In my quest to find ways to make an income from home, I more and more often have come across the internet as best tool to focus my efforts on. As you google for possible ways to work from home, an ocean of different possibilities is thrown at you – so many, in fact, to become overwhelming. And often enough, some of them are scam. So, my forever question is: is it possible to make money on the internet?
I believe so, and the answer lays in the world of affiliate marketing. Here I would like to introduce you to the concept of affiliate marketing the easy and user-friendly way and to give best tips of affiliate marketing.
What is affiliate marketing
The concept of affiliate marketing springs for the basic concept of selling and buying of goods, which is at the root of commerce. Imagine you are a green grocer, and imagine a specific brand of biscuits has approached you asking to sell their products. As a shop keeper, you would negotiate on the cheapest buying rate and what retail price the brand company asks you re-sell the products at, so that you can make your highest profit on the sale of each packet of biscuits.
Affiliate marketing is very similar. You agree to promote a product or service on your website, for which the company you promote will offer you a commission. The difference between the shop keeper and your online business is that the product or service will be sold at the same price as if your audience purchased it directly from the supplier (something that is often possible in the world of internet), but the supplier gives you a percentage of their profit: your affiliate commission.
All very good, but how does it work
As mentioned, you need to have your own promoting platform. This can be in the form of social media accounts, but primarily the supplying company will want to ensure that you can attract sales for their product, and they would expect you to do so with your own website.
If, for argument sake, you wanted to start promoting Amazon products (and in passing, Amazon is one of the most popular affiliate companies worldwide), you would apply to Amazon to become an ‘associate’ of theirs, in the process of applying they would ask you to submit your website, which Amazon would then check to ensure it is a viable platform to promote certain categories of their product, and then if they are happy with your application, they would confirm acceptance.
At this point the ball is in your court. Your next job is to write as many reviews as possible on your website to active promote the products that you intend to sell. In promoting the products, you will add pictures and links that will have a unique code given to you by your affiliate company. The viewer of your website will be attracted by your review and will click on that specific link – the viewer will be taken to the affiliate company website where they can then proceed to make their purchase. In doing so however, and by the viewer having landed on the purchasing website though your link with your unique code, the affiliate company will track that purchase to you, and will award you the agreed commission for each purchase generated as a result of your review by the potential buyer clicking on your link from your website.
Different type of affiliate marketing
As mentioned with the example of Amazon, selling goods for a company and getting paid commissions is not the only way to earn money through affiliate marketing. There are other forms of affiliate marketing that you need to be aware before considering this line of business, so that you can make your decision as informed as possibly.
Marketing goods from the supplier directly:
The agreement here is directly and solely between you and the supplier. There are no third parties that will manage the affiliate program for the supplier, but the supplier offers goods to you directly and will pay you commissions directly. This type of affiliate marketing can be embraced by both small supplying companies as well as big retail stores.
Third party affiliate programs:
This product is adopted by suppliers that hired agents which are specialised in managing affiliate programs. So, when you apply to join an affiliate program for specific products, the affiliate company processes your application, provide you with unique links and promotional tools and manage the payment of your commissions on behalf of the company whose products and services you promote.
The most renowned affiliate companies of this kind are Clickbank, Commission Junction, and to an extent Amazon, which promotes products from sellers that join their marketplace. But there are many more on the market, and it will be down to you to research the one that you feel is most suited to you in terms of commission rates, but also that best matches the niche on your website.
Pay per lead:
This is another fairly lucrative type of affiliate program, but mostly used by insurance companies or businesses promoting financial services. Here you are not paid by the number of sale the company makes via your website link, but rather by the number of potential customers you attract to that service. In other words, the supplying company will do the hard work, so long as you ‘lead’ the customer to the company through your website.
Google Adsense is a mixture of this type of affiliate program, as they are third party for companies that want to advertise their products and services through Google, but pay you according to the action that your banner has attracted the customer to take, i.e. whether the customer only clicked on the advertising banner, or whether they went on to making that purchase.
Is this type of home based business for me
It is undoubted, in my opinion, that everyone can make money through affiliate marketing, if you are seriously committed to you. So often we have read of fairy-tale success stories about millionaires that have made massive amounts of money through internet marketing.
Well, I don’t think they are fairy tales after all, as I firmly believe that such success stories can have each of us as main character!
But, the road to success is never fast nor easy, and there are certain criteria that you need to be prepared to meet if you want to make a real success of this avenue.
Do not go into affiliate marketing if what you are after is quick money. Affiliate marketing works on the principle of attracting ‘traffic’ of readers, i.e. potential customers through the content of your website, and that only happens with time.
It is a must for you to have a website, through which you will promote your passion, or idea, or ‘niche’, and any service or product that is associated with that niche. For instance, my niche or passion on this website is to share with you best ways to make an income through working from home. As a result, I shall write as much as I possibly can about how to reach this goal, and I shall review services that will aid us in meeting that specific target.
But if I do not write enough and regularly, you, my audience, soon enough will tire of not seeing new material being published regularly, and will switch to other website. In other words, I could run the risk of loosing traffic.
And traffic is vital to attract potential customers to affiliate companies.
Creativity and adaptability:
The internet world changes constantly, like any line of business. In fact, like anything in life! More so therefore, you need to be prepared to be innovative about your website content, and to use your imagination to think new ways to present your niche and to review your goods.
You also need to be alert as to how the affiliate marketing world evolves around you, and adapt to new models that are created. Look for new opportunities, and be prepared to discard the ones that do not work for you and for your website.
Don’t let the hard work put you off:
Affiliate marketing is not a straightforward venture, but requires many hours of hard work put into it.
Not only you are required to produce much writing and regularly enough, so as to meet the main search engines requirements to push you up in search ranking (and remember, the higher you appear in the search pages, the more likely you are to attract an audience!).
But you are also required to do much research for the content and the goods you want to promote. You must do research in the best affiliate programs out there. Some programs pay lower commissions but have an equally low payout figure, some others will have higher commissions and higher payout, some other again will have a wider range of the goods that you are most interested in promoted as better matched to your niche. The choice is yours, but you need to remain focused in your endeavours.
Affiliate marketing is definitely worth the effort
Everyone that want to join affiliate marketing program, is motivated by the want of making money. And through the last couple of decades affiliate marketing has proven to be one of the most lucrative businesses. But in order to succeed, you need to be prepared to put time and effort in your venture.
On the other hand, once you are established and your website remains a reputed source of information by your audience and by your search engines, affiliate marketing will become extremely profitable at generating passive income, and that is where all the effort is paid off. To me, affiliate marketing is the winning card for making a solid and ‘healthy’, or wealthy, living from home.
I hope you share my views on affiliate marketing. Either way, you are welcome to leave your comment below for suggestions or advice. Thank you for reading!
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