As I have discussed in other articles in the past, affiliate marketing is a way to build your income without a lot of the head aches of running a normal business. With this type marketing, the merchant is willing to pay a portion of their sales to an affiliate who is promoting the merchants products or services.
The concept of affiliate marketing has been one of the fastest growing approaches to doing business online. It is advantageous to the merchant and to the affiliate marketer. It is very cost efficient for both the merchant and the affiliate.
The Merchant Gains Sales!
The merchant has an opportunity to increase his or her ability to advertise their products or services to a greater universe of possible buyers. And they are able to do this with a lesser expenditure of advertising dollars and staff hours. As the merchant increases the number of affiliates in their affiliate program, the potential for more sales increases. The net result is that the merchant saves time, effort and money trying to expand his or her business.
The Affiliate Can Increase Income!
While there are great benefits for the merchant, the affiliate also stands to gain from the relationship. Many individuals who are looking to either start a business online or build an extra income, are looking for a simplified way to accomplish their goal. Most, when starting out, do not have a large budget nor the ability to create, manufacture or process a product or service.
So what does the affiliate gain? First of all the affiliate can acquire products or services to market and earn commissions from sales. The affiliate does not need to do any manufacturing, storage, delivery or handle any customer service issues. These are all handled by the merchant. All the affiliate has to do is advertise. When a prospect clicks on the affiliate’s personalized link and decides to purchase the product or service, the merchant takes over at that point and handles the rest of the process. The only thing that the affiliate needs to do after that is cash the commission check or have it deposited directly into their PayPal or bank account. That is it!
There are many affiliate programs online. Some of the major ones are, JVZOO.com, ClickBank.com, Amazon.com, Commission Junction, Sharesale.com and eBay Enterprise Affiliate Network to name a few. There are thousands more covering many niches. Even Walmart has an affiliate program as do some of the major casinos around the country. You can usually tell if the company has such a program by looking at the menu, normally in the footer of a their website. It will be shown as a link to Affiliate Program or Associate Program.
Steps To Starting Your Affiliate Program Activities
Here are three steps you might follow if you want to start making money with an effective affiliate marketing program.
1. Make yourself a list of those things that you are really interested in or very passionate about. Rank these interests by areas that you really have a lot of knowledge about. You want to establish yourself as an expert in the area so that you can speak and write freely about the topic. Establishing your authority in an area will help you gain the trust of prospective customers and can result in more sales of your product or service.
2. Once you select your best interest area or niche, start looking for affiliate programs that have product and/or services that fit your interest. One thing that I looked for when I first started, since I had a small budget and little experience in creating websites, was an affiliate program that furnished a ready made website that I could promote. This is one of the advantages of affiliate programs. If you go to Clickbank, there are thousands of vendors there who offer affiliate programs. Many of them include promotional websites that you can use. How does that work? Let me give you an example.
I own a website at FreeAdvertising4All.com. I offer my members an affiliate program where they can promote my site and earn commissions. I also furnish them with promotional banners and text ads. I give them a special personalized link to a website, which is exactly like FreeAdvertising4All.com. The link is coded with their affiliate ID and when someone joins the site through that personalized link, they receive credit for that sale. For instance, lets say this is my affiliate link:
www.freeadvertising4all.com/index.php?referid=biz00 If I, as an affiliate use my link in promotions and someone clicks on it they will go here: Click Here. It looks like the same web site as the one in the beginning of this paragraph. In actuality it is. If I have a thousand affiliates at my site, I do not have to have a separate website for each of those affiliates to promote. I only need the one because the special referral code at the end of the affiliate link tells the data base exactly who gets the credit for a sale if made.
So you really do not need to have a domain name or hosting for a website when you are an affiliate. As you get more experienced, then you can consider setting up your own web site. For instance, I am an Amazon Associate and promote individual products sold on Amazon as well as an entire category of products. I recently set up a web site called BigEbooksZone.com which only sells Kindle ebooks. There are thousands of books on the site and each of them is gotten to through my Amazon Associate ID and I get a percentage of the sale.
3. Once you have your interest or niche figured out, have researched and decided which type products or services you are going to represent, you are now ready to start promoting. But first take a look at the type products and select those from vendors or merchants who offer the better percentage commissions. While this should not be the ultimate decision maker, if you have very similar products and one offers a better cut of the profits then it is a no brainer. Why should you spend your time and resources for pennies when you might be able to make dollars instead.
The area of promoting, or affiliate marketing as we call it, is a whole other area to discuss. If you check the “Affiliate Programs” drop down menu at the top of the page here at CreatingIncomeAtHome.com there are a number of posts that might help you get started.
I wish you the best of success.