October 17th, 2009:

Beginner’s Guide Part 2: Setup and Tracking

Now that you have an introduction to what affiliate marketing is – I’m sure you’d like to know how to get started.  There’s a lot of information that you need to sift through to get started in affiliate marketing and I’m trying to do that for you in a concise to the point guide.

If you’ve had no prior experience working online or setting up websites you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you.  The first thing you are going to need to setup is a webhost.  Webhosts allow you to place your websites on them and you can’t really be an affiliate marketer without one.  There are tons and tons of webhosts out there that you could choose from.

One of the first things you need to know about hosting is that unlimited space and bandwidth is a myth.  I wouldn’t go with any company offering either of those because they are just overselling space and planning that you won’t use it all.  If you do end up using too much space or bandwidth they will shut your sites down.

There’s only one host that I recommend and they offer a variety of services.  I suggest you all get hosting at Liquidweb.  Liquidweb has the best support I have ever seen and they have yet to do anything but impress me.  I personally run my servers with them and only them.  Yes – that link to Liquidweb is an affiliate link and it should be one.  As an affiliate one of the first lessons you should learn is to ALWAYS use your affiliate link.

It doesn’t cost the person buying the product anymore so there is no reason you shouldn’t be making money off it – any affiliate who is in this full time is going to give you an affiliate link if they have the chance to.  The next thing you are going to need is a domain – we are going to buy a domain to install our tracking application on(more to follow) – this domain will only be for your use so it doesn’t matter all that much.  Just grab something with the word tracking in it and your good to go.

For all domain purchases I suggest Namecheap for several reasons.  They have solid domain prices, free SSL for a year and the best of all is free private whois for a year.  You are going to want to enable private whois for all of your domains so you don’t have a million networks finding your landing pages and telling you to run their offers instead.

Now onto tracking – the most important thing in online marketing is being able to track the data you are receiving and act on it.  When you first start out with paid advertising – which isn’t the only way to get traffic – we will detail some free but much slower ways as well – but either way you will be buying data with either time or money.  You need to be able to track what is working and what isn’t working and act on it.  You may not truly understand why you need tracking just yet but just listen to me and install it – it will make your life a lot easier later.

So you have your hosting from Liquidweb and your domain from namecheap – now you need to actually download and setup your tracking.  Luckily there’s an awesome tracking suite built for affiliate marketers called Prosper202.  Even luckier – it’s free.  They do have a paid more in depth version but Prosper202 is more than enough to get going.

If you go to Prosper202’s website they will teach you exactly how to install their software.  They have a ton of documentation for you to go off of.  Just go ahead and follow their documentation and get your tracking all setup.  Play around with their interface and make sure to watch all their setup videos for the next installment of this guide when you need to pick an offer.