Internet marketing or affiliate marketing as its commonly known is no small business. In 2013, over $3 billion was paid out to blogs and websites as affiliate marketing fees.
The trend is expected to increase as e-commerce continues to become more popular. According to a research firm called Jupiter, more and more people are embracing commerce online with every business finding a need to have an online presence. All this converges to an increase in online commerce and a greater flow of money through electronic transaction.
For those with an interest in starting up a low cost and high return web based marketing business, then having an affiliate marketing opportunity online is essential and there is no excuse why you should have a go at it.
If you are a blogger, and are already writing content in your own area of interest, for example sports, food, cooking, wine, marketing or social media then you might consider naturally becoming an affiliate marketer.
In addition, getting web based affiliate programs, products and implementing them into your blog are easy and economical.
Compared to the income that it can generate, the startup cost of affiliate marketing is very little.
With my free video series I will show you how you can get started for less than US $50.00 to get a self hosted custom domain name and one click installed WordPress website on your own host using HostGator. You will also find out where to get a professionally designed high quality WordPress theme to boot using Themeforest!
So what exactly is affiliate marketing?
Before we go deep into the matter, let us define what affiliate marketing is and what it does.
Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing that involves having a website of your own and pushing traffic to someone else’s site so that they buy the product or service that is sold within the site. For every sale that is made, based on the traffic that you pushed to the site, you earn what is called an affiliate commission.
You do not have to put too much effort on affiliate marketing. However the more work you do and the more time you invest will help you to earn a lot more from your blog. There are a number of highly successful entrepreneurs that have built huge internet marketing business’s generating commissions of millions of dollars. A few of my favorites to follow are Peng Joon from Malaysia, John Chow from Canada and Lewis Clifford from the UK.
Basically all you need to do is have a referral/affiliate link that pushes the traffic to that site of the product you’re promoting and ensure that your website is visible and generates traffic. By doing that, you will earn your commission passively. You can do the work on a part time or casual basis.
How do you get your affiliate marketing business started?
Create a website or a blog
The first thing that you need to do is have your website or your blog. You need your website or blog to place your affiliate product links so that visitors on your site will be able to be directed to the product or service that is being sold.
You can get website services from Hostgator, GoDaddy, Bluhost or any provider of your preference. Personally I prefer HostGator who are cost effective with plans starting at US $3.96 per month and a bit more user friendly than GoDaddy. These platforms are affordable for any user especially those who are new into the business. You can get a free blog from services such as Google Blogger, blog network and WordPress platform. Your domain can be purchased from HostGator or from other providers like from Namecheap and Hostnine for your reseller account hosting. Once done install WordPress through your Cpanel and get yourself a professional theme starting from US $3.00 on ThemeForest.
Your product and service niche
Your next step would be to decide on the product or service niche that you would focus on. With affiliate marketing you can sell anything from eBooks to jewellery. The best way to make it work is to choose a niche area that you are familiar with and you are savvy in. The reason for this is that you will have to wait for a while as you work to build up your content before you start getting returns. If you select something that you are enthusiastic about, it will be much easier and enjoyable.
Decide on what to promote
The main role of affiliate marketing is to connect products with the buyers. For this reason, ensure that you select the products or services that can be promoted and sold easily. Remember, you will be earning your pay based on commission on the affiliate sales made.
There are a number of companies from which you can select products to be sold. If you want to sell traditional wares such as travel services or even janitorial franchises then commission junction is the company you should work with.
In my opinion ClickBank is the easiest and one of the most popular to get started with for affiliate marketing. They have a very wide range of topics and products to choose from.
Google AdSense can earn you money through a pay per click service based on recommendations for your site. If your website leads traffic to the sellers’ site, you will be paid. However, the pay is less compared to those affiliate sites that pay the affiliates on the actual sale of the product.
Amazon Associates allows you to choose from over a million products from which you can advertise to your visitors through your content site or blog. They provide simple linking tools to meet your advertising requirements so you can monetise your web site.
So what should I have on my new affiliate blog site?
You can opt for a resource site or review site for your affiliate business. The resource sites are those that are focused how to articles and posts with banner ads that pushes traffic to the product site. You have to add content on the site to keep it alive and useful.
The review sites are those that review a product or services. Once you have tried a product, you can advise the customers on what to expect before they buy the product. You do not have to update your content regularly but you have to keep the site alive for the search engine.
For you to get your site exposed and be able to drive more traffic, you can consider paid advertising, CPC or PPV, free advertising in sites such as Craigslist or US Free Ads, article marketing, and email marketing. In addition you will want t use social media to help drive traffic and visitors to your website.
These approaches will push traffic to your site enabling you to push them to your product promotional sites through your affiliate links. Your chances of making more money will be based on the number of visits to your affiliate site that convert to a customer.
What you need to know about affiliate marketing
There is a community of affiliate marketers. From these communities you can learn a lot and get yourself started on your affiliate marketing career. You need to join one of these affiliate marketing forums for you to benefit as the newbies, intermediates and gurus interact into bettering their performance and skills, whilst sharing knowledge and best practices.
Digital point is home to 25,000 active members from all over the world. You can learn a lot from the forum through the ideas exchanged across the group. You can learn a lot about link building and SEO skills which will be important.
The other forum is the aBestWeb. The forum is listed among the large affiliate marketing forums. The site also has 100 sub forums within a wide range of affiliate marketing issues are aired out and enjoyed. The site is characterized by heavy participation with the go getter merchants having an opportunity to do their digging.
Warrior forum is a networking site for those who are beginning their career and those who have advanced in affiliate marketing. Once you have a profile, you can ask anything that you want to know about affiliate marketing and will usually get some helpful advice.
I hope you find the information you need to get started useful, do visit the forums to get an idea of what’s involved. I have also posted a 3 part video series that covers the basics to get started from joining an affiliate network and getting your account, setting up your hosting, installing word press and adding a template.
Please feel free to leave your comments and share your experience.