There are plenty of ways an industrious individual can make money online. Countless people have turned to the World-Wide-Web looking for a good money-making opportunity they can accomplish from the comfort of their own homes. It may seem daunting at first but you can make money online if you learn, duplicate, and most importantly have the determination to just start. To put it in simple words affiliate marketing is a way of earning for you by selling products online from one company/firm to another company/firm or an individual person.
One of the most ingenious ways to supplement or even replace your income is through online affiliate programs. Online affiliate programs first sprang up in 1996 when Amazon.com started paying websites for referring customers to their site. Now in 2006 online affiliate programs are a mainstay in the e-commerce world. Even Fortune 500 companies such as Dell, Wal-Mart, and Apple have adopted the online affiliate program marketing module.
Online affiliate programs provide home business professionals and online entrepreneurs with a risk-free form of advertising to produce revenue from their websites. Affiliate marketing has become an increasingly popular home-based business opportunity because:
- It requires no production costs
- Very low start-up costs or no costs at all
- No employees
- Do not require inventory
- No order processing
- Do not require shipping
- No customer service
- Very limited risk
Do you need a product for affiliate marketing?
Whether or not you need to have your own product to become a successful affiliate marketer is a question that has been asked and answered every few minutes since affiliate marketing came on the scene. The reason it is asked so often is that everybody has a different answer. There are those who say you absolutely MUST have your own product to get started and to succeed in affiliate marketing and then there are those who say you don’t need a product when you start or ever to be successful. So, which is it? Yes? No?
The fact of the matter is that everybody is right. Having your own product is great but it isn’t absolutely necessary. Those who have their own product can build a website around that product and add affiliate links to it. Those who don’t have their own products can still create a great website and be affiliate marketers. Producers of products love affiliate marketers and products are not the least bit hard to find.
The thing that both those who do and those who don’t have their own product have in common is that they both must be passionate about the products they sell. You will never be successful in selling something that you aren’t interested in yourself. It takes drive and ambition to succeed at any endeavor and affiliate marketing isn’t any different. You must be passionate about a product or an idea in order to keep your drive and ambition alive and well for the long haul.
Whether you are marketing your own product or a product produced by others your success is directly related to how effective your marketing techniques are, how focused you are, how well you manage your time, and how much you believe in the product.#
Do you need a website to become an affiliate marketer?
The most important and indispensable thing to assure your success in affiliate marketing is your own website. The first step in any successful affiliate marketing business is building a good, credible, and professional-looking website. Your website is the jump-off point of all your marketing efforts. Therefore, you must first build a user-friendly website, which will attract your prospects and motivate them to click on the links to the products and services you are promoting and make a purchase. You must first focus your efforts on building a website that will cater to what your prospects need.
Above all else, make your website full of original, relevant, and useful content. The most important thing you should consider is that almost all web users go online to look for information, not necessarily to go and buy something. People will love articles that are appealing and helpful. Keep in mind that, on the internet, content is still king and good quality content will not only build your credibility, it can also help you achieve a higher search engine ranking. By posting relevant and useful articles, you establish yourself as a credible expert in the field, making you a more dependable endorser of the product or service you promote. Establishing a good name is a good step in building up a dedicated consumer base. Dedicated customer bases are the lifeblood of affiliate marketers.
You must use every possible means on your website to motivate prospects not only to visit your site but also to click and proceed to the websites of the products and services you are promoting.
When you are creating your website, the possibilities are endless and are limited only by your imagination, originality, resourcefulness, and resolve. You can always explore other ideas and adapt other strategies, which you think might help you become a high-rolling affiliate marketer but not until you have a great website.
What if you do not have a website?
So you don’t have a website? In many cases, you do not even need to operate a website or know any HTML to make money with online affiliate programs. With the maturation of contextual advertising through Yahoo! Publisher and Google AdWords many pay-per-click (PPC) savvy online affiliate marketers have moved away from deploying websites and focus entirely on search engine marketing (SEM). This may be a good way for some to test the waters with marketing online affiliate programs but if you’re not familiar with setting up PPC campaigns tread lightly. The cost per click can quickly add up with little return on your investment if done improperly. As for myself I still believe content is king and always will be. Having real estate on the web is much like owning a piece of property, it only matures and appreciates in value with age.
Bonus tools to become a successful affiliate marketer
You should be able to find several indispensable facts about Affiliate Marketing in the following paragraphs. If there’s at least one fact you didn’t know before, imagine the difference it might make.
Important Tool #1: Incentives
Competition is extremely tight in the internet world. You must always be one step ahead of your rivals to ensure that you capture a significant share of your target market. Therefore, you must use every possible means to encourage people not only to visit your site but also to click and proceed to the websites of the products and services you are promoting. Building an opt-in email list is one of the best ways to gather prospects. Offer a newsletter or an e-zine. Better yet, offer incentives to your prospects to encourage them to subscribe to your newsletters. You can present free software, access to exclusive services, and other freebies that will be helpful to your prospects.
Important Tool #2: Link Popularity
The importance of driving highly targeted traffic to your website cannot be emphasized enough. The all-important web traffic is at the top of the list of the most important entities in the internet world. Attracting people to your site should be the first step you should carry out. Do everything to achieve a high search engine ranking. Link Popularity is one of the factors that search engines use to determine search engine rankings. Therefore, to enhance your link popularity, you must launch an aggressive reciprocal link campaign.
Now you can be a confident expert on Affiliate Marketing. OK, maybe not an expert. But you should have something to bring to the table next time you join a discussion on Affiliate Marketing.