Affiliate Marketing – What is it and how to get started

When it comes to making money online affiliate marketing is one of the most accessible and most profitable choices available today.  Affiliate marketing is supported by both small companies as well as huge corporations.  There are many individuals who make an excellent income practicing affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing: What is it?

Many companies turn to the internet to sell products.  For some companies this is their only way of selling products, for others, the internet supplements a regular ‘brick and mortar’ store.

The problem is that because there is so much stuff on the internet it can be difficult for people to research and find the products they want as well as the companies that sell them.  This creates an opportunity to help people find the information they need and connect them to an appropriate company to make a purchase.

An affiliate marketer helps fill the gap by gathering information about products and helping people make a purchase decision.  This provides value to people by:

  • Reducing their search time
  • Helps them overcome information overload
  • Provides information they are looking for in an easy to understand format
  • Connects shoppers to the ideal company or product for their needs

This information is generally provided in the form of reviews, product comparisons, articles, videos, or any other way of conveying relevant information online.

How to: Affiliate marketing techniques and strategies

There are many ways to engage in affiliate marketing.  At its core, it involves the following two components:

  1. Present your message online. This can be done through many free online content providers such as squidoo, hubpages, blogger, and others.

    The best strategy is to create your own website.  This gives you full control over your content and allows you to add more value (and marketing opportunities) through techniques such as email marketing.

    Setting up your own website is not as difficult as it sounds.  There are many easy to use tools that will help you create and maintain your content.  For example, it is easy to create a professional looking website with WordPress.

  2. Make your message available to people searching for relevant information. Once you have a place to provide your information you need to help people find it.  This can involve implementing SEO techniques to be found in the search engines, article marketing, PPC campaigns, social media marketing, and many others.

    Because there are so many options for promoting your content it is easy to find a strategy that works for you that is also effective.

Before you get started setting up your campaign it is important that you do proper research to ensure your success.

Guide to affiliate marketing research

Doing proper research before implementing a campaign is crucial to your success.  Before starting you need to learn about the following things:

  • Make sure there are enough people interested in buying the things you want to sell.  Without enough buyers you can’t make a significant profit
  • Find quality affiliate products for your niche that you want to promote
  • Gather information about the products you will be promoting
  • Understand your target market – what makes them want to buy, what are they looking for, what is hot right now, etc.
  • What search terms people use when looking for products in your niche

Being better prepared before hand will make your whole marketing campaign run smoother and help ensure that it will be profitable enough to justify your effort.

Making money: Affiliate marketing income generation

Your goal in all this is to provide quality information to the people who are looking for your products.  If you do this correctly then you will make money.  There are several ways that money can be made from your marketing campaigns.

Depending on your niche you may have many affiliate products to choose from.  Choosing the most profitable product isn’t always the best choice for making the most money.  If your product is bad then people will remember this and your business will suffer.  If you product is good you will gain the trust of your visitors who may recommend you to others as well as purchase other products from you.

I highly recommend that you create a mailing list as part of your marketing efforts.  This will keep you in touch with your target market, provide the opportunity to give more valuable information (which builds trust), and also allows you to promote the occasional quality product which will generate more income for you.

You can also place advertising on your website using a system such as Google AdSense.  Google will display ads on your web pages.  When someone clicks on an ad you get some money.  This is an easy way to increase your profits but it can have the negative effect of distracting from your main message and taking people away from your site before they’ve made a purchase.

Learn about affiliate marketing: Best online resources

What I’ve provided here is a general overview of affiliate marketing.  If you are serious about making money and want to learn all that is necessary then you need to connect with a quality training resource.

There is a lot of information around the internet and on this website that will provide you with more information.  However, in my experience, picking up bits and pieces of information from different sources can lead to information overload.  Having too much information can actually make it more difficult to put together a coherent marketing campaign from beginning to end.

I suggest finding a good online training resource that includes quality information, support, and tools.  Personally I recommend Wealthy Affiliate – they are a comprehensive website that will teach you everything you need to know to be successful online.

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