I really don’t want to burst your bubble but if you are thinking this is a get-rich-quick scheme or scam you are wrong. This is a question most people ask when they start and quite rightly you need to know.
So how long does it take to be a successful affiliate marketer?
I suppose everyone’s definition of a successful affiliate marketer is a little different. For me, I will consider myself to be successful when I have completely replaced my full-time income with my online businesses and they are working basically on auto-pilot with a bit of ongoing input from me.
Affiliate marketing is a way to build a long-term business that will pay you handsomely in passive income for many years to come BUT you have to put in the effort at the start to build your site and generate traffic.
Realistically I suggest you dedicate 12 months to building up your authority and adding content to your website before you make a judgment about whether you can be successful at affiliate marketing.
As we like to say “this is a marathon, not a sprint”.
You are building a legitimate, profitable business and learning a new career; and while you will see increases in traffic and those all important sales before that, to really start seeing the fruits of your labour you need time.
Now don’t be concerned we will run through how you can speed up the process, but just know you are not going to make $1,000 per week starting next week.
Why does it take so long?
You need to produce quality content and a lot of it – this takes time. The search engines are your ticket to free amounts of traffic and this will be ongoing if you spend the time to write top quality content for all your blogs right from the word go.
I am not going to wade into paid advertising for your site at this point. If you are like me you need to make money not spend it, and you can build your business without spending large amounts on Facebook advertising or the like. You can get free traffic, called organic traffic, but it takes a little longer.
In a nutshell you need to be producing blogs of at least 1000 words each and you need at least 100 of them on your website to be considered an authority site.
As you can now see this will take some time. How much time depends on you.
Can you give 8 hours a day to your business or do you work full-time at the moment? Do you have family or other commitments that will reduce the amount of time you have to work on your business?
These are areas you need to be realistic about when you consider how long it will take for you to be successful.
As well as that you need to space out your content, upload it regularly and give the search engines time to see and recognise your content as having value.
Search Engines and How to Win Them Over
Search engines are fickle things, they need to know what they are recommending to their searchers is quality information. They don’t know this until you have produced a reasonable amount of content, so they have something to gauge you on.
Now this doesn’t mean you can copy someone else’s work and plonk it on your site, upload a heap of blogs at once and call it done.
There are several problems with this method and why it not only won’t speed things up, but it will probably result in your site crashing and burning.
Google does not like duplicate content. And don’t be fooled into thinking they won’t know it is copied and pasted because they do.
On the platform I use we have an area called Site Content to write all our blogs. This has a built-in duplicate content checker. But there are many free tools on the market that you can use if you are not a member. I like Grammarly for my spelling and grammar checks and they also have a free plagiarism checker – you can take it for a test run by clicking here.
The Google algorithms are very advanced and change rapidly to cope with the ever-changing way we are using the internet. Google’s main aim is to provide the very best search results for you when you type something into that little search box.
They want you, the user, to click on the articles, find wonderful new and unique content and be satisfied.
Otherwise, you might just go off and use someone else’s search engine – Bing or Yahoo anyone!
So while we know not much on the internet is actually brand new, never been thought of before content, your blogs should be written in your style which will make them unique.
You can see from this article, none of the information I am providing you is new, I didn’t invent this stuff, but I am telling you in my own unique way. I am not copying anyone else’s work and so Google will see this as new content – no duplication.
Pretty much anything which is seen as duplicate content will drop your blog down the search results. You need to be on page 1 and the sooner the better. If your article is relegated to Page 20 you won’t get traffic and you won’t get sales and it will take you a loooong time to be a successful affiliate marketer.
Don’t duplicate content and you will speed up the process.
Quality Content & Lots Of It
Your posts need to be at least 1000 words long. Again don’t think you can save time by smashing out a 200 – 300 word blog and get it up on your site and say great I’ve finished another blog today.
[bctt tweet=”None of the search engines will rank posts with only a few hundred words. Why? Because they don’t see the article as having any value. How can you adequately explain a topic in less than 300 words?” username=”TheRatRaceEscap”]
Worse still if you want to add affiliate links into that content, the search engines will see it as spam with only that many words. I recommend no more than one affiliate link to 500 words of content. This amount seems to fly under the radar with the search engines.
So you can see it is worth spending quality time on your content, put some thought into each one and really fill out the article with interesting information and make it worth your readers time and attention to read it.
Lengthy content if engaging will also keep visitors on your site longer and reduce your bounce rate. Bounce rate is when someone visits your page but doesn’t interact with the rest of your site, so they don’t click over to any other posts, leave a comment or in any way engage with your site. They come, they might read for a bit, the bounce rate tracks how long, and then they go again.
Having people stay on your site longer and engage is another thing the search engines know about and like. It proves you have great content. When they see this your blogs will rank higher faster and you will get more traffic, more sales and more success.
