With the help of the Internet, a lot of people are now finding ways to earn money online or put up a home-based business. Freelance sites, blogs and online selling are fast increasing its market. However, there is a popular method to earn cash online, which may make anyone become wealthy; it is affiliate marketing.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Wikipedia defines affiliate marketing as “a practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.” In other words, it is like selling a product or sending traffic to someone’s site and you get paid for it. It has become a big money making online strategy as more and more people are making Internet a part of life. Individuals usually scour Google to find solutions to their problems, and they get to a site where it is being offered, for a small fee. For most, this is the easiest answer to a problem –check the search engine. With that being said, more individuals and companies are finding money through this consumer behavior, they sell products that will solve a person’s problem, needs or wants. To make it even bigger, these companies or individual businesses are signing up to be advertisers and they allow affiliates to sell or offer their products.

The Basics of Internet Marketing Affiliate Program

Affiliate Marketing was once a program that was shunned and criticized. Decades before when you said that you made a living online, you’d get some glares and people would think that you are doing something illegal. Although now, affiliate marketing is an industry, and most successful affiliates are being admired and envied because they get to earn without really going out of the house to go to work, and they spend less hours working.

Contrary to what others believe, affiliate marketing is not easy. You do not really stay at home, do nothing and you’ll earn money. At first you really have to work hard as it will take time before your efforts will pay off. There are some who get lucky that they earn some amount immediately after setting up their program, but for most, it is hard work, especially in the beginning.

Like most businesses, it is essential that you know something about this program before you commit to a career change. Although you may do advertising or set up your project for free, you will still somehow spend some money so you need to consider how to get a return on your investment. Learning about affiliate marketing is important because you also have to treat this as a business and not just a hobby. If done properly, your income can definitely increase. You may start by reading books or taking courses to increase your knowledge about this method.

What are the things you will need to learn to start your affiliate marketing business? How will you begin? Here are some things you may need; some are absolutely needed and some could be done later when you’re already profiting.

Domain and hosting. In short, a website. This is where you will promote the products you wish to sell. It can be a blog, an information site or a pure advertisement site. You can buy hosting for a monthly fee and domain for a yearly fee. Fortunately, it is not too expensive. You may get hosting for as little as $3 per month and domain for $1 per year. Of course, that’s all depending on what domain and what company you’re getting them from. For those who do not want to spend a lot, you may use free sites from WordPress or Blogger. Super affiliates or those who are veteran marketers, advise to get the paid ones since it looks more professional and it ‘s easier to remember your domain.

Niche. This means a specialty. Although, it’s not really mandatory, most master of sales will tell you that it’s better to focus on one niche first. Example, you may focus on selling training products, health, sports items, ebooks or home solutions. It is better, generally, to start a niche that interests you so you will sustain your website or websites because you are interested in the topic and content of that site.

Software. This is really optional, as you really don’t have to buy one when starting out. Once you’re already earning and you wish to expand, it’s better to get something for monitoring your offers and even increasing the opportunity for you to earn bigger.

Knowledge and dedication. Sure, these are not really things, but attitudes. These are not optional because even though you see affiliates who are earning huge commissions, it’s not really that easy. They might have been doing it for years now and they already master the art of getting traffic and promotion, but for starters, you will still have to study, fail and try again.

Kinds of Affiliate Marketing Programs

Since affiliate marketing has gotten so big, more people discover ways and programs that became under the affiliate marketing umbrella. As a beginner, you may choose one or two of these to learn the ropes and try the other ones as you profit.

Pay-per-click (PPC) – as its name says, this type of affiliate marketing is where an associate or affiliate gets paid if someone clicks the advertisement that your network puts on your site. It does not matter whether the customer buys the product or not, you will still get paid. The disadvantage with this is that you get paid cents on every click. An example of this is Google Adsense.

Pay-per-sale – this is, what they say, the real “affiliate marketing” as you get commission only when you sell something. With this, you usually do a review of your network’s product, put an affiliate link to your website and once someone buys it, you will get commissions.

CPA marketing. This means cost per action marketing. This is being used when merchants want to capture lead information from site visitors. Types of CPA marketing are email and zip submission, adult subscriptions, free trial offer and sometimes, selling. This may also be known as pay-per-lead marketing.

Multi tier marketing. Commonly thought to be multilevel marketing or MLM, but it’s not. It has the same concept though, the income is being distributed through tiers in a network of partners. A lead publisher runs an ad, signs up with the lead’s affiliate code, that person who just signed up does the same thing, gets a publisher under him and that’s third level for the one on top. The main difference with MLM is that this marketing method does not force you to buy anything.

These are the most known types of affiliate marketing. You may be able to find out about others such as PPV (pay-per-view) and media buying, but that ‘s for the more experienced marketers. You may learn about that after knowing these basic types.

Is There An Effective Affiliate Marketing Software?

For those who are just starting out in building their online empire, it is easy to get enticed by sales pages that advertise the newest and best affiliate marketing software. The examples of cars, houses and success stories that are in their sales page are interesting and it may make you think that you should buy that one button software that could make you $5,000 a month in passive income. Not all software are created equal though. These “one push of a button and get rich” software are certainly sketchy, but the software that helps you in your quest to build an online business could be the answer to your search.

How will you know which are scams and which are true? Simple, if you see words or sentences that say ” get rich instantly”, “get $100 a day income overnight guaranteed”, “beginners, get rich without doing anything” and ” buy this software and earn massive income today”, then think twice. There is no software holy grail. An offer that claims you can get rich overnight is not true. When buying a software, think that if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is. Beware and be aware of a scam!

