Updated May 2020
I've been involved in online marketing since 2015 and have been making a full-time income from it since 2017.
Ya, it took a while to get things going, but this was partly because I didn't know what I was doing in the beginning and ended up wasting a lot of time... on things that were really stupid now that I look back on it.
Right now I think it is a great time for anyone thinking about getting involved in something like this to do so. Don't wait. Businesses are all jumping online or falling behind; it's never been easier to connect to an audience that is billions of people large; and the number of internet users worldwide is predicted to continue increasing...
Today I'll be showing you how it's possible to get started with this growing online opportunity, which is the exact method I've been using to earn online income. And... I'll be showing you how to do it the right way, so that you don't have to go through all the trial and error like I did.
Why am I doing this? Well, just think of it as a way to return the favor. I was able to get help from people early on when I was just starting out and now I hope to help others in the same way.
But I should probably introduce myself before I go any further.
Hi, I'm Kyle. Welcome to my blog, as you could probably tell by the name.
In 2015 I was a struggling blue-collar worker doing maintenance work at a golf course. Now I work for myself, wherever I want and whenever I want.
And as mentioned, today I'll be going over exactly how I do this and how you can too.
The picture of me above is from a recent trip I took to South America. That was during a Colca Canyon hike in southern Peru.
Having the freedom to travel around is one of the many perks to working online, and this is what I love to do. But it doesn't matter what your preference, spending more time with the family is another way the freedoms of this line of work.
Below you can see another picture from my recent trip, which is of me holding some type of large pet rodent in an Amazon jungle area of Peru (I forget the name of it)...
I did go to college and ended up getting a Bachelor's degree in criminal justice, but you'll be happy to hear that no degrees of certificates are required for what I'm about to show you.
My degree serves no purpose with how I make money online.
After graduating from college was when I was working doing maintenance work at a golf course. What I had studied for no longer interested me and I wasn't sure what I wanted to do.
Then an idea popped into my mind... and that idea was to try to make money online.
All I knew was that making money online was possible because I had known someone in college that was doing it.
But I didn't have a clue about how it worked, how to get started, or anything really.
So what did I do? Well, I went on Google and started looking. And, to make a really long story of wasting a bunch of time on paid surveys and almost getting scammed, really short... I ended up sticking to things and finding something that actually worked.
The good news for you is that I'm going to straight-up tell you how to get started today so that you don't have to waste your time.
What I do is called affiliate marketing, and in a nutshell this is when you promote products for companies online via affiliate links and earn commissions when you help make sales. It's something that isn't well-known or understood by most of the population, but fairly well-known among internet-savvy individuals.
Now if you have already heard of this... let me tell you that there are about 100+ ways to go about doing it... and not all of them work out too well.
Affiliate marketing is particularly good for newbies, and is how a lot of online marketers get their start in the online world, for good reason.
And of course it has big income potential, which is the reason I'm still doing it today. I myself have had 5-figure monthly earnings before and know some people who have income likely this regularly.
Of course it took a lot of hard work and time to get to this point, but I'm just letting you know it's possible.
As mentioned, there are 100+ ways to go about affiliate marketing, some that work and some that don't. Some that are good for short-term earnings and some that are good for long-term sustainable business.
Here is what I do, and this has proven to be sustainable long-term. In fact, now that I've been in the online business world for a while now, I've met people who have been doing this since the early 2000's.
I make small websites and publish articles on them. Then, when people search on Google they come across my articles, click through to my website, read them, and purchase products I'm promoting (not all the time, but you get the point).
When someone does click on one of my affiliate links and purchases a product, I get paid a commission. This is all done automatically.
Now to get started with this business model there are 4 steps that need to be taken.
Making your own website is usually the part that everyone fears the most, but it's actually not that bad.
With all the website building software out there nowadays it can be easily accomplished.
I'll be showing you the website building software I use in a bit, which literally only takes a few clicks of the mouse to get things going.
Additionally, I'll be showing you how you can get a free website + website hosting to start... so that you don't have to pay a penny to start out.
