Why Affiliate Marketing Is the Best Way to Start an Online Business

If you’ve educated yourself enough with the information available to us via the internet, then you should have realized by now that your pursuit of a career in the corporate ladder is futile at best. Basically, the idea is to start as an intern, then a regular employee, then move up to a supervisory and/or managerial position and finally up to the executive levels of the corporate business that you’re in. Personally, I have nothing against this kind of aspiration as I too once dreamt of such things myself; however, the toll it takes to get to EXACTLY where you want to be could at least take 30 years; 20 if you’re exceptionally good at it.

The problem is we all can’t be exceptional and aside from the fierce competition in play, you’ll also have to face the insurmountable amount of bureaucracy, racism, favoritism, gender inequalities and other negative things in order to literally move up the ladder. The trade-off is not an ideal payoff even from an optimistically assessed standpoint. Therefore I would advocate that you start your own business and the cheapest way to do it is by building an affiliate marketing blog or website.

Defining Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is an easy income-generating business method where you take the role of the promoter and help the manufacturers and sellers connect with the end consumers. It should be clear that whether you take a passive or active role in this business, you are by no means the originator or creator of the products/services you promote. But you will get a small portion of the sales as compensation nevertheless. It’s basically a 3-way relationship between you, the seller and the customer.

What Affiliate Marketing is NOT

If you get an unsolicited email inviting you to join an affiliate network and it’s asking for an upfront payment, then you definitely have to scrutinize them and find out whether or not they’re scam or legit. Go to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and find out about the company, if you can’t find any, then go to affiliate marketing forums and discussion boards. They would know a lot about these scam sites as news spreads fast in social media and forums. Another thing to look for is if these people are selling you unrelated products or something that you will never be able to use, like the $350 “Secrets to Affiliate Marketing Success” book or some other catchy titles; although a few are genuine but they don’t charge you that high.

The truth is you can learn basic affiliate marketing from top ranking websites and blogs. In fact, they can teach you more useful information than all those specialized books and DVDs that other people are selling. Becoming an affiliate is free when you sign up to affiliate marketing programs and the only thing that will really cost you money is web hosting, which is around $70 – $100 a year for your affiliate marketing blog. A few other expenses may include a unique website/blog logo (optional), your electric bill; hire a blog writer (optional because you can write the blogs yourself) and probably paid advertising to promote your website or blog (optional).

Types of Affiliate Marketing

What’s interesting about affiliate marketing is that you can earn commissions in more ways than most people think. Allow me to explain the 3 different types of affiliate marketing and how you can earn through them.

1. Unattached Affiliate Marketing – This type of affiliate marketing will not require too much work from you, you don’t even have to setup an affiliate marketing blog like those for Amazon Affiliate Programs. This is more like a PPC marketing (pay-per-click) where you just show affiliate ads on sites that allow this kind of marketing and then get a commission for each click through that web users make on the ads.

2. Related Affiliate Marketing – This type of marketing is where you are required to have some level of involvement and this is where you create an affiliate marketing blog or website and always show affiliate links on almost all of your website/blog pages. You also earn a commission for each time a web user clicks through the affiliate links.

3. Involved Affiliate Marketing – This kind of marketing may require you to actually use the products/services before you write a review about them and you should be able to write a more comprehensive and honest reviews.

You can choose from these 3 types of affiliate marketing methods, but most affiliate marketing programs uses the Type 2 affiliate marketing, which has some level of involvement and online presence from your end.

Putting the Cogs and Wheels Together

Now that you have an idea of what affiliate marketing is all about and what its common pitfalls are, you are ready to start your journey to financial freedom and a wealthy lifestyle! Affiliate marketing is just like any other type of business and you’ll have to plan a strategy months or even years ahead before you begin, so I will give you the basic strategy of how to become an affiliate marketer, signing up for affiliate programs, setting up your affiliate marketing blog and all the other important details about it.

Steps to become an affiliate marketer:

1. Decide what niche topic you want to use for your blog or website. It’s better to write reviews or general information about products/services that you’re passionate about, because you will write better articles for them compared to those that you don’t like. For instance, if you’re mad about crochet or kids bicycles, then that is the niche you should pick for your blog! Affiliate programs have a huge inventory of items for sale and they do include crochets and bicycles for a fact. If you’re more of the business-minded individual and you think you can write just about on anything, then by all means pick the niche that’s most profitable among the lot.

2. Create your website and purchase a cheap but reliable web hosting. You don’t need a web designer to build a website or a blog. You can use WordPress, Weebly, Web.com, Blogger, eHost and others to do that. Using their user-friendly “click & drag” features you can create your blog/website in 5 – 10 minutes!

