In November 1994, CDNow created a new and revolutionary form of internet marketing with its BuyWeb program. The idea was simple. Music-oriented websites would review or list albums on an artist’s website that visitors might be interested in purchasing and offer a link that would take the visitor directly to CDNow to purchase them.
Now, each year, millions of people make their living by applying this concept called affiliate marketing. Think of it as the modern version of a finder’s fee, where people who introduce a new client to a business are compensated. But in this case, online merchants work out a deal with publishers of independent websites to promote their product and in return, the publisher gets paid for each person that goes to the merchant site and makes a purchase or fills out a form. It’s been touted as “a low-risk, high-reward environment for both parties” and represents the the best online home business opportunity for most people.
In Affiliate Millions, Anthony Borelli and Greg Holden introduce readers to this concept and show them how to join an affiliate network and make it work for them.
Merchants like affiliate marketing because they don’t incur an expense unless results are realized. This model is called pay for performance, and business like Amazon.com have succeeded because of it.
Affiliate marketers like what they are doing also because, it’s a way to earn lots of money and they don’t even need a product. All they need to do is find a product that they like to promote, get some promotional links, and start getting traffic to affiliate links.
MyNetMarketingland.com says “nothing is easier than starting affiliate marketing,” and that it can be done in less than five minutes. You just need the following ingredients:
- Determination, Motivation and 2 Hours a day.
- Website (or Blog) : Free, to less than $300
- Domain Name : Less than $10 / year
- Web Hosting : Less than $10 / month
- Autoresponders : Free, to less than $20/month
If you decide affiliate marketing is something you would like to do, start by choosing a topic you know about. It makes it easier for you to build a site and draw people in if it’s a subject you know about and are interested in. Think of how challenging it would be if you tried to sell something you know nothing about.
Use multiple merchants in the same niche. Use your knowledge to promote three to four merchants on the same site and it gives your visitors a variety of destinations to choose from.
Consider an affiliate network, but remember there is no best network. Just make sure that whatever network you join, it has the merchants you want to work with. You may also want to try a merchant from all the main networks, see what works for you, and then focus your time accordingly.
In an overcrowded market, small niche products, although they don’t get a lot of traffic, might still be a good option because they are less crowded and it’s easier to make a quick sale.
Finally, don’t make the mistake of thinking that this will be easy work. Not only are you going to have to constantly update your site, you will need to keep educating yourself, doing market research, reading stats , and the pay-offs aren’t instant. It can take a few months before you’re even making enough to cover your costs. Many affiliate marketers struggle to get their first commissions, and a majority give up before making any sales.
This is a field that takes perseverance and dedication. Hold onto those two qualities and you will succeed.