Does this make sense?
The reason companies pay people to promote their products with affiliate links is because it brings them business! It's a win/win situation.
I'll show you some real examples to give you a better idea of what's going on here.
I guarantee you've seen plenty of examples like this before... you just maybe never realized it.
After a quick Google search for "best outdoor dog toys" I was easily able to find several websites that are making money with affiliate marketing. In fact, the first two search results are doing this!
After clicking on the first website I landed on the page shown below. This website is probably run by a single individual and, as you can see, there is an affiliate link.
Basically this article lists 15 good outdoor dog toys, provides a brief description of each, and has affiliate links so that readers can purchase them.
Upon clicking on the link, sure enough, I was directed to Amazon to purchase the product.
Now of course I didn't, but if I would have the website owner would have earned a commission.
There is still plenty of opportunity for the little man (or woman) to create small websites like this and make money doing so, and you see it all the time.
The answer: Pretty much anything you can think of.
There are lots of big companies (and small companies) that have affiliate programs. Anyone can join these programs for free and they are then given their own unique affiliate links to promote the products with.
Amazon is one of the best examples out there because they have the biggest affiliate program in the world, yet they are still just one of thousands of them that exist.
The estimates differ, but somewhere between 350 - 500 million products are sold on Amazon, in just about every product category imaginable... and affiliates can get paid to promote these.
These are just some of the many product categories out there with products for you to promote. And within each category there are thousands upon thousands of different products.
Now Amazon's affiliate program isn't the greatest because commissions are fairly low, but there are quite a bit of affiliate programs out there that pay 50%+ commissions.
As I've already mentioned at least twice at this point, there are many different ways to go about affiliate marketing. BUT, this is what works for me and there are many reasons why I think this method, in which you...
... is the best. One of the main reasons is because of the ability to earn passive income that it brings to the table.
Let me show you a quick example of what I'm talking about here:
Below I searched for "best easy chili recipe" in Google and here are the top 3 results...
As you can see, the one article was published in 2018 and another was published wayyy back in 2013!
The website owner published an article one time back in 2013 and is continuing to make money from it. It sounds amazing and that's because it is.
Now it doesn't always work out this well, but when you publish an article on your website it will stay ranked indefinitely, sometimes for years and years.
And when it stays ranked it continues to bring people to your website, which you then can earn money from via affiliate promotions.
With this approach to affiliate marketing there is the "snowball effect", as some call it. As you publish more content, your website traffic grows and grows... the "snowball" gets bigger and bigger, as you can see from this traffic overview of one of my own websites...
If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, then stick with me and I'll go over exactly what you need to get started.
Don't be overwhelmed. I'll be showing how anyone, regardless of where you live or what your background is, can get started for free... with everything.
Sounds too good to be true, I know, but just bear with me here for a second.
Quick Recap: There are 4 main steps of getting this sort of online business set up.
As I've mentioned, this is the part that usually scares people away. It sounds hard. It sounds frustrating. And it sounds like you might need to have some tech skills... but you actually don't need any skills and it's really easy.
There's a website building tool that I use, which is free, that you'll get access to. Additionally, I'll show you how to get a free website + hosting so that there are no expenses to get started.
I won't kid you, this is something else that may seem overwhelming at first too, but if you can write an email then you can do this.
What I'm talking about is writing. You will be writing articles on your website.
What will you be writing? Well, this all depends on what topic you choose to create a website about, which could be just about anything.
Lot's of possibilities here.
And don't worry, if you don't have any idea what type of website you'd want to create then you are in the NORMAL category. It is completely normal to feel lost at this point. Don't rush yourself... there's a process to this.
It's also important to note that you don't have to be an expert in anything. I've created websites on topics that I know little-to-nothing about beforehand, and know others who have done the same. As long you have some interest in the topic you choose and the ability to learn... then you're good to go.
I already touched again on this above.
This part is simple. There are tons of affiliate programs out there, all free to join, and you can promote just about any sort of product/service imaginable.