3. Learn basic SEO and use it on your blog or website. Search engine optimization or SEO is a very good marketing strategy to allow your website to be known throughout the entire internet or at least the majority of it. If your website is easier to find in search engines, then it is more convenient for people to visit it, and more visitors means more money for you.

4. Learn social media marketing to extend your presence online. In reality social media marketing or SMM is also a part of the grand scheme of SEO and without it, your SEO campaign would not be as successful as you’d expect it to be. There are literally billions of people hanging around the web on a daily basis and much of them are in social media sites. It would be a logical choice to get visitors there for your website and increase your income potential.

5. Learn about paid advertising and consider it deeply on whether you need to use it or not. Paid ads help because they target the right kind of people who are already looking for products that you promote. Meaning there is a good chance that they will buy. Wouldn’t you want them to buy products through your affiliate links? I would!

6. Start filling up your website with content. In case you plan to write boring and unimpressive blogs and articles, then I’d advise you to no longer continue in your pursuit of creating an affiliate marketing blog, because I promise you people will not want to read your blogs or visit your site. Write articles that will impress you first. This will let you know whether or not people will want to read about what you have to say. If you can find an extremely critical person to judge your writing, then that would be better as it will help you greatly improve on your writing style. Reader engagement is absolute in affiliate marketing. It will determine your income capacity, so do your best in writing content for your site above all else.

How you earn in affiliate marketing:

• The manufacturer/seller signs a partnership deal with the affiliate network or program and in turn, when you sign up with the affiliate network as an affiliate, the partner affiliate network will give you a small percentage share on every item you helped sold.

• You’ll need to embed or display affiliate links on your website or affiliate marketing blog about the products you’re promoting. The purpose of these links is to guide your blog readers to the seller’s webpage (which is usually in the affiliate network’s site) so that they can make purchases of the items they like.

• The percentage commission on each sale range from 1% – 10% (some give more than 10% but rarely) and this is how you generate income. For example, a web user happens by your blog about coffee machines and he/she read your blog review or informative article. The reader was impressed by your blog and decided to click on the affiliate link, then make a purchase of 1 coffee machine worth $350. If the affiliate network allowed 7% of that amount to be your commission, therefore your income for that sale alone will be $24.50.

• You may notice that $24.50 is a small amount and not enough to convince you to become an affiliate; however, if you were able to bring 10,000 visitors to your blog in the span of 30 days and about 4,382 people bought coffee machines for themselves, then your income for that particular month should be $107,359! If you’re able to bring as much visitors to your website on a regular basis, then you can bet that your monthly income should be around these numbers. Now you can appreciate the value that SEO and SMM can do for your affiliate marketing business.

How Much can you Make?

The straight answer to this question is… there is NO LIMIT to how much you can earn. The website called Pickmyshaver.com around October or November 2013 and then 8 months later its regular monthly income became $8,446! If it had continued as is it would earn over $50,000 a month by now, except that it was purchased in Flippa by an anonymous buyer for $60,100 around June 2014. That’s just 1 website and I’m pretty sure on your best day you can manage 2 – 3 sites for affiliate marketing.

At this point I will let you use your imagination as to how much you can earn; or is it how hard you desire to earn. It’s entirely up to you. I am confident that this article should help you get started in creating your own affiliate marketing blog and earn not just money, but your freedom from the everyday worries of life. Once you start earning over $8,000 a month, then you can buy more time to spend it with the people that matters to you most – your family. I wish you all the best and don’t forget to drop a comment below and tell me how affiliate marketing has changed your life like it has changed mine.

What is Affiliate Marketing Or an Affiliate Site?

Affiliate Marketing Secrets

Today, we can easily create own web site. As long as you have a Computer Access Internet, You will be able to access sites such as Google, using them to provide web site design templates to create a simple personal website. The website will assign you a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) to store the content on your page, while also adding some of these sites want to advertise advertising. In this way, only one or two hours of your pages on the Internet in!

But how to make your site to achieve more function? How to use it profitable traffic to your site? If you are an online affiliate, how do you attract people to your site to buy things? A can simultaneously satisfy the above two kinds of needs and is quite popular method is to Affiliate Marketing (Affiliate Program). This article will introduce what is affiliate marketing, affiliate marketing principles apply to the object and how to use
affiliate marketing to make your site benefit from.

What is Affiliate Marketing or Affiliate Site?