You may be thinking if what affiliate marketing software is for. Well, they are just tools. Yes, when you are already profiting in your online business, it is great to get some software that are made to make your job easier. These software may help you update your website design, help you create or spin articles, guide you to get the best keywords and give you ideas to upgrade your business. An example of this is the product Market Samurai, a keyword analysis tool that helps you discover what terms are being searched by online users so that you can capitalize on those and optimize your site using those targeted keywords.

These software should not be the end all and be all of your business. Again, these are just tools and not really secret formulas. Systems and not magic potions.

Where to Learn Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing, though not easy, can be learned if you have the passion and the drive to go for it. If you’re wondering where you can learn about this, then look no further. Since you will be a new  website builder for marketing purposes, then you will find the information you need to start this from websites! There are hundreds, if not, thousands of free magazines, marketer’s blogs on the net that teaches how to start with these opportunities. You may also find it from an ebook, online tutorial or handbook. Simply surfing the Internet will surely help you find the information you need.

Forums like ABestWeb, Warrior Forum and Digital Point are great sites where you can find information. You can even ask questions to get answers from fellow marketers. The advantage of reading up on threads will be that you will get first hand information and tips from seasoned affiliates. You will also be able to feel like you’re part of the group since you can exchange emails and chat with them to ask them about strategies for your online venture. This way, you get a free consultant, and even consultants and friends who can help you succeed.

If you have the budget, you can sign up for paid consulting  services or online courses. But if you are just looking for a tip, or two, then find it on the web, it’s much cheaper that way.  Blogs from individuals like James Martell, John Chow and Jeremy Schoemaker may already answer the questions you have in mind.

Offline resources are also available. You may get a book titled “Web Marketing for Dummies”  as a source, or get guides and manuals from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Whatever you choose, make sure that you will take action in a system that you find okay. If you just read without action, then that is futile.

Affiliate Marketing Tips- Most Common Methods to Promote Your Affiliate Products

How can I sell my products? This is the most common question that new marketers ask. Well, there are lots of ways and here are some of them:

Article marketing or Web 2.0 marketing. This usually involves writing articles for online magazines such as Ezine Articles so that you can get traffic to your site. Other types of article marketing are writing guest posts for a site with high-traffic and writing product reviews.

Submitting your site to directories. One of the easiest ways that your site can be found is by submitting it to a directory. It is usually free and practical as you just have to post your link to a site with the hopes that someone will get to it. Mortgage, real estate and affiliate marketing service companies usually use this method as they can share tips about their business with these articles.

Video marketing. This involves making informative or interesting videos or amshort promo movie and putting links of your site somewhere, so that people who watch it will click on it. YouTube is the most popular video site that’s being used for this purpose.

JV partnerships or joint venture partnerships. This is a model in which you get a partner, preferably more popular in the industry who can promote or back link to your site and give you customers. This programme is usually done by the more experienced marketer.

Using PPC ads, PPV and media buying. These are techniques that involve spending some money. Here, you will have to buy ad space and keyword, then if someone clicks them, that person will be directed to your site or landing page. Pricing differs from network to network. An example is Google Adwords.

These methods are not really new in the industry. These are not secrets either, so if you want to learn this, you can just easily search through the Internet to get a more detailed information on how you can do them.

Signing Up to an Affiliate Marketing Network

So finding out how to get those affiliate products is the next thing you have to learn. It is simple, you just join an affiliate network.

Affiliate networks are agencies that gather advertisers and marketers so that they can have a business relationship by acting as the go-between. Advertisers post their products on the network’s website, in turn, they allow the affiliates to sell these products in their site. Products may vary from ebooks, to software, casino memberships, university scholarship and white label products. A network or agency may vary as well, there are networks for CPA marketing like Peerfly and Commission Junction and there are networks for pay-per-sale marketing like Clickbank, SFI and Affiliate Junktion.

There are networks that list offers in International locations such as Singapore, UK, Malaysia, Germany and other countries. Majority of the offers though are open only for the US market according to statistics.

An affiliate network not only allows you to get offers and sell them, they also provide service such as tracking your sales, giving you web templates and offer management services. These networks, especially the CPA networks, have an affiliate manager or managers who help the marketers know which offers are selling and which are not highly rated, they then help in working out a plan or road map on how to promote the offers that you choose. With all the help you can get from your affiliate manager, it is better that you be kind to them so that they can help you manage your account, they can also be your most reliable resource too!

Can Anyone Succeed in Online Affiliate Marketing?

Anyone can earn a decent living by affiliate marketing, however, not everyone has the discipline to do the initial work. To be an affiliate super star who’s earning thousands of dollars, you should still be willing to work hard because at first, you will have to build traffic and gain following to your site before you can see any conversion. If at 2-3 months you still have not succeeded in earning the amount you want, then you should have the dedication to continue with your venture. Yes, there are some who already succeed in as short as 10-11 days, but that’s just sheer luck, anyone who wish to earn from this should be willing to continue learning as dedication is your weapon when it comes to this business.

Yes, you can definitely succeed in affiliate marketing wherever you are. Even if you’re in Atlanta, Chicago and even Thailand, you can use the power of the Internet to earn a living. Just remember that affiliate marketing takes hard work and determination and you will surely be on your way to riches.

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