All you do here is place relevant affiliate links into your content. This way, when readers are reading your content they can click on the links and purchase the products.
After all of that is set up then you are ready to earn, in which you don't have to do a thing.
Everything is tracked automatically, meaning that when someone clicks on your affiliate link it will automatically be tracked and, if they do purchase, you will be credited with your commission, which will generally range from 1 - 75% (ya, it can vary a lot).
Common methods of payment include:
I'm personally a big fan of PayPal and choose this option when it's available. The options will depend on the affiliate program.
So... what you need to begin is a website... and even before this you will need to figure out what you want your website to be about.
The easiest way to get started, and the cheapest (it costs nothing) is to through the Wealthy Affiliate training course. This will guide you through the entire process, step-by-step.
*Note: This is actually the EXACT same course that I went through back in 2015 when I started out - but updated of course.
Wealthy Affiliate, in a nutshell, is like an all-in-one package for people who are just getting started with affiliate marketing. They provide the step-by-step training and the tools needed to put everything together.
This place also provides free beginner training and a free website to start out. I think this is incredible because it gives people the ability to get started without any cost. And NO, this isn't some free trial where they charge you if you forget to cancel... you don't even enter any payment information to join.
If I thought I could train people better than the Wealthy Affiliate program than I would. But the truth is that the way their training is laid-out and broken down into easy-to-follow tasks... it can't really get any easier. And besides, I learned how to do just about everything from this very training program.
The first course of the training program, which is completely free, will take you through the process of choosing your niche (this is the topic of your website) as well as actually creating your website and getting things set up.
And remember, your website will be provided for free as well. This is a little bonus for new members that they give out.
I'm not going to go over every part of the training here, because there is a lot, but this gives you an idea of what it'll be like.
With lots of easy-to-follow video tutorials and specific action tasks laid-out for you, this type of training is perfect for the complete beginner and just as good for someone with a bit of experience.
Wealthy Affiliate is, as mentioned, an "all-in-one" type of deal. Not only do they provide the training, but they provide the tools needed too.
Here's what I'm talking about...
1) Website & hosting: It would be a lot more complicated if you had to go sign up for some other service and buy a website + hosting. Wealthy Affiliate simply sets you up with a fully-functional WordPress website for free.
2) The Website Builder: When I was saying earlier that you don't need any tech skills to make a website, I wasn't joking. They have a state-of-the-art website building tool here where you only have to choose a domain (the URL), name your website, choose a theme and that's it...
3) Keyword Research Tool: I don't want to get too into things here, because it can be confusing, but this is something that is important. When writing articles for your website you will need a "keyword research tool". To be brief, this tool helps you find good topics to write about that will give your website the most traffic and be the easiest to rank for in Google.
Here you can see an example, but don't worry about what all the numbers mean. It's simple to use this tool, and it's a HUGE benefit.
4) Affiliate Program Search: This is actually a newer addition to the platform, and wasn't even available when I started. So in some ways you're better off than I was!
The Affiliate Program Search tool allows you to easily find affiliate programs in various categories where you can promote products specific to your website. Back when I joined I had to search Google to find these programs. Now you can do it all within Wealthy Affiliate.
There are 2 very different but equally important types of support provided at Wealthy Affiliate: tech support and community support.
1) Tech Support
Not only do you not need any tech skills to build your website, but you also don't need any to maintain it. Wealthy Affiliate has a team of engineers on staff that handle the technical stuff.
And it's not like some of these other website hosting companies where you have to go back and forth a million times chatting with some support person that is telling you what to do. At Wealthy Affiliate they provide what is called "managed hosting", which basically means that if your website has any problems the tech support team will go in an fix them for you, hands-free on your end. But this support is limited for free members. After all, they can't give everything away for free.
2) Community Support
The community here is often one of the most overlooked, yet important, features of the platform. Here you can connect with like-minded individuals and get pro-tips from affiliate marketing veterans.
This isn't some "make money" program that gives you access to some low-quality Facebook group or inactive forum. At Wealthy Affiliate the community is very active and there are many different options members have to receive community help.
