What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is the Internet version of commission sales. You basically sell someone else’s products or services and get paid for it, without getting involved in payments, shipping the merchandise or handle any complaints. As an affiliate marketer, your job is to drive traffic to the product or service you promote. Simple as that! Affiliate marketing is one of the hottest home business opportunities around.
Affiliate marketing has some very good advantages which include no product of your own, no inventory, no shipping or overhead. This is a great opportunity for people who do not have a lot of start-up capital or a lot of time to put together a big campaign.
However, doing affiliate marketing as a long term business, there are some costs involved. Depending on your marketing strategy, those costs can be related to domains and web hosting, autoresponders, advertising fees, software that can help you speed your process and so on. And if you are not able to make your own assets, those costs can be even higher if you need to outsource.
What would you like to promote? Affiliate marketing is no stranger to the Internet, and certainly, no stranger to network marketers and article marketing is still a successful way to promote your online business or blog. Affiliate marketing offers a phenomenal opportunity for people who do not have a lot of start-up capital or a lot of time and no real sales force. For the merchant, it can also be a cheap and effective marketing strategy.
What are Affiliate Programs?
Generally speaking, affiliate programs are marketing programs offered by web advertisers or merchants that recruit affiliates (persons like you and me who promote the products). In general, the merchants provide all the materials you need in order to start promoting. This can include banner and video ads, email swipes, articles, giveaways, landing pages and so on. The connection between the affiliate and the product that he promotes is made through a special link provided by the affiliate program (known as affiliate link). In this way, the affiliate will receive a referral fee or commission when a customer purchases a product that is delivered via the affiliate link.
What Affiliate Marketing product to choose?
When you are looking for an affiliate program there are some things you need to consider before choosing which company you are going to work with. The first thing you need to consider is the quality of the product. It has to give value to the customer. As in any successful business, you need to put on the first place your customers. Putting in front of a customer a bad product is a waste of time for you and a huge degradation of your credibility.
There are several types of compensation plans built into affiliate marketing programs, and most of the time you should focus on finding a good residual program. This is the best way to build a passive income over time. However, not all affiliate marketing programs have residual programs. If you can find one, then that would be the way to go.
There are also others that offer a good multilevel marketing structure of compensation. But before jumping into any multilevel marketing program, you should read up on it and do a thorough analysis. The last thing you want to do is jump into an affiliate program that is going to be a serious waste of time.
How to choose an Affiliate Program?
There are many companies that have affiliate marketing programs like Amazon, web hosting companies, domain name registrars, Apple iTunes, bit defender, panda security, PC health boost, Commission Junction, eBay Partner Network, Google AdSense, VistaPrint, and the list goes on and on.
You can find an affiliate program for almost anything you want to sell. It is a good idea to sell something that is related to your interests, something that you are passionate about. Building your website or your YouTube channel around something you enjoy is not only gonna keep you motivated on the road but is also a great advantage to use the knowledge you may already have.
When you are choosing your affiliate program you should do a small research about it. First of all, make sure that the affiliate program is available for your country. Be sure that you comply with their payment methods. Some of them require a bank account, others pay through PayPal, checks and so on. Some affiliate programs will accept you trough a simple registration form, others have higher requirements and will do some research on your affiliate background.
How to Become an Affiliate?
If you want to become an affiliate it's not that hard. You simply go to the website of choice and look for their affiliate link program. Usually what will happen is you will sign up and get a unique affiliate ID along with some banners and links. For example, you place these on your website so that your potential audience can purchase trough those links and you will receive a commission. Be aware, just because you signed up for an affiliate program doesn't mean that you're actually going to drive traffic to your website. You still need to do something about driving traffic to your website or your affiliate link, like write compelling articles and become an expert in your field.
What You Should Look For
When you go hunting for an affiliate program, try to look for high affiliate commissions, long cookies and of course you would want to get a great conversion rate. Two-tier programs which have the same structure as a multilevel marketing organization can be quite lucrative. As I have mentioned above, residual affiliate programs are definitely the way to go. You continue to make money on that buyer month after month. The advantage here is that your sales start accumulating more and more money. On the other side, with individual sales, you need to focus always on making new sales if you want to stay at the same level.
What do you need to know about Affiliate Links
Most affiliate links are extremely long, ugly, and some of them include special characters like “?” or “=” sign. These links will not rank on search engines very well and definitely cannot be added to pay per click like Google AdSense. What I would suggest is getting yourself a domain name and rerouting it to your affiliate offer.
How to do Affiliate Marketing without a website?
If you don't have a website and you wish to make some sales with affiliate marketing, you can write some quality articles about the product you want to promote. There are several article directories that you can post your articles to but do not post the same article to multiple sites other than the article directory. If you will use the same articles on your own site too, this can affect your ranking in search engines and it will be considered duplicate content.
Article directories can be a very good source of traffic because they have a big authority and a huge amount of visitors. The point here is that some of those readers will click on your affiliate link driving traffic to your affiliate program. A few examples of this kind of article directories are Ezine Articles, Goarticles, ehow, Examiner, Technorati, Thefreelibrary, and the list can go on. Just make simple research on Google and you will find many. Try to do some in-depth study about the product you want to promote. To do that, read more than one article when doing your research to get a complete understanding of what you are doing. Once you have that understanding, try to simplify your article by using either bullet points or topic list. To get people to click on your link you need to be compelled to do so, but the only way to do that is to write compelling articles.
Making money on the net with affiliate programs can be a rewarding experience if you know where to go and what to do. Just locating an affiliate program is not enough. First, determine what it is you would like to sell and do your research. You need to look for something that accents your website or if you don't have a website, something that you know a lot about so that you can make your reviews.
If you want to learn more about Affiliate Marketing I suggest you read this review.