Affiliate Marketing in a Nutshell

by | Jul 7, 2008 | Marketing & Selling

What exactly is affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is the single fastest-growing industry on the Internet. Why?

Because it is an easy way to add additional streams of income to your current business. And, because it can be an easy way to make money and have a career on the Internet all on its own.

Affiliate marketing is the revenue sharing between online advertisers (and merchants) and online salespeople. Compensation and pay are based on performance measures, normally in the form of clicks, sales, and registrations. Simply put, affiliate marketing is selling products on a commission basis. You advertise and sell products for other companies. You may have a product of your own to begin with or not.

Affiliate marketing has been a contributor to the rise of many companies online, including Amazon.com. Amazon.com was one of the first adopters of affiliate marketing, and now has thousands of affiliate relationships. Those affiliates help drive sales for Amazon in return for a “piece of the action.”

The things that a successful affiliate marketer must have are:

1. Your website is the jumping-off point of all your marketing efforts. So the first step in any successful affiliate marketing business is building a good, credible, and professional-looking website. You must build a user-friendly website, which will attract your prospects and motivate them to click on the links to the products and services you are promoting and make a purchase. This website can be a blog or other form of niche website. It can even be nothing more than a squeeze page with an opt-in form. (See below for resources to help you with this.)

2. You must find products to sell, you must be able to determine whether there is a demand for those products and find out if people will actually buy them. You may either have your own original product or products that are made by others. Whichever way you go, you must believe in the products you promote.

3. It will be necessary for you to become an adept advertiser and be able to tell whether the advertising you are paying for is producing more income for you than the advertising is costing you. This is your return on investment or ROI.

4. It is necessary that you have good mathematical skills. You will need to be able to track your sales and determine profit. Of course, a decent spreadsheet or software program can do much of this for you – once you’ve set it up to begin with.

5. You need the full and unwavering support of your family so that you can devote the time and energy necessary to launch your affiliate marketing business. This can be a sticking point for some, but I can tell you from experience that it is very difficult to launch and maintain a business when the people you live with are actively against or disrespect what you are doing.

Not only does affiliate marketing provide you the opportunity to enhance the income of an already established business, but it can also free you from the tyranny of the cubicle, as well. In addition, affiliate marketing gives you the chance to stand behind products you know and love, by offering links and banners to them on your personal website.

If you’ve been looking for extra money, affiliate marketing is a good way to go. You can stick with one merchant you are passionate about or go with as many as you need for your business. The choice is yours!

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