Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing: Exactly What it is and How it Works

Affiliate Marketing is a wonderful business relationship where an individual or company, large or small, agrees to pay you money based on a certain action that people you send to him take.

 

Let me give some examples:

Amazon.com has one of the biggest and longest-running affiliate programs.  They will pay you a commission based on what people buy when they come in through your links.  So, let’s say you make a website to promote a product.  You get traffic to your website and send it to Amazon using your affiliate links. Let’s say these people buy something.  You will make a commission on anything they buy that falls within Amazon’s rules.

 

Amazon’s commissions are low compared to many other affiliate programs, but some affiliates have found that the ease of selling physical goods at amazon (versus selling digital goods somewhere less well known) makes up for the low commission rates.  Plus, refund rates are low.

Let’s talk about selling digital goods somewhere less well known – there is a platform called clickbank.com where people sell digital e-books. An individual or company writes an e-book and puts it up for sale and for promotion in the clickbank marketplace. The individual or company is known as a vendor at clickbank. Each vendor can set their own commission rates and some set them as high as 75%. On a $37 or $97 e-book, 75% is a lot. Commission is much higher, but conversion rates – meaning how many people click through your link and buy – can be much lower. Besides Amazon goods and e-books, there are many other affiliate marketing options. Almost any topic you can imagine will have a related affiliate program of some sort.

CPA Offers

Besides receiving a commission on physical goods and digital e-books, you can also promote CPA offers. CPA stands for cost per action. The action can often be something simple like filling out a form, applying for something, giving out their e-mail address, or sometimes signing up for an offer. So, the way this works is you would somehow get people to the offer and if they complete the offer you would get a set amount of money. Normally this money is low, like a dollar or two dollars, but with some offers it can be quite high. There are medical offers where people sign up to receive a medical item in the mail and only pay shipping and handling, but then if they don’t cancel or send back the item their credit card will get charged for the full amount of the item. These offers often pay substantially better than one where the person would only give out their e-mail address. These offers may also have higher return and refund rates though.

Google Adsense / Contextual Marketing

Another method of affiliate marketing that many people participate in is Google AdSense. Google AdSense. If you create a website that gets a lot of traffic but you can’t really figure out what kind of ads or affiliate links you should put on it then AdSense may work for you. You sign up for an AdSense account, and AdSense gives you a block of code. You paste this code into your website and where the code is AdSense will send ads.  AdSense will read the words on your page and decide what the page is about and send ads related to that.  When someone clicks on the ads you will make money. Some topics are worth more than others.  For example, travel can be worth more than recipes.

Pay per Click

There is one more type of affiliate program that I would like to explain, although this one is not as common. It is pay per click. Let’s say you had a website, and you put a link on that website and the vendor would be willing to pay you a certain amount of money for every click that came through the link.  Vendors can pay as little as a penny to as much as $.15 or $.20 a click. I hope this helps explain affiliate marketing. It’s not free money, but sometimes it can feel like it. You have no product and no customer service worries, and yet you can still get paid.

The Top 10 Ways to Make Money Online

These top 10 ways to make money online that I will be describing do not all qualify as affiliate marketing, but that’s okay. Chances are anyone looking to learn about affiliate marketing would actually be okay with any of these ways to make money online.

Coaching

There are many coaches online charging for their services. There are many life coaches and business coaches and then there are other professional performance coaches in other fields. What do you do now? What are you successful at? What could you successfully coach someone else to do by e-mail or by Skype or by phone? These are the questions to ask yourself to determine if you can offer coaching online. Even if no one else is doing it, that doesn’t mean you can’t be the first. The way you would offer coaching is you would create a website that tells what you offer, and pick out a payment processor like PayPal, and then advertise or market your services.

