Affiliate Marketing is based on revenue sharing…
Online affiliate marketing is something I have done for the past 20+ years. I still do it because it’s fulfilling, fun, creative and makes some money.
I also teach affiliate Marketing to people who want to get in on the action. Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting someone else’s products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a commission for each sale that you make.
Affiliates can be individuals or companies. Affiliates can earn a few hundred dollars or hundreds of thousands of dollars a month.
99% of all people who go into some form of ecommerce/income generating business online, start as Affiliate Marketers. I easy to become an affiliate and costs almost zero (except for your time) to start an Affiliate Marketing business.
Your job as an affiliate marketer is to promote products with the intention of convincing potential customers of the value of the merchant’s product so your readers actually end up buying it. Many, maybe most affiliate marketers try the product and promote it based on a review. They may use a website, but that isn’t the criteria. You can use email and other ways to promote.
If you have a review blog, reviewing the merchant’s products, and promoting your blog through social sites and other methods like This Is Why I’m Broke.
Without sales, there are no commissions for affiliates, and thus there would be no affiliate marketing. How transparent the affiliate is about being an affiliate is up to the affiliate. Some are and some not so much.
I don’t recommend multiple mini-sites for a bunch of reasons. It can drive you nuts keeping them all up to date and valuable. I’ve had over 300 at the same time in the past. Crazy. Sure you make money, but the return on your investment is rarely worth it. I come from the very early days of online affiliate marketing and it was just the way I learned.
However over time I came to realize that you get the best return with one or two sites, and carefully planned products that have similar relationships. Work the site with better content, better links and you’ll do much better – plus you won’t be as stressed. It’s more fun.
Generally the consumer pays no more because they came to the product through an affiliate. The commission costs are already built into the retail price. Also, there never is a cost to you to become an affiliate of a company or product. There are affiliate networks that act as an intermediary between the affiliate and the merchant. You, the affiliate, sign up through the network (i.e. linkshare.com, commissionjunction.com, etc) to one of their merchant clients.
Affiliates receive from the merchant or the network an affiliate link with a code that identifies you, the affiliate, to the merchant so they know who to credit for the sale. The merchant may also have many helpful tools for the affiliate. Banner ads, email copy, articles, etc.
The largest affiliate merchant – by far – is Amazon. As an Amazon Associate (affiliate) you can promote any product sold by Amazon. Almost anyone can sign up to Amazon and earn commissions, although you earn a smaller commission than most, Amazon has the most sales, which usually makes up for the lower commission.
So that’s how Affiliate Marketing works. Now let’s look at how you become an Affiliate Marketer.
First you need to decide in what niche, or category you want to focus on. Over time you can change or add to this, but you need to begin with a plan. Some people have a particular expertise that is needed by most consumers at different times. Let’s say you are a plumber.
You can start a review/information blog about plumbing and you review plumbing products on your blog. You talk about small items like plumbing fittings for water or a heavy duty micro blow torch for soldering. Or you get into the bigger things like sinks, toilets, bathtubs, even swimming pools.
So you decide that’s the niche for you to explore. You don’t have to relearn the subject to talk about it because you are a plumber.
Then there’s the guy who tests new Hot Wheels cars and trucks on a Hot Wheels race track in his basement. He videos these races and has a half million subscribers. Of course, he promotes Hot Wheels. Race Grooves
Now you get yourself a domain name (the name you type into your browser), and an Internet hosting account. There are hundreds of registrars for domain names. If you don’t have a preference, try “Name Cheap” as I have found them to be good and as their name suggests at the lower end of costs. Your domain name will run about $10-$14 annually.
Once you have secured a domain name, you need to find hosting. A place on the Internet where you keep your website. Again, there are thousands, some good, some not so much.
Next you have to build a website. This is the only real techie area of affiliate marketing. Some people just hire a site builder to get one up so they can proceed with the real job of affiliate marketing. Some want to learn and do it themselves and some know how to build a site.
Next you go to Amazon and sign up as an affiliate. Later in your new venture you can expand your affiliations to include many other merchants if you wish. CAUTION. Don’t apply until you have your site is up and some content already on the site. It is never finished, and it may not be exactly the way you want it, and that’s OK. But it must exist and be able to be seen by the merchant before most will accept you as an affiliate.
The next job is to become a product promoter. A reviewer to many. We have several articles and instructions available on this site to help you in writing copy, reviews and general product articles. What you are trying to do is write something that solves problems with the products you are promoting.
Video is very important on the web. It attracts more viewers than text, generally speaking. So if you are not into video editing (even production), in this age of smartphones, you should learn to do reviews with video added.
Don’t be scared of video. Here’s a guy who has 300,000 people that watch his videos on YouTube. That’s a lot of subscribers built into his income stream.
Remember one thing. I already mentioned it, and that is if your reviews are not genuinely helpful, people will sense immediately that you’re just trying to make a quick buck. Write so that people can relate the product and hopefully your review will emphasis how the product can solve a particular problem.
Basically you’ve got yourself an affiliate business, ready to go, BUT one step is extremely important and I’ve left it to the end. Not because it isn’t important, but because you need to spend some time setting it up. This is CAPTURING EMAIL from your site visitors. Why? Because you can double your income by promoting through email. More on that here. For now though, just know that capturing email is important.
To do this you need OPTIN forms on your site. I use OPTINMONSTER, and there are free options such as Fancy Theme’s OPTIN FORMS WP Plugin. Plus you need a mail/autoresponder service. There are many good ones, I use MailChimp and “GETRESPONSE.COM”.
It’s fun and profitable, so get building!
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