Many people know that there is money to be made online through affiliate marketing. But just as many people who try their hand at it never become successful because they skip some crucial steps along the way. Luckily, there is a relatively simple step-by-step process anyone can use to become a successful affiliate and profit online.

1. Find Your Niche

To become a successful affiliate marketer you must find the right niche to excel at. And to find the right niche you need to do your research. Make sure there is enough following for your niche and that it is profitable. It won’t work to find a demand for information in a niche that has no marketable products. You might get a very popular blog but you won’t be able to make any money with it. The best niche will be something you can easily talk about, market, and have a certain expertise or personal experience with. You need to be (or at least need to sound like you are) passionate about the subject. Find inspirational stories or useful information, and provide honest and reliable reviews of products that will be helpful for people interested in this subject. For example, if you are passionate about your pets, this would be the perfect niche for you. Are you a fitness fanatic? How about getting into the sports nutrition market?

2. Write A Lot

Affiliate marketing involves writing. Writing well. So if you can’t write, be prepared to pay someone else to do the writing for you. In order to create a profitable following you need to give your site visitors information that they value and look forward to. The more you give them, the more they will come to trust you, and the easier the sell will be. Do not expect to sell anything until you’ve created a relationship with your audience through delivery of useful, reliable, and timely information.

3. Add Your Product(s)

Once you’ve established your blog or website with plenty of articles, images, graphics and videos, now you can add your money maker. Be very choosy as to which product or products you add to your blog. The wrong product can easily destroy your reputation. Make sure the product is related to your site topic. Trying to promote a product that has no relevance to your readers will not work. Once you’ve found a good product you think will be of interest to your audience you still have to do some leg work. You aren’t done yet! Keep following the steps.

4. Start an Email Marketing Campaign

Successful affiliates all use email marketing. Choose an email marketing tool you can afford (there are some which offer free trials), create your contact list, make a professional looking email campaign and send it out to as many people as you can. This will be easy if you include a way to subscribe to free, exclusive information on your blog. Be sure to share your articles and posts on your social channels. This will increase your visibility and followers. Not sure how to do email marketing? Check out our brief beginners guide to email marketing here.

5. Build Your Knowledge and Strategies

The world of affiliate marketing is dynamic and always evolving. Make sure you keep up with it by researching and increasing your knowledge. Follow credible blogs that teach you how to succeed in marketing and look for new products to sell. Try new strategies without fear and don’t give up.

6. Take Your Time

Profits don’t start piling up overnight. You need to spend time with your site and readers. Respond to comments. Keep delivering new information. Keep finding the best way to market and what’s new. At first especially, you will have to take the time with your business in order to make it successful. Affiliate marketing isn’t a set it and forget it way to make money. Just like owning any business, even after it takes off you need to monitor its progress and fix any problems that arise or you’ll soon see your profits start to plummet.

Don’t be one of the thousands of affiliates who plunge into affiliate marketing with no strategy and without having done any research first. That’s a very quick path to failure. But with a little forethought, research and preparation, and of course, the above guide, you can soon be on the road to affiliate marketing success.