Selling Services

Many people get their online start by selling services. There are lots of things that people who market online need done. Website owners need links to be created and content to be written and articles to be distributed. Head over to Elance.com and check out some of the services that people are offering. Is there anything that you can do? You may also want to look at fiverr.com and see what people are offering there. People are doing things as simple as making small stuffed animals and selling them for the five dollars. If you are a good writer you are almost guaranteed to be able to make very quick money by writing articles for people. Everybody on the Internet needs content created in some way.

Creating Membership Sites

There are membership sites for everything that you can imagine. People will pay five dollars a month to $37 a month to hundreds of dollars a month to be able to get recurring, great information on the subject of their choice. Are you an expert at a popular game like World of Warcraft? A membership site can be as simple as people paying you for tips tricks and help on something like this. Membership sites can be a lot like coaching, except you would coach many people at a time by e-mail or forums instead of just one person a time. These people would pay less money but have less access to you also.

Selling on ebay or amazon

There are people making many full-time incomes selling on eBay or Amazon.  Some buy from wholesalers or drop shippers, and some buy from thrift stores and yard sales. Some start with thrift stores and yard sales and move up to wholesalers or drop shippers.Some people buy full pallets of merchandise and then sell them off piece by piece. Some people even buy a LOT of something on eBay and then resell it in smaller pieces on eBay.

Creating Software or Addons or Plugins for Webmasters

If this is a talent that you have, you can create software or plug-ins for websites and then market them to webmasters.  Or, if you think of a good idea that will help webmasters you could pay to have the software or plug-in created and then market it.

Creating Videos

Videos are a very popular way to share content. There are ways to create videos and use them in your affiliate marketing efforts. Some people create viral videos that everyone links to and then there is a affiliate link underneath the video. Other people use videos as a way to create a following and then market their product to their following, or put Google AdSense ads on their videos.

Creating Content / Revenue Share Websites

There are many revenue share websites where you go to the website and create content or write articles or promote products and the website lets you use their platform and splits any  revenue with you. Some examples of these are squidoo, hubpages, redgage, shetoldme, and webnuggetz.

Blogging

Blogging is very popular although a lot less people actually make a living at it and think they are going to make a living at it when they start. Blogging takes a lot of consistent action and writing and marketing and not everybody is up for the task. Bloggers that really make it big normally post new blog posts on a very consistent schedule like one each day. These bloggers also write on a subject that appeals to a wide variety of people, like mothers, or people looking to save money, or people looking to improve their lives. So how do bloggers make money? Many do it with affiliate marketing – they recommend products that they use and like. Others do it with direct advertising. Companies want to advertise on their website and will pay for the privilege. Others do it with Google AdSense. Others write their own books, print books and e-books. And many bloggers use all of the above.

Writing and or Promoting ebooks

if you have writing skills and knowledge or the ability to research or hire someone with knowledge to write an e-book then this can be a very lucrative path. Once the book is written though, or if you are just planning on promoting someone else’s e-book, you will have to figure out how to market the book.Many people like to create a whole website about a topic and create an e-mail list too that people sign up for to get more information on the topic. They then recommend the book on the website and the e-mail list.

Content Websites

And the number one way to make money online is definitely content websites. Is a content website different than a blog? Yes, it is. A blog is more of an ongoing commentary, where a person shares bits of life and knowledge on a very regular posting schedule. A content website is a website where the pages are more static, meaning they all could be put up at once and then the site may not ever get any bigger. It can get bigger, but the main purpose of the website is to give static information about something – not to be constantly updating. A content website on a particular topic that has lots of buying opportunities related to it is a great way to get started in affiliate marketing. For example, let’s say you were to create a content website about a certain place that lots of people travel to. You could create pages that give tips on how to travel to this place and what to do once someone gets there and you could recommend that they buy certain products like guidebooks or coupon books or even use a specific airline or booking service so that you can get a commission. There you have it – the top 10 ways to make money online. Don’t worry about picking the wrong one, just pick one and get started. Most of these can evolve into any of the others and many of them can be combined.

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