Adeline Adinoto

With the advent of the Internet, marketing a business has changed drastically from years gone by. Today, many people will go to the internet long before they go to a brick and mortar store, some to actually shop and BUY a product or service on the internet, and some to research their purchase before going to a local store. Either way, millions of consumers are searching the internet for products and services. Realizing theinternet gave businesses the ability to reach new customers on a global scale, they have devised a way to reach all those buyers, Affiliate Marketing. Businesses found that giving people like you and me a cut of their profit was the most economical way to reach as many potential customers as they could. If they get a sale to someone they would have never normally reached, it is beneficial to them to give you or me a cut of the profit for the sale. Profits can come in the form of a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of a sale. After you sign up to be an affiliate for a company, you "sell" a product or service for that company and they give you a commission for your effort. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, in theory, it is. In practice, it can be an altogether different story.

Affiliate Marketing in its simplest form is signing up to a business or company to sell their product(s) and/or service(s) and they give you a custom link or number that you use to refer yourcustomers back to the business. You place the link on your website and tell your customers why they should buy product X from you. Your customer clicks on your link and goes to Company Y and purchases product X and you get a commission for your work. The more customers you drive through that link, the more money you make and the more of product X the company sells, everybody is happy. "What happens if I don't have a website?" you ask. This is where things start to get really interesting. Ever heard of a little company called Google? In the infancy of Affiliate Marketing, enterprising marketers realized they could plug their affiliate links into Google AdWords and send customers a running without even owning a website. Massive fortunes were made overnight, and I am so sorry I missed the rush, it was similar to the gold rush in California in the 1800's. It didn't take long for evenmore enterprising souls to realize they could package their little "secret" and sell that to people that wanted to make money. They made a killing too! But, like the gold rush, it only lasted a short while and when the real miners; Affiliate Marketers, showed up is when the real work began.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are still huge, huge amounts of money to be made on the internet, but the low hanging fruit has been picked, well for the mostpart. There are still nuggets to be found, but you have to know where and to look. By the way, there are products you can buy that show you how to do that too! There really is money everywhere on the internet. Google quickly picked up on the fortunes that were being made and took their piece of the pie as well. Today, if a product is really hot, the cost of buying keywords on Google goes through the roof very quickly and it becomes difficult to make a profit that way. That's not to say money can't be made, but you have to educate yourself on how to do it or you'll go broke, quick. A lot of the products you see offered to Affiliate Marketers today are still geared toward the "Gold Rush" days, from a few years ago. You see, greed is an amazing thing, people are always looking to "Make Money on the Internet" and those products sell, they sell like hotcakes. But, the results are just not quite as good as they were a few years ago. But, if you are to truly make money on the internet, you must be willing to look past the "Get Rich Quick"persona and be willing to fall back on your "Why" statement. If you are serious about making money on the internet, you are going to have ups and downs, just like in any business. I'm preparing you now, that the hype that you read about making X thousands of dollars in a day, a week or amonth are real. Trust me they are very real, but the folks making that kind of money are playing on your greed! If you are just starting out and planning on making that kind of money next week, you are in for a rude awakening. A guy didn't show up at the hospital one morning and say "I'm a brainsurgeon," he went through years of training, successes and failures and earned his salt. You will need to do the same.

So, if I haven't scared you off by now, Affiliate Marketing is simply this : selling the products and services of other people. Products and services of which you never have to own, inventory, ship, return, perform, answer emails about, deal with customer complaints or otherwise be involved with, and getting paid (and getting paidwell, I might add) to sell said products and services. Like any business endeavor, there are financial risks that can be associated with operating abusiness, but the rewards of Affiliate Marketing are far greater than any other business I have ever been involved with.

When you first start as an affiliate marketer online you will face many barriers, some might prevent you from getting started at all. The main barrier you will face is which affiliate program or programs to join. So how do you decide?

  1. Do your research. If you see that programme that looks like its going to make you the next super affiliate, don't jump straight in and join. Read reviews about it on the internet - you will have no problem finding them in Google. Just type in the name of the program then the word review afterwards. Also read more than one review as some are clearly written by people who are members of the said affiliate program so are biased.
  2. Affiliate Support. What does the program offer in terms of support? It doesn't matter how impressive the site looks in terms of banners, articles etc. If you cant get personal support. Before you even think of joining send some probing emails asking awkward questions What if? How? When? If you don't get satisfactory answers if any at all - look elsewhere. Find out what they offer in terms of affiliate support and make sure they are specific about it too.
  3. Affiliate Marketing Software. You are going to need a fair bit of software to set up your website and maintain it in terms of tracking, additions, amendments etc. Adobe Dreamweaver is one of the best but its very expensive and has a bit of a steep learning curve. Some affiliate programs offer an administrative interface that will build the website for you which is fine as long as the content is unique. These interfaces can do other things such as analyse website hits, sales etc. Fortunately the internet has a lot of free resources you can use. If you want to blog you can use - its free and search engines love it. Then there is social networking sites like Digg. In fact you can affiliate market and make money with these alone without using your own website.
  4. Marketing and Advertising Tools. Ask yourself if you know how to market your website. You can't just produce it and hope to make money from it if people do not know its there. This is a fundamental oversight that I encounter a lot. You join a program as a newbie then get no help whatsoever with promoting your site so you end up wasting your money. You need to Search Engine Optimise (SEO) your site, promote it using social networking, blogs, pay per click etc. If you aren't getting this advice from the affiliate I would normally say move onto something else. But you may want to stay with the affiliate program if its good quality and learn SEO etc from the many free resources on the internet. The very best of luck with your affiliate marketing ventures.
  5. Find an affiliate program that you are comfortable with. If you are looking at affiliate programs in an area that interest you, you might consider buying the actual product you are going to sell. That way what you experience can be used as the basis upon which you are able to create a genuine presale page. Your real goal here is to convey all the positives, as well as the negatives about the product that your visitor is looking at. We do say include any negatives if you find them, because this gives your prospects a realistic view of the product and not just all positives, which could be viewed as hype.

I am not saying that you can make a full time living with just this one affiliate program. In some cases, you certainly can, but it is also not unusual for people to have more than one website in more than one affiliate program that they are representing.This point is crucial so please read it at least twice and write it down on a sticky note and put it on your computer or somwhere you can see everyday. Are you ready? The KEY is to make money with one program BEFORE you jump to another. Make money with one niche before you start another niche! It is one of the biggest mistakes people make as affiliate marketers although it seems like common sense. Dont blame your tools. If you are not making money it is not the product's fault well in most cases anyway. Generally the real problem lies in the fact that they are not getting enough traffic to their affiliate sales page or to their pre-sale page. The problem is not how many affiliate programs does it take to make money. The problem is how many visitors does it take to create a sale, and how many sales does it take to make the money that you want out of the affiliate program!

That's all about affiliate marketing for now, if you are looking for another way to make money on the internet, you can find it here : Making money on the internet

0 Responses