One of the very first questions I hear when I tell people about affiliate marketing is; What exactly is affiliate marketing? I continue to tell them that affiliate marketing is one of the fastest growing industries on the net and that affiliate marketing is one of the quickest ways to make money online or run a home business online! This usually catches their attention pretty quickly, as it should! Simply put, affiliate marketing is buying or selling products online based on commissions.
For example, if you advertise and sell products online for other companies and businesses, then you're considered an affiliate marketer. Hopefully by now we all know what an affiliate is and what marketing is, but just in case:
Affiliate - An individual or company that markets a merchant's products or services and is paid only a sales commission fee.
Marketing - The business of advertising, promoting and selling products to the public and to distributors.
So in turn Affiliate Marketing is a method of promoting web businesses (merchants/advertisers) in which an affiliate (publisher) is rewarded for every visitor, subscriber, customer, and/or sale provided through his/her efforts. Here are a few things a successful marketer must have!
The first step in any successful marketing business is to have a professional looking site. Remember this site doesn't need to be glitz and glamour, however, it is a "shell" of you. Meaning if someone sees a down trodden site, that's not particularly "appetizing" visually, chances are they won't stop to even see what's on your site! Listen, if you can't build a site yourself, have someone else do it for you, or even better go to your registrar or another "website builder" site online, and use that to make a website. It's not expensive, it's easy, and it will be done right!
Finding Products -
I have always found this to be the hardest part of affiliate marketing, but with a little research you should be able to figure it out. You want a product that is in demand, but not over popularized! If it's over popularized there is a good chance you're going to have a harder time selling it. On the other hand, if it's a product someone hasn't ever hard of, you will also find difficulty in selling it. Whichever product you go with, make sure it's something you believe in, as a selling point, and otherwise. You want to be excited about the product so you can in turn make buyers excited about it!
You will need to become seriously involved in advertising for any product you choose to sell. Keep an eye on profits versus overhead. If you're spending more on advertising than you're making back in profit, tweak it. Go and advertise some place else, or if worst comes to worst, switch to another product.
Becoming an affiliate marketer takes time, make sure you have time to spend on something like this before you get yourself in too deep. What's interesting about being an affiliate, is that it won't always be like this. Eventually you should be able to make everything click, advertising on the right sites, selling the right products, hell you can even make your site automated if you choose to do in the future. But for now, you are going to need to concentrate on this business to make it work! It'll pay off in the end.
Affiliate Marketing is a superb way to start working for yourself, with lots of hard work, determination and a little persistence you just may be on your way to great earnings doing something that you really enjoy! As aforementioned, it won't be easy in beginning and you will have to work really hard. The good news is if you're driven, and willing to work hard on this, you could become incredibly well-off in the end!