Affiliate marketing or affiliate sales is a commonly used business model in online business, and one which many choose as the foundation for their internet company. Essentially, affiliate marketing involves someone with a product offering commission to those who wish to promote and sell it for them via internet marketing methods. This can include their email list, their website, and things like tweets that they put out to their social network contacts.
An affiliate program agreement has two key components – the person with something to sell, and the person doing the selling, and it is very beneficial to both sides of the arrangement. The person with the product (usually called the “merchant”) finds affiliates and gets to tap into a bigger market and make more sales, and the marketer (usually called the “affiliate”) can make money online without actually needing a product of their own. Here we look at how this works for the affiliate, and how to get started as one.
An affiliate marketing program is a popular choice for getting started in internet business because you send people to somebody else’s website and you make them money. This means you never, ever have to have your own product to make money on the Internet. You actually can sell other peoples’ products and make a nice living off of the commission. The only problem is, you have to have the people to send to those websites. This is what it means to develop an affiliate marketing business – getting access to people, and sending them the right messages.
How to be successful at affiliate marketing
Affiliates tend to be most successful when they operate in a specific niche market. This is because they can direct their efforts to one specific audience and build their relationship with that market. The most sought after affiliates will be those who already have access to a given market. This means that once you have developed a strong email list or a blog with a lot of traffic on a given subject, you will be able to add more products to your business and make more profit. Choosing the right niche is therefore extremely important.
It’s difficult for you just to say, “Oh, well I want to sell Coach handbags because I see this one website and I can get a good commission. I’ve never bought a Coach handbag, and I’ve never bought a handbag ever, but I want to sell it just because I know you can make good money.” That’s going to be difficult because you don’t know anything about the end user, and it’s going to be hard to have the right sales system in place. But if you know the end user because maybe you are the end user, that’s one of the best places to start.
So, in choosing the right niche market and the product to sell it to, think about your own unique ability, experience and personality. What do you do best? Who do you want to help? How do you get in front of these people? You always want to pick the right people to get in front of. It’s a really, really important step here.
If you’re not sure which marketplace you’re going to enter or you’re not an expert in any particular field, you can go to Google and ClickBank and do some research on keywords and products that are popular to choose a profitable niche market based on what’s hot and what really gets a lot of searches, as well as what’s selling well. You will still need to understand the market and the client base, so it makes sense to choose something from these that you yourself like or would buy.
One of the easiest and best systems to register for to get started in affiliate marketing is ClickBank.
ClickBank has this thing called a Marketplace that allows you to see stats on the top selling products through affiliate programs that use ClickBank, and it is incredibly usefully both in helping you find your niche, and selecting products within that niche you’d like to work with.
So if we went to ClickBank.com and clicked on “Marketplace” on the top of the website, it would bring us to an area where we can find products to promote. And so for people who want to start a business online but are asking, “What if I don’t have a product?” this is where you can find products with affiliate programs you can join. They are categorized, making it easy to find your way to things that slot in well with your chosen niche.
You can go through any of those categories on the ClickBank Marketplace to find your first product to start promoting. Maybe if you’re really into cooking, food and wine you can go in and find a recipe book or wine book, or maybe you’re really into green products these days. So you can go in and find all these different types of products that you can sell. You then go and you get an affiliate link through this site. You never even have to contact the owners of these products to promote them if you don’t want or need to, but you can contact them and get resources from them, like articles and banner ads and all these types of things to add to your website.
ClickBank then monitors all of the clicks on the ads and links you have posted, wherever you choose to place them, so it can track any sales made as a result of people using your links. This is done by including your unique user id in all of the links you post, so it is important that you only link to your affiliate’s products using the links you get from ClickBank. You can check at any time to see how successful your links have been, and the merchant you are selling for will be able to track your performance and pay you through the system too.
Affiliate marketing can be a really rewarding way to make money online, and it is certainly something you can learn in and grow as your business progresses. Provided you make wise choices about the niche you want to work in and you do your research, it can be possible to grow a very successful affiliate marketing business selling other people’s products online.