Affiliate marketing is also called Affiliate Marketing Network (Associate Program), the Affiliate Web site (Online Merchant Web Site) and the affiliated Web site (Affiliate Web Site) an agreement reached between. Stipulated in the agreement, the latter providing the former users, the former to the latter to pay a commission for this. The affiliated sites to place links to business sites, and in accordance with the two sides agreed to receive advertising in return for payment of fees. Returns are generally disbursed in accordance with the adoption Affiliates (Affiliate) sites the number of visitors into the affiliate Web site or a purchase or other acts of the number of customers to be calculated.

Some are also in accordance with the affiliated Web site to access the affiliate Web site banner ads (Banner Ad) to calculate the number of people. Basically, as long as the affiliate merchant site members can give to bring passenger flow or earnings, business web site, which will be in accordance with agreement between the parties to pay a certain remuneration. The recruitment of affiliates (Recruiting Affiliate) is not only a good way to conduct online sales, but also is a cheap and efficient marketing strategy. In addition, it is a good choice of site promotion.

Affiliate marketing, at least the following three:
* Customer
* Affiliated sites
* Merchant Website

In 1996, Amazon (Amazon.com), CEO and founder JeffBezos (Jeff Bezos) to make affiliate marketing as a network marketing strategy to spread open. Amazon On-line commitment, in accordance with referral and affiliate sites to purchase books or other commodities, the number of profit-sharing commission, in order to attract affiliate website point to Amazon books for sale online, or link. The affiliated sites help only sold by Amazon’s other things to do online, including: taking orders, collection, shipped to customers. The results of this strategy victory need more than 500,000 Web site to join them.

Currently, affiliate marketing has been an increasing number of website used by a variety of forms. For many none core E-business the websites to become an affiliate member is engaged in a good way of e-commerce.

Affiliate Program, paid model

Affiliate marketing there are three models of payment:

* Pay according to sales (Based on sales to pay): Amazon’s online affiliate marketing program that is paid by sales of a typical example. In such a pay model, only when a customer through the affiliate link to visit the merchant web site members and produce the actual purchase, the affiliate Web site will pay to affiliates. Some merchants, like Amazon, the same line, according to a certain percentage of sales paid; there are also some merchants for each product sold will be paid a certain amount.

* Pay-per-click (The amount of pay-per-click): In this payment model, the affiliate Web site under the affiliate website and click on the link to point to the number of visitors to the affiliate membership fee. Visitors do not need to buy any commodity, but also from affiliate sites log on to the affiliate website and conduct after the act has nothing to do with the Member Web site.

* According to the number of pay-to guide (According to guide the number of payments): Click here to pay-mode operation of the business according to the completion of guidance (i.e., fills out and submits a form) the number of visitors to the affiliate membership fee. This means that the completion of a affiliate site requires visitors to fill out the information, which information can be used as a affiliate Web site sales leads, or as sales leads to sell other companies.

There are also some other payment model. Basically, the affiliate marketing program, merchants will select their best behavior as a basis for payment, and then transfer to their affiliate sites the occurrence of this behavior, the number of clients paid to affiliated members.

Several basic pay in the above model, derived from some other more prevailing payment mode:
* Two-tier affiliate program(Two-Tier Program): two-tier affiliate program structure and Amway, Avon and other companies used in multi-layer direct marketing (also known as “network marketing”, is a development on behalf of salespeople and commissioned salespeople sell and profit from marketing) is similar to the organizational structure. In this payment model, affiliate membership is not only the sales from its Web site, click on or get a commission to guide behavior, but also its development, and point to cascade under the affiliate Web site is a member of sales, clicks or get a commission to guide behavior.

* The residual income affiliate program(Residual Program): This affiliate program provided that if the members from the affiliate web site visitors to enter the affiliate Web site to purchase products at the affiliate Web site or services, a continuous, affiliate members can thus continues to be a commission. Many customers get from regular income (such as monthly service fee charged) of online merchants to use more of this affiliate program.

In addition, there are a few shows by the number of affiliate programs pay. The implementation of these programs (also known as pay-per-view program of visits) companies only in view of its banner ads the visitors visits to the Member to pay a commission. This pattern often does not fully equipped with the structure of affiliate marketing, just as a traditional advertising and marketing to operate. Compared with traditional advertising, affiliate network marketing advantage only when an affiliate member of the business produced the desired results, the merchant fees are allowed.

