So What IS Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process of selling someone else’s product online and making a commission on that sale. Let’s say, for example, you wanted to market your favorite crock pot, you would sign up with vendors who were willing to pay you a commission on each sale.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
There are third party affiliate programs which many marketers use and these companies have hundreds of vendors who work in partnership with them.
Examples of these types of programs are Amazon and Commission Junction, but there are MANY more. You sign up with the affiliate program and then you are able to sign up for individual vendors. And these companies manage the affiliate program for the actual vendor.
So in the example of the crock pot, you can sign up to sell these crock pots for “The Most Amazing Crock Pot” company (a made up name in case you haven’t guessed:).
You’ll be given a special code to use on your website. Anytime someone clicks on that code and buys the product, you get a commission.
So in the crock pot example, you would be given this unique code to use on your sites. Anytime someone clicks on your link with that code in it, a “cookie” (or tracking mechanism) is put on that computer for a specified period of time. This will vary depending on the vendor. Cookies are generally good from 30 – 90 days or longer.
Let’s say, for instance, that on a particular vendor’s site the “cookie” was valid for 30 days. Even if the person who clicked on your link goes back to the site 29 days later to buy a crock pot or anything else, you will still get a commission!
Commissions generally range from 5%-%10. So if the crock pot cost $50.00 and you receive a 5% commission (on the lower end) you would earn $2.50. Not a huge sum…but if you start getting hundreds or thousands of visitors to your site, those commissions can start adding up!
To expand on this – if you get 5000 visitors to your site each month (not uncommon once your site gets established) and you sell 300 crock pots, you would earn $750.00. I’d take that!
I hope the wheels in your brain are spinning now – there are ENDLESS opportunities for promoting products online!
What To Promote Online
Nearly ANYTHING can be bought online – toothbrushes, toys, appliances, furniture, art, books, tools, make up, etc. etc.
Digital products can include e-books or other online media that you can order and view online.
You can promote a combination of digital and physical products on your site, depending on the theme of your site.
So for example, if you are writing about chicken coops, you could be promoting ebooks (digital products) on chicken care, coop construction etc. You could also be promoting things like nest boxes, chicken treats etc. (physical products).
The thing to remember through all of this is to provide VALUE on your site, not just a bunch of ads. I’m not sure about you but I quickly exit a site that is only trying to sell me something. It’s a big turn off! I’m suspecting you feel the same way.
Who Can Be an Affiliate Marketer?
The short answer to this question is “anyone.” The longer answer is that it takes a lot of work, discipline, and consistency. As with any new business idea, it’s easy to get started – the ideas are flowing, you’re excited, and you can think of nothing else.
But it’s hard to maintain that momentum for any length of time. Inevitably, you’ll run into a problem or setback. And of course life happens too – you get sick, experience a financial setback, the list goes on.
Those who can persist through these difficulties will come out on top! It’s really not too complicated but will take discipline to be successful. And don’t expect results overnight – Affiliate programs that promise quick riches should be avoided! Achieving success online is a process and, as with any business, it takes time to grow.
I hope you’ve found a few nuggets of information here helpful. Growing your own Affiliate marketing business online can be a fun and rewarding experience. And the beauty of it is that you can start part time with minimal investment. If you have a computer, you’re halfway there!
To learn more about Affiliate Marketing and the program I use and recommend, read about it here. I’m starting this out on a shoe-string budget and this program allows for that since it’s free to get started. It’s a wealth of information and training that anyone can learn from about Affiliate Marketing.
Thanks for stopping by and please leave comments if you have tried Affiliate Marketing or are considering it. I’m happy to help!