more information on Amazon Associates as well as other Affiliate Networking and Online Marketing information. If you don’t own a Kindle, don’t worry, you can simply make use of the kindle app. You can sign up for a free Kindle Trial here.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, there are many platforms you could use to promote your product links. If you don’t have a website, no need to stress! You can promote your affiliate marketing links anywhere – on your social media accounts or you can send it via emails. Be careful though, each social media platform has different rules and regulations regarding where you can share your links.
So where do you get your affiliate links from? The options are endless, and it all depends on what you would like to be promoting, so step one is to choose your niche. Be sure that your niche resonates with you and that you are passionate about it. This is very important as you want to enjoy what you are doing and this will ensure that you go the extra mile if need be.
Personally, I started by researching top affiliate networks on Google. An affiliate network is a place or company that allows you to market their products through an affiliate link. There are hundreds of youtube videos from affiliate marketers. This is also a great way to start as they go into detail about affiliate marketing platforms as well as what networks are great to work with. Be sure to research the ‘Guru’s’ before blindly following their advice as they might have skeletons in their closet. Another great way to finding affiliates that will work for you is by simply searching Google for affiliates based on your niche – e.g. Fitness Affiliates. Often you will find smaller, individual people that will pay you, as an affiliate, to promote/market their website, course or products. Try to always look for high paying affiliates as well as networks/companies/people that have been tried and tested, and have great reviews.
Once you have your niche and affiliate links, like I mentioned above, you can promote it anywhere you choose but be careful not to become a “spam guru”!We recommend that you create a website which is the path that we have chosen whereby we share our affiliate links through our blog posts. All of our affiliate links are products we have either tested and use or that we have an interest in and have thoroughly researched.
You have your niche, and have registered with all of your affiliate networks. So what next? You can’t just set up a website, with nothing on it. We discovered that people need to get to know you, your story and why they should trust the products you are promoting. This is easier to do if you are passionate about your niche. Remember that you need to find an amazing way to serve your clients by having a solution for their situation by offering the right service or product. By clients, I mean people that come to your website and read your posts, and eventually start following you.
Before you start creating a website, I would recommend you write a few blogs. Like I mentioned above, you don’t want to have a website with no content. If you don’t have blogs already written when starting your website, it will look empty. So having some content to fill your site with is a good way to start without being under pressure. Your blogs should be broken up into paragraphs with an estimate of 2000 words or more. Insert appropriate photos as well. The photos you put up in your blog should be of good quality. Be careful when taking images from the internet as they might be copyright protected, so as far as possible, use your own images/pictures.
It’s always great to do research on top bloggers and have a look at their websites. Take note of things like colours, layouts and how user friendly it is. On Google and Youtube you’ll find some of the best steps for creating a professional blogging website. Be sure to include some information about yourself on your website, with a photograph, so the people looking at your website get to know a bit about you.
Before you can go live with your website, you need to get your head around SEO. SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimisation. If you type a word into google search they will always offer you a suggestion to what you are searching for. You want your website to rank high and appear when somebody searches for something relating to your niche. The easiest way to do this is by following your websites SEO tips. Insert high ranking keywords (keywords that are often searched for) into your blog headings so that it will be easily found on google. Do as much research as possible on SEO because it’s as important as your website and content. Once again find top suggestions and recommendations regarding the look and layout of your website.
Make sure that you have your legalities easily visible such as your disclosure and privacy policy. You will also need to do research about what your disclosure and privacy policies should state. When inserting your affiliate links into your blog, try highlighting a word, and making that your affiliate link instead of having your affiliate links visible. This looks more professional, and makes for a better looking blog. You can look into the world of link shorteners as you get paid simply by people clicking on your link. We personally don’t use link shrinkers/shorteners as it redirected to an advertisement page before taking you to the actual affiliate link, which can be annoying. Besides, you’ll need a large amount of link clicks to make the earnings worthwhile.
So once your website is all setup with at least 10 blog posts how do you get people directed to your website? The easiest option is Pinterest. Pinterest has 322 million active users worldwide. The best part about Pinterest is that you have the potential to reach these millions of users, without knowing them. You can promote your website on other social media platforms, but you can only essentially reach people you know, or promote it in groups you belong to etc, and there are also legalities to bear in mind.
With Pinterest, all you need to do is open a Pinterest Business Account. Do not underestimate the power of Pinterest traffic. You create pins, post these pins to your pinterest boards and this drives traffic to your blog post on your website. The person looking at your pin simply needs to click on the pin to be redirected to your website. We make use of Canva to create our Pins for Pinterest. I recommend focusing on one traffic source for your website, because it can become overwhelming taking on too much.
Pinterest works by creating boards of interest and is relevant to your blog website. Within each board you will insert pins which you have created.When clicked on, these pins will directly take the person viewing the pin to your website. Ta-da! Traffic! Think of the pins you create as adverts for your blog posts. You should also save other peoples pins to your boards. Make sure that the pins you design are in direct relation to your blog niche. When you create boards remember to focus on high key words so that your pins are easily found. Pin 15-25 pins per day of others content. Grow your boards but try not to overcrowd it. If your boards get too full, split it up into more specific boards. You can repin the pins you’ve created on your boards. You are allowed to make 5 different pins for each of your blog posts. Each of these can be pinned onto a maximum of 10 of your boards, with at least 2 days gap before re-pinning it again. Eventually you want to be pinning 80% of your own pins and 20% of others pins. Be careful of being spammy though. Pinterest monitors spam activity and will suspend your account so be sure to follow their guidelines. Keep your pins fresh by changing the picture/wording of the pin, even if it is going to the same blog post. Pinterest Analytics keeps track of everything. Make sure you understand it in depth as it will help you understand how your online business is growing.
You can never know too much. There are so many people that have done this before and are making 6 figure incomes. Although they don’t always explicitly give you step by step info to follow, there is a lot you can learn from them. It is also a good idea to follow or connect with other bloggers in your niche, even if they don’t earn 6 figure incomes yet. Theres a lot you can learn from each other, and it’s encouraging watching others grow alongside you.

– Farrell