Online affiliate marketing is a fast and easy way to start an online (home) business and make money on the internet. Affiliate marketing simply means that you promote someone else’s product or service and get a share of the profits made from your promotion. The clue is to find good and profitable “hot” products or services to promote, provided by reliable merchants.
Fortunately, there are a few decent affiliate marketing services that will help you find profitable products as well as collect the commissions for you from the merchant when a sale is made (see below).
Advantages of online affiliate marketing:
- You don’t need your own products
- You don’t have to take orders – or collect money
- No need to handle or ship a product
- You won’t have to deal with customers
- Affiliate programs are (normally) free to join
What you do as an affiliate (also called the publisher, or reseller) is display ads, text links, or banners on your website or blog, or in an email campaign. Then you get paid a commission by the merchant (advertiser) when a visitor takes a specific action, such as making a purchase, subscribing to a service or giving contact information.
Affiliate Commissions range from as little as 2% for high ticket items up to 75% of the selling price for ebooks, software and other types of digital downloadable goods. For referring a lead (prospect, potential customer) to a merchant, you are paid a fixed commission whether the lead does business with the merchant or not.
Most affiliate merchants pay out commissions once a month or once every two weeks. Some even pay instantly as soon as a sale has been made (it goes automatically through the PayPal payment service). So, online affiliate marketing can create a continuous stream of income when done right.
No Goods or Payment
The great advantage of affiliate online marketing is that there is no hassle mailing goods to customers, taking payments etc. You just send customers to the company, and the company sends you money in return. Clean and easy!
There are thousands of companies that would like you to promote their products or services, and there are hundreds if not thousands of business affiliate programs designed to make it easy for people to promote them and eventually make money.
You can market the product(s) through your own website or blog, or just by advertising your affiliate link, or email your subscriber list if you have one. Although it is possible to do online affiliate marketing without a website of your own, I do recommend that you set up one, for several reasons.
Create a Website
Your own website is a useful “tool” when doing affiliate business. Firstly, some merchants require that affiliates own a website to be approved. Also, some “ready-made” affiliate business programs imply that you have a website.
Secondly, with a website, you can establish trust and credibility with potential buyers that visit your site, which is very important to get them to click on your affiliate links.
Thirdly, you can promote multiple products on a website, probably more than you could afford to advertise on Google! With your own website, it’s much easier to pursue different online affiliate business opportunities.