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A Mini Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Forex_14621037833_oIf you are looking for an at home job that is lucrative and fairly simple to get started in, affiliate marketing may be the ideal solution. Affiliate marketing is the process of marketing and promoting a company’s services/products on the internet. The goal is for you as the marketer to only promote the product, while the company you are promoting is responsible for manufacturing, delivery and receiving payment for the product. Affiliate marketing is beneficial for both you as the marketer, because it does not require a lot of start-up capital and it the company you are promoting, because it does not require extensive and expensive campaign planning.

What is an Affiliate Program?
Basically, an affiliate program is a type of marketing program used by business owners and/or web advertisers to recruit bloggers and website owners. The merchants provide links and banner ads for website owners to place on their website in order to market their products/services. When customers receive a product that was bought through an affiliate link, you as the blogger, will receive a commission or referral fee. There are several types of affiliate links to choose from, including content marketing and email marketing, but the most common is known as pay per click (PPC).

Choosing the Product
One of the most difficult things of affiliate marketing, is choosing the products you want to promote. There are several things to consider when you are choosing the company and the products you will be promoting. The first and most important thing to consider is the quality of the product or service; it should offer something of value to the customer. As the affiliate marketer, you are free to choose whatever affiliate program you want to join and market, but it is important to keep in mind that your income will be affected by well you match the specific offer to your audience. So, you should choose a product/service that will be of interest to the traffic of your blog or website. It is important to do your research before becoming in an affiliate program. The product/service you promote will be attached to your blog, website and “name”, so choose the product wisely. A few things to keep in mind when choosing products/services should include:

  • Choose products/services that you are personally interested in. For example, if you are interested in gardening and your blog and website is based around gardening, then choose products related to this niche. It will be much easier to promote a product or service that you believe in, than one you have no interest in.
  • Choose products and services that you are familiar with and understand. For example, even if you are not a frequent traveler, but you know a great deal about a particular traveling marketing, you can sell in that marketing niche.
  • Choose products and/or services that you are comfortable having your family, friends and followers associate with you. For example, dating services and dating sites are quite lucrative for affiliate marketers, but if you are uncomfortable or embarrassed to promote these types of businesses, you shouldn’t choose this particular niche. Choosing a niche because it has lucrative outcome, not because you believe in the product, will still be difficult to promote and may end up costing you more in the long run.
  • Choose an affiliate program that offers excellent sales support. Sales support includes things such as the available advertising materials, training, product information and available resources. The more tools the program provides you with, the better your chances of success will be.

How to Become An Affiliate
The first step is to determine which company or companies your are interested in being an affiliate through. There are several services available that have an extensive database for companies that offer affiliate programs, for example ClickBank. Companies, such as ClickBank allow you to sign up and select the affiliate program you are interested in. After choosing the company you want to market, simply go to their website and look for the affiliate program link. You will typically be given an affiliate ID, website banners and product/service links. The links and banners are then placed on your website, so potential customers can click on the links. If they make a purchase from the link you provided, you receive a commission. It is important to remember that just because you signed up for an affiliate program, doesn’t mean you are going to drive traffic to your website. You will still need to promote your website in order to bring the traffic in. For example, you can include your website or affiliate link in articles you write for article databases, guest posts on similar blogs and/or forum posts.

You can find an affiliate program for just about anything you want to sell. But,it is important to keep in mind that when you are a professional affiliate marketer, you are running your own business. Your success is determined by your decisions and how hard you work at promoting the services/products.

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