Wait until you have at least 15 posts before you start applying to affiliate programs. Preferably 20-30. Companies want to see that you have lots of original content and want to know if you can make sales for them. They will inspect your site prior to authorizing you to be an affiliate. It can take time to get accepted in to an affiliate program so be patient.
Your site is new and you won’t be getting much traffic to begin with so spend your time on writing fresh, engaging content.
It is recommended that you post 2 to 3 times a week for the foreseeable future so depending on your schedule it might take couple of months to build out your site. Again, be patient and keep writing. Consistency and determination is key to your success.
How soon you should apply for an Affiliate Program
Too often we see people asking “When should I start trying to monetize my website?” before their sites are ready.
If your website is new, like only a couple of weeks old, and you do not have at least 15 pages (not counting your About Me page or privacy policies), then you are not ready to monetize your website.
If you were to apply to early to an affiliate program, chances are you will be denied.
Amazon is one of the easiest programs to get in to with your site only needing about 15 posts. The problem is that Amazon has a “make 3 sales in 180 days before we approve you permanently” policy. If you are not getting traffic to your site this is a huge problem and you will be dropped from the program. You can reapply but you will get all new links which is a pain to redo when you have lots of links.
It is very important to build your website foundation first and have traffic already coming in before you monetize.
As a case study in WHAT NOT TO DO, our first site we monetized too early. It took a lot of time to gain any traction because of this. We did mange to get our 3 sales in 90 days but it took much longer to actually make money. It would be another 6 months before we got any sales.
If you just slap a website together without thought and without well written content you will not be successful online.
So, if you want to be successful in affiliate marketing, you really need to follow some training and guidance from those who have gone before you and are successful. We recommend the Wealthy Affiliate program.
That being said we see members all the time that do not follow the training and add affiliate links to every post even before their site is ready.
WHY DO YOU MEMBERS DO THAT? – The training certainly does not tell you to do that! As a matter of fact, Kyle tells you NOT to do that. If you do, Google will not like it and see you as an authority and it might hurt your rankings.
Tip: You should never put an affiliate ad or link on your About Me page. That just screams, “Look at me! I am a Spammer!”
Provide Valuable Information
Your goal should be to help people and give relevant, useful, and engaging content concentrating on your niche. You of course want to make money but this should not be your goal as it will not help you in the long run. Provide valuable information and you will
1. Rank in the search engines
2. Get Traffic
3. Build A Following
What Not To Do
Don’t stuff keywords in to your content. This is an old practice that used to work, but it does not anymore and google will penalize you if they catch on. You need to write naturally as though you were talking to a friend.
Don’t stuff affiliate links either.
Use keywords and affiliate links sparingly. Google does not like websites with affiliate links on every page. In their eyes that means you are not giving enough valuable information and you risk being deemed a spammer.
Technically there is no rule saying that a certain number of affiliate links is bad. Read “How Many Affiliate Links Is Too Many”. But it can make for a poor user experience.
The people that do well in affiliate marketing are the ones with the fewest affiliate links and a lot of fresh ideas and useful information.
You do not want to push people away. Too many links can be confusing as well. Plus, you come off looking like a pushy sales person.
Be smart when you create your content and give your readers a pleasant non-selling experience. Remember your goal is to provide information and not a lot of affiliate links and ads.
It makes for a bad user experience and this will show in your bounce rates. Google looks at what users do when they come to your site and if they don’t stay you will get ranked lower and lower in the search engines.
Tip: Put yourself in your readers shoes. What do they want to know? What are they looking for?
It all comes down to would you rather buy from someone who provided you with great information or from someone who was trying to get you to buy from them on every page?
NOTE: Banner ads and widgets that appear in your sidebar and/or footer areas are okay to use. Google does not take these areas into consideration when checking to see how many affiliate ads are being used.