You can outsource your content and have others write it, but obviously then you need to pay. I am not going to suggest this route because generally we are in this business to make money not spend it. Once your site(s) are paying their way and you have some surplus income you might then decide to outsource and take a bit of a breather.
Do just make sure you find good writers, there is no point paying someone if the quality isn’t there. This will reduce the viability of your website by posting low-quality blogs that no-one reads.
Consistent Release Of Content
Regular blogging is a must when it comes to speeding up the process. Once again the search engines want to see a lot of blogs from you, but they want to see them regularly.
“How many blogs do I need to write a week then Heidi” you may be asking? I suggest 3 – 4 a week, but if you are working this as your sole business and have the time then a blog every day will certainly speed up the process.
Most of you will still be working another job, as I am, so I have after hours and weekends only to blog. And while the process of writing does get easier with time, initially it might take you 4 – 6 hours to construct a blog, do the required research, actually write it, add the images, get it SEO ready and then post it and do your social media updates.
I can get a blog done in about 2 hours these days, assuming I haven’t had to do a lot of research.
If you can only get one or two done a week, that’s fine as well. Just be aware that this will slow down your progress.
It has been suggested to me that your site would not be considered an authority site until you reach at least 100 blogs. So have a think about how long it will take you to write 100 blogs and make that a goal?
Up till then you are moving your way up the ladder with each blog you post to your site. The search engines will rank content from authority sites faster and higher than those that only have one or two blogs.
It’s just the way it is and it all takes time to build.
Social media is a fantastic resource for speeding up the affiliate marketers success.
Rather than wait for visitors to come to your site you effectively shop it around and get it in front of as many people as you can. Every time I finish a blog I post it on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. I also currently use Google + but it is set to be closed down in April 2019 so I am also posting on my YouTube channel as an alternative.
As an affiliate marketer you need to be a little careful about how many social posts you do each day. All the social media platforms are hot on spam, and even though your content quite obviously isn’t spam, if you post the same thing in a heap of different groups on Facebook within a short period you run the risk of being banned and your account shut down completely. Not Good!
So make a plan and schedule your social media posts for each day. This again keeps content going up consistently but doesn’t trigger any major red flags.
The other thing social media platforms don’t like is straight affiliate marketing links. So don’t post your direct affiliate link to a product on Amazon say (I think that is against their terms of service anyway) because all the social media platforms will see it and slam you.
There is again no real way to shortcut the system other than to write good quality blogs and post those links to your social media pages.
While Google + is still alive it should always be included in your social media profile. Obviously because it is Google who owns it, they can cross-check and see that you are active and posting content which is getting Plus 1’s and being shared. They love that.
Once they shut down Google + if you have a YouTube channel (even if you don’t post many videos) there is a Discussion tab on your channel, you can post your blog links there as YouTube is also owned by Google. Now while you may not get many views or likes, it will still help with SEO.
On the other social media platforms you are looking for social engagement as well. So don’t just post your blog URL and disappear. You need to engage with others, comment on their posts, reshare or retweet when appropriate.
The more followers you can cultivate the more engagement you will get and the more people clicking on your website content the better.
One word of advice on Social media though. It can also be a big time-wasting trap so don’t be sucked into spending hours and hours, looking around and generally chatting. Do that when you aren’t working, but minimise your time and write great quality content instead of wasting your life on Pinterest.
I will do another post just on social media and how to get the most out of it shortly but do know that by using it you will speed up the time it takes for your website to start making money.
What will you be doing anyway?
So how long does it take to be a successful affiliate marketer?
Well that depends on your definition of success and the amount of time and effort you are willing to put into creating the type and amount of content I have mentioned above.
But ask yourself what will you be doing anyway over the next 12 months?
Going along as you always have, wishing things would change?
Or getting started now and spending the next year doing the groundwork that will change your life?
I have seen colleagues take as little as a few months to their first sale. For my niche site it was during the third month when I made my first sale. For this site it was within 10 days, but that is out of the ordinary and shouldn’t be expected.
How long until you are making consistent sales and seeing huge amounts of traffic?
If you follow my guidelines, apply yourself to your site and treat it like a new business, and work on it a little every day then I’d say give yourself 12 months before you make a decision as to whether affiliate marketing is for you and you can be successful at it.
Too many people give up when they are right on the cusp of making a breakthrough with traffic which will then result in the sales we want.
If you want to kick-start your affiliate marketing business and get all the training and experience you need to speed up the process clicking on the button below to view my Ultimate How To Guide.
Inside are links to build your website and lessons on how to make money online and it’s all FREE using the #1 affiliate marketing platform on the internet.
As always if you have any questions or would like more information about how long it takes to build a money making website or how long does it takes to be a successful affiliate marketer please put them in the comment box below. I love to chat.
My best wishes to you on your journey and if I can help out at all please let me know.