Over the past few decades, using the Internet for business has changed from the exception to the rule. There are two major reasons:
- An Internet presence gives a business instant exposure to a massive audience of potential customers.
- The start-up and ongoing costs of an Internet-based business is much lower than that of an old fashioned brick-and-mortar business.
Because of this paradigm shift many more people have an opportunity to start their own business. There are stories in the news every day of new ‘Internet millionaires’. The stories most followed are about people who had a great idea for media sharing or for establishing an online social gathering network. They invested time and money that may not be available to everyone to establish their business.
However, the Internet also allows average, but motivated, people the opportunity to create their own successful low cost business online without actually creating anything! An example of this is Affiliate Marketing.
Again, what is Affiliate Marketing?
I mentioned before that it is now the norm for businesses to have an Internet presence. I have no idea about the percentages right now, but a very large number of the businesses on the Internet have a product to sell: eBooks, TV’s, specialized services… you name it. But, they all rely on internet traffic to be successful. If people don’t visit their site, they don’t sell their products.
So, back to Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate Marketing is the process of driving visitors, or traffic, to the product owner’s Internet page. Many, many companies will pay a commission to the owner of another Web site with a link to their business when a customer clicks the link and then buys a product from the business. An Affiliate is the owner of that secondary Web site, and the Marketing is whatever it takes for you to get them to click that link.
That’s it! You don’t need to have your own product, and you don’t need to sell someone else’s product; that’s the job of the business’s Web page once the user arrives.. All the Affiliate needs to do is get the person interested enough in the product to click the link to the business. Since they are already interested in the product, some percentage of them will purchase the product, and the Affiliate will get a percentage of the sale for each product that is purchased.
So, to become an Affiliate Marketer, you’ll be creating low-cost Web pages and adding just enough content to them so that a user will find your page, read it, and click the link to the end business.
Wait! I know what many of you are thinking: Create Web pages? Make them show up in Google? I don’t know how to do that.
Fortunately, there are many people and companies who have already spent time and money creating training and tools to make this easy for Affiliates. Many of these training products and tools are available at low cost or no cost.
They give step-by-step instructions on how to register a Web page, what information to put the page, what keywords to use so that searches will find your page, and how to create the link to the end business. I’ll mention one of the more popular low-cost training programs below, but, first, if you’re serious about starting an Affiliate Marketing business, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you start your business:
- Be persistent. The training will teach you methods and tools, but some of your efforts may not work at first. Keep at it! Make yourself do at least one step every day. Once you figure out what works, you’ll be more successful as you go.
- Promote as many products as possible, given the amount of time you want to invest. If one product makes you $25 per week, why not promote 8 products? Once you’ve done the work, your Web site will keep working while you expand your business!
- Promote Quality Products: Pick products that are popular or useful today. You want products that people are searching for and want to buy. It would make no sense to promote flip-phones when everyone is buying smart phones.
- Once you get started, you’ll want to commit some percentage of your time to keep learning more about the business. This is a business where the rules may change, so you may need to periodically update your online information.