For example, you could simply post a new question available to the community...
Or, you could hop on their Live Chat feature for extra-speedy help, but this is usually only good if you have a simple, non-complicated question...
Additionally, you can Private Message other members inside the platform or post on their profiles (similar to Facebook).
The community here is nothing short of excellent, and you never know what little golden nuggets you can learn from others.
Just like everyone, the owners at Wealthy Affiliate and their staff need to make money too. If they didn't then the platform wouldn't exist, or would at least be pretty crappy.
There are 2 main memberships, the FREE Starter Membership and the paid Premium Membership.
Here's a quick breakdown of each:
To sign up for this membership you don't even need to enter payment information. It's an excellent way to get started and gives you the ability to "test drive" the system without paying a penny.
With this membership you will get:
Some of what you get is limited, and you don't get access to all of the training, but this still is definitely what I recommend for people who are just starting out. That way there is no risk, since it's free.
And besides, this really does provide all you need to get started, so there is no point in paying for the Premium Membership early on.
The Premium Membership provides everything there is... no hidden charges or sneaky upsells after this.
You get everything included in the Starter Membership plus you get a lot more, such as...
There is a lot included here, and it's well worth the price of $49/mo (discounted more if you pay yearly).
Just as an example, if you were to buy equivalent managed website hosting somewhere else it could cost as much as $250/mo... for the website hosting alone... that's not including any training and everything else that this place offers.
Not only that, but if you do the math it works out to be only $1.56 per day, which is less than coffee and well worth the investment for a better future.
I know this can be a bit overwhelming if you're completely new to it all. It was for me at first too, but I'm confident the step-by-step training at Wealthy Affiliate will be easy for you to follow.
The first thing you are going to want to do is join Wealthy Affiliate via their FREE Starter membership here.
Now... after joining you will be able to get started with the training immediately, but there are 2 simple things that I always recommend doing beforehand...
It's possible to join and start the training as some no-name, no-faced person, but I'd highly recommend uploading a photo and writing a brief description of yourself inside your profile.
*If you don't want to show your face then upload a picture of your dog or something. Any picture is better than none.
This will lead to more engagement from others in the community and will better your chances of success, not to mention it will show that you're a real person.
Currently I am providing extra help to anyone who joins Wealthy Affiliate through me.
Yes, I'm a busy guy, but can still provide personal guidance & tips. You can direct message me inside the platform at any time. First you'll want to follow me at El-jefe-Kyle, and then you can send me Private Messages...
Offer still available - 21 May 2020
*If you join through any of the links on this page you will get this bonus offer.
How much money can you make?
I questioned the legitimacy of this a lot early on, but now I make a living doing it and know it's possible... and I know many other full-time affiliate marketers.
So, how much can you make? Well, you can make a heck of a lot... some people make over $50k/mo... but you shouldn't expect this.
How long does it take to make money?
I don't want to mislead you, it can take a while. If you are in need of immediate income then this isn't for you. It depends on many variables, but I usually tell people not to expect to earn anything for over a couple months.
Remember, this is about building a long-term sustainable business, not about making quick cash. You also have to take into account the "snowball effect" that I talked about earlier when it comes to growing your online business. This type of business starts off small and builds and builds.
Are you considered an employee for companies when you do this?
No, you are not. You work for yourself and are considered an Independent Contractor. You set your own time and work as little or as much as you want.
Who created Wealthy Affiliate?
The platform was created by 2 guys named Kyle and Carson (a different Kyle, not me). They are still very active within the platform and you can actually go to their profiles and Private Message them, which is awesome.
What if I fail?
You might, but this usually happens to people who give up... and you're not going to do that now are you?
There's no risk to try. Remember, it's free. You could, at the very least, join and see how you like things.
What if I find out this isn't for me?
There's no harm in that. Again, it's free to join. You can test things out and if you don't like it then you can walk away no harm done... although I think you'll like it.
Kyle's Blog - 2020