As an affiliate marketing business you can sell almost anything without the hassle of having to buy stock, worry about logistics, cashflow, stock levels etc. Your only concern will be setting up and marketing website that will act as an online store front.
Affiliate schemes are schemes which pay you a commission on a specific action you get a visitor to your site to take. Typically a merchants offering you commission if you introduce make a sale for them, but the can also pay commission for users downloading a piece of software, signing up to a mailing list or completing a survey. Merchants typically pay either a fixed fee for the customer taking an action or a percentage of the sales value. Typically the commission level ranges from 1% to as high as 85%, most being around 3-7% for physical products and higher for information products, i.e. e-books.
Most affiliate schemes are run through middlemen, know as Affiliate Networks that provide the tracking software. The main networks in the UK are Affiliate Future, Affiliate Window, Commission Junction, OMG, and TradeDoubler. Google has also recently joined the party and expanded their Adsense program to include some affiliate links. There are other smaller affiliate networks in the UK and a number of International or country specific networks for markets outside the UK. You can find out more about affiliate marketing from fellow affiliate marketers on the Affiliates 4U Forum.
To get started an affiliate marketing business started is as simple as choosing a market or product that interests you, buying a domain name and some hosting, building a simple site and joining the affiliate networks, then finally adding the affiliate link to your site.
I personally use Heart Internet for domain names and hosting as their prices are very reasonable and they offer a wide range of blog and Content Management System (CMS) software pre-installed which can make building and managing your site considerably easier. Their typical costs are around £35 per year for domain name and hosting.
Once you have your new affiliate marketing site live you will then have to begin marketing it. There are several ways you can promote it, including Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), buying adverts on other sites, by email or offline. Unfortunately marketing the site is the most time consuming step and often the step most people skimp on.
If you are new to affiliate marketing you might like to buy one of the affiliate marketing related ebooks that will explain the business to you, generally the information you will find in them you could also find for free on various Internet marketing and affiliate marketing forums, however having it in one place will save you the time and effort of hunting down all the information.
Some possible ebooks are:
- Super Affiliate Handbook – It’s been around a while and I’m told is one of the most comprehensive guides.
- The Rick Jerk – I’ve read this one and am a huge fan of his marketing (see my post The Rich Jerk). It’s a quick introduction to affiliate marketing and is currently quite cheap.
- GoogleCash – Focused entirely on PPC using a simple business model, it could have you making money within hours of starting.
- Ultimate Wealth Package -I know nothing about this one, but it seems to be popular at the moment.
With all of the above please take the earnings potential with a pinch of salt, yes you can make a LOT of money with affiliate marketing, but like any other business opportunity, making a lot of money takes a lot of work. That said putting in a few solid hours a week should enable you to create a nice little sideline.
This post is part of my Internet business opportunities series .Email This Post