While the advertisers, the traditional advertising (for example, that you see on television advertising and a number of banner ads on the Internet) and risk is relatively larger. Because in the traditional advertising model, they do the ads cost effectiveness is uncertain. If your ad is greater than the benefits to the company advertising costs, advertising even if successful; but if the benefits of advertising than advertising costs, the company can only resign to fate. In affiliate marketing, online business is only valid when paid in the ad. Thus, significantly reduced the risk of advertisers. It is precisely because of this, one would like to contract for advertising sites, in order to join affiliate marketing is far more direct way of advertising is much easier to find advertisers.

How to manage affiliate marketing or affiliate software?

Conceptually speaking, affiliate marketing, it seems quite simple; However, to ensure its smooth operation, people need to do a lot of work behind the scenes. In order to truly grasp the affiliate members of the commission amount, the need for someone to track websites visited by members of the actual situation of a affiliate website.

According to the different payment models may need to determine:

* Affiliate membership in a particular site and click to enter the number of merchant sites
* Members through an affiliate site links into the affiliate website and on the website shopping or perform other acts of the expected number of clients
* In the affiliate members of the website of a affiliate website published the number of banner ads

In addition, merchants and affiliate tracking between members of the original agreement to ensure that the latter received a deserved commission.

Whether a merchant Web site to recruit affiliates, or affiliates to identify interested in affiliate marketing programs are a lot of work needs to be done. However, there are still many companies that take the time to personally manage members are quite worth it, therefore, as tirelessly as the Amazon, the pro-force into it. Although these companies the entire process of marketing the program and in full control of the commission paid on time, they are still able to attract a large number of franchisees.

Because their conditions of membership in terms of a zero risk or zero cost, that is, affiliates can link to websites to make money just doing a good job. However, for many sites, recruiting members, or join an affiliate business websites are pieces of time-consuming and laborious task. Web site owners and many have little confidence in the commission calculation of the amount of commercial sites.

Are you looking for more information on affiliate marketing? CK Fang’s has been in the business of affiliate marketing websites for over 3+ years. He is the creator of “What is Affiliate Marketing Or an Affiliate Site”, which give you information what is affiliate marketing.

The More the Merrier – Affiliate Marketing

The Internet has changed the way we do business as much as it’s changed so many other things about our culture. What began with a military computer networking scheme that developed into ARPANET, which connected a number of universities around the United States, has turned to a necessity for both individuals and businesses across the globe. This has led to a revolution in how business is conducted. In fact, few, if any, business functions today are not in some way informed by the Internet and that is especially true in the realm of sales and marketing. When you think about online marketing, what comes to mind? Search engine optimization or e-mail marketing are probably at the top of the list, but there is something else in the marketing arsenal that you may be overlooking: Affiliate marketing.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

At its most elementary level, affiliate marketing is a fairly simple and straightforward affair in which one business partners with another, placing an ad link on the second company’s website and paying that company for every sale that a visitor sent over from that affiliate site makes on the seller’s site.

It is a solid, reciprocal relationship. The affiliate drives customers to the seller and the seller pays the affiliate for the traffic. This type of business arrangement, where the seller pays a commission for sales leads, is referred to as revenue sharing, and has been around in one form or another for as long as large scale sales efforts have existed. It entered the world of ecommerce the same way that so many other innovations have, through the adult entertainment industry. However, while it may have begun with a company called Cybererotica, by 1994 the concept had spread into the Internet mainstream with a music company called CDNow and its BuyWeb Program.

It began, as all such ideas, as the solution to a business need. Geffen Records wanted to market its music directly to consumers over the Internet but didn’t want to actually do the job itself. CDNow developed a program that would directly link an artist’s page on CDNow’s site to the artist’s music page on the Geffen website. It didn’t take long to catch on with other Internet-based companies.

Amazon launched its own pay-per-action affiliate program in 1996. If a visitor to the affiliate followed the link to Amazon and bought a book, then that affiliate received a commission. Amazon may not have been the first on the wagon with this idea, but they were certainly the best. Their program became the model for affiliate programs everywhere and in 2000 they were awarded a patent (6,029,141) on all of the most important parts that go into an affiliate program.

The rise of Web 2.0, with the improved communications it allows, as well as blogging and the development of interactive online communities and social networking sites have changed the way affiliate marketing is conducted and have made it much harder for the criminal (or merely the unscrupulous) to make money. Today, affiliate marketing has grown into a massive industry with many new and novel types of affiliate arrangements.

Managing an Affiliate Program

Taking an affiliate program from concept to completion requires knowledge of the audience you are trying to reach, a proper budget and, most of all, the right choice of program (or programs) and compensation package to fit your needs.

