What is Online Affiliate Marketing?
There are numerous opportunities to start a successful business on the internet. Affiliate marketing is one the most popular of this. That's due to its minimal startup costs and high profit potential. But what is affiliate marketing?
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is nothing more than a 100% commission-based sales agreement with one or more businesses. You sign up to sell their products and services and they pay you a commission for every sale you generate.
Some two-tier affiliate programs also pay a percentage of each sale made by another affiliate who you enrolled in the business. With multi-tier affiliate programs, you enter the realm of network marketing which has some additional complexities.
You can think of affiliate marketing as an elaborate word-of-mouth marketing system. The difference is that, in this case, your mouth is replaced by your website and email.
What is Affiliate Marketing: Some Examples
For example, maybe you currently have a blog where you share tips about growing roses. You have excellent content but, until now, you have been blogging just because you enjoy roses and wanted to share your passion and knowledge with others. Now, however, you would like to monetize your blog content.
How? Simple! Join an affiliate program that sells rose growing supplies and just post a number of banners on your website site and it is a done deal! Or you could even start posting product reviews and making recommendations to your readers.
You should also be able to locate a number of products and services you can offer to your readers. In addition, you could provide gardening tools and gloves, raised flower beds, organic soil, fertilizer, and pest control products. And, you might even find couple of programs supplying rose bushes and starters.
To promote each product, basically add a banner promoting these products embedded within the content that tends to make that most sense. Some percentage of your blog visitors will click the banner and buy the product. The company collects the income and you get paid a commission.
Probably one of the best-known affiliate marketing businesses is Amazon.com. Amazon’s online store has literally hundreds of thousands of products. You can promote any of these. (I actually recommend another platform but Amazon is a great example because virtually everyone knows them.)
With affiliate marketing all you need do is market the product – no payment processing, no refunds, no fulfillment, no customer support, no workers (unless you want to outsource some or all of the marketing effort)!
How to Be an Affiliate Marketer
After answering the question, “What is affiliate marketing?” most people ask how to get started.
Getting started in affiliate marketing is easier than starting most other small businesses. But, you'll still need to put in some effort to make sure your business is built on a solid foundation.
A great way for you to start is to select a niche in which you want to specialize. This will hopefully be a topic in which you're already interested. Then you should begin to identify products you want to promote.
To be profitable at affiliate marketing, you will want to focus on promoting products or services that are relevant to your target market. Ideally they should help address a common need within that community. See the examples in our rose blog discussion, above.
After that, it's a relatively simple process to apply to the vendors for approval to promote those products. Then, for each and every sale you refer you will earn an affiliate commission. And they can add up quickly!
You are also able to represent multiple vendors. You’re not restricted to one particular manufacturer when selecting products you want to sell. This enables you to look around for the best products and the best affiliate programs to meet your own business objectives.
Remember that it is also important that you read, understand, and follow each vendor's guidelines to avoid having your affiliate account shut down.
What is Affiliate Marketing: Do I Need an Affiliate Website
Although not strictly necessary, you should consider creating a niche website before promoting any products. Many affiliates choose to start with a blog or authority site to help establish themselves as an authority in their niche.
After you've got added five or six pages of well-written content to your site and the search engines have found and indexed your site, it's time for you to start adding product reviews and affiliate links and banners.
As traffic to your site grows, so will your affiliate commissions. The more traffic you drive to your site, the more likely you will have visitors either opt-in to your email list or make purchases. Remember, though, that good results in affiliate marketing isn't about traffic, it's about highly targeted traffic.
Making Money in Affiliate Marketing
Don't believe all of the “easy money” hype on the internet. Certainly, it is possible to make a significant income in the affiliate marketing arena. But you need to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get to work!
Especially if you're new to making money online, you'll need to learn the art and science of Internet marketing. You'll want to know about the use of free and paid marketing, tracking conversions, producing videos, hosting your own website, and many other topics. In fact, you'll need to know something about virtually every marketing strategy discussed on this website.
It isn't for the faint of heart, but it is definitely doable with some consistent action. In fact, it can be the most interesting “earn while you learn” program you'll ever encounter.
Even though you'll be able to make money by linking straight to the vendor's website with your unique affiliate link, there's a better way. Making one-off sales is hard work. You'll generate more sales with less effort if you create a system that allows you to collect your visitor's email addresses and start building a list.
You've probably heard that “the money is in your list.” Although I prefer to say that the money is in your relationship with your list, it certainly isn't in direct linking to the company's sales page. Think long term.
Affiliate Marketing Income: How Do I Get Paid?
As soon as you elect to join an affiliate program, the vendor will likely ask you to apply through the their affiliate sign-up page. This is where you'll enter some of your personal information and select among the various payment options the vendor offers. Typical choices include payment by check, direct deposit, or a payment processor such as PayPal.
As soon as the vendor authorizes you, you will be provided access to their affiliate marketing center where you will find a variety of materials to help your marketing efforts. This could include a number of affiliate hyperlinks, banners, pre-written emails, a product review, and more. Select what you want, re-do them in your voice whenever possible, and add these items for your website and autoresponder.
When a visitor to your web site clicks through to the company’s sales page and makes a purchase, you will be automatically credited with the commission for that product. The company will send payment for commissions you've earned on a regular schedule, usually once or twice a month. Some companies may also require that you meet a payment threshold of $25 or $100 before you will get paid.
Many firms have a 30 day to 60 day return policy so they generally delay payment at least that long. In this way, the company ensures you won't be paid for sales that are later refunded. It sounds like a hassle but it beats having to give back commissions you didn't really earn.
So what is affiliate marketing – it’s an excellent way of making passive, even residual income.
The fastest and easiest path to getting started is to use an affiliate marketing platform that tracks your sales and pays commissions to you automatically. The platform that I recommend is ClickBank.com. ClickBank offers several unique benefits. First, they offer popular products in a wide variety of niches. They also focus on digital products which, due to their low delivery costs, allow the vendor to offer substantially higher commission rates than are possible with physical products.
To grab a free step-by-step guide to making money with ClickBank, just click the link below or visit my site at http://DaveStrayer.com/CB.
P.S. – If your upline doesn't have a step-by-step plan for your success, you need to check this out now!