Know your Audience

Any first year marketing student will tell you that you have to know your audience before you reach them. If you are selling a product that will appeal to a mass market, such as music or electronics, then you want a broad presence that will be seen by many people. If, on the other hand, you sell medical supplies or some other niche item, you will want to target your advertising more carefully, concentrating on the people most likely to be interested in your products and services.

Setting a Budget

Affiliate advertising is, usually, a pay-per-action (also known as a cost-per-action or CPA) affair. In other words, something that you and your affiliate have made an agreement about happens, such as an ad link being clicked and a sale being made, and you owe that affiliate money. This is different from pay-per-click (also known as a cost-per-click or CPC) arrangements where payment is made for each click on the ad. That means, whether or not you convert that click into a sale, the affiliate gets paid. This is in stark contrast to display ads where you pay once and the more customers respond the cheaper the ad (in terms of cost per customer). Because of this, it is important to be able to set an advertising budget-especially for pay-per-click arrangements-large enough to pay for the number of expected clicks or actions, regardless of the number of sales that result.

Types of Affiliate Programs

While there are no real industry-wide standards for categorizing affiliate marketing sites, the following is a basic list of the types of sites that are used by affiliate marketers:

  • Click-per-action networks are affiliates that expose their advertisers to their own network of affiliates (also known as top-tier affiliates)
  • Search affiliates that use pay-per-click search engines to promote advertiser offers
  • Co-registration affiliates that include offers from other companies during the registration process for their own website
  • Blogs and RSS feeds
  • Email list affiliates
  • Comparison shopping and directory sites
  • Loyalty sites that provide some kind of reward system for purchases
  • Coupon and rebate sites
  • Content, niche and product review sites
  • Personal websites

Getting Paid: How compensation works

You are paid by your customers, your affiliates are paid by you, but how? There are a number of different compensation schemes and either you or your affiliate will have a preference for one or another. In some cases the issue is negotiable, in others it is not. The various compensation schemes are:

  • Revenue sharing, also called “cost-per-sale” (CPS) is the compensation method of choice today, accounting for 80% of all affiliate programs today.
  • Cost-per-action (CPA) is the second most prevalent scheme in use today, accounting for another 19% of affiliate programs.
  • Other methods such as cost-per-click (CPC), where the advertiser pays for each click, and cost-per-mille (CPM), where the advertiser pays for every 1000 ad views, come in at 1% of affiliate programs. The use of these methods declined over the years for a variety of reasons that included the necessity to pay even though the ad failed to produce sales and, in the case of cost-per-click, fraud. These methods are, however, still used extensively in display advertisement and paid search programs.

CPS and CPA schemes have higher expectations before a commission check is issued to the affiliate. In fact, as the names imply, the customer has to buy something. Only then will the affiliate receive payment. In this arrangement the advertiser and the affiliate share the risk of the venture. It is from this model that affiliate marketing gets its other name, “performance marketing.” To make it under these rules, the affiliate must send only the best leads since it is only after a sale is made that the advertiser will reward the affiliate.

Multilevel Programs

While the vast majority of affiliate programs are simple, one-tier affairs, it can go beyond that. Such programs fall under the heading of multi-tier marketing: An advertiser makes an agreement with an affiliate. This is the “top-tier” affiliate. That affiliate then attracts other affiliates and the deal moves down to them. Our top-tier affiliate is paid at the agreed upon rate and gets a commission on everything that the “second-tier” affiliates bring in. Any referral program that develops beyond these initial two levels is considered a multilevel marketing or network marketing scheme. Given the terrible reputation these businesses have, it is wise to simply avoid them completely.

Finding Affiliates

It is not difficult to find affiliates. In fact, almost any website could be recruited as an affiliate. Bear in mind that high traffic websites will likely prefer CPM or CPC deals because these have a lower risk than CPA or revenue sharing. Some places to look while recruiting include:

  • Affiliate networks that already have a number of advertisers. These networks normally have a large number of potential affiliates for your company.
  • Sites that are relevant for the same audience that the advertiser is trying to reach. As long as the potential affiliate’s site is not in direct competition with the advertiser, it can work.
  • Vendors or existing customers could be recruited as long as doing so doesn’t pose any legal or regulatory issues.
  • Affiliate program directories

Pros and Cons

The cost-per-sale model makes affiliate advertising very popular since you only pay for results. The biggest con regarding this method of marketing is history itself. Spam, adware, spamdexing, trademark bidding, pay-per-click fraud and a number of other issues have given this kind of marketing a bad name over the years. These troubles, however, are becoming less and less prevalent due to advances in technology and better methodologies for dealing with them. This, coupled with the way one only needs to pay for results, leaves affiliate marketing as a strong way to reach the audience you are looking for.