How to Start Affiliate Marketing
The number of companies with whom you can begin and affiliate business is a pretty large number. I am personally involved with a number of them and they are all profitable if you promote them correctly. They range from the household names like Amazon and Walmart all the way down to your local flower shop who might offer a rebate or discount on future purchases for referring folks to them.
You need to structure your business such that you can profit from them all over time.
Amazon Affiliate Marketing
To go ahead and address it up front, Amazon affiliate marketing is one of the oldest out there. They have had their growing pains over the years such as when certain states wanted to impose sales taxes on purchases made from their states.
I don’t know the status of that conflict even at this late date mainly because Amazon only pays a 4% affiliate commission on sales. Still, if you like that kind of thing you can reach Amazon’s affiliate link by simply going to Amazon.com and looking for the affiliate link. It is quite prominent and a number of folks do make a good living, especially with some recent changes and aggressive marketing.
I continue to be a member of Amazon’s affiliates simply because I read, a lot, and every little bit helps. Besides, as you will see later on in this piece, once you create a piece of content and promote it, it is a 24/7 365 days a year source of income.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
It is fairly simply in concept, although the successful execution does have some amount of artistry to it:
- Decide what and what kind of affiliate programs you want to join.
- Decide how you are going to promote that program.
- Create content that is relevant to that method or channel.
- Drive traffic to that content, which is to say promote that content.
Decide What Affiliate Programs You Want To Join
In order to decide what Internet affiliate marketing program you want to join, you have to know what your goals are. Making money is so nebulous that I am afraid it will not motivate you to get up and walk away from the TV after you get home from a long day at work.
You need specific goals to motivate you.
For instance, if you just want to make a couple of extra bucks now and again, you really don’t have to spend a lot of prep time. If you want a serious going concern that will cover your car payment this month, your car payment and utilities next month, and these plus your rent or mortgage in 3 to 6 months, you are going to need to invest a little more thinking and planning.
I want to strongly encourage you to consider regularly promoting subscription affiliate products, too. Why?
Subscription affiliate products pay you every month. In addition to getting paid for what you produced this month, you will get paid… again… for what you produced last month.
I hope this is starting to set some bells off in your head because if you get with and promote the correct, high quality subscription affiliate product or service you can be looking at a lifestyle change. This is not a guarantee, of course, but a hope that can have the odds of its successful achievement greatly enhanced by hard work.
Decide How You Are Going to Promote
There are a ton of ways to market your affiliate link. They include:
- Blogging about the services and products on your blog
- Talking about it on other blogs or including it in your signature when you post on other blogs
- Creating unique articles for posting on the article directories
- Making videos about what you are promoting
…and this is just the tip of the iceberg on ways to promote your content.
Create Content Relevant to the Channel
Blog posts, especially those you post on your own blog, have a lot more leeway in the content you create and post. For instance, what you post on your own blog is really only subject to approval by you while that which you post on Ezine@articles has an entirely different set of rules. Don’t get frustrated when they refuse what you wanted to post, just go edit it and follow their rules and you will get posted.
Likewise, you don’t create a blog post and post it to YouTube. You create a video of yourself discussing or instructing on the benefits of visiting your link. (Although that line is getting blurred by software that will create a video from your blog text and read it to your viewers like the lead in to the original Star Wars movies.)
Drive Traffic to that Content
Remember, the goal of articles and videos is to get people to view your original content on the products and services which you are promoting. Many, if not most, article services do not allow you to post links directly to your affiliate link. Some will let you slip by, but it is just frustrating your efforts when you have to edit an article so that it gets posted. Even in the affiliate marketing business time is money.
For an exceptionally effective primer on starting an affiliate marketing business and reaching profitability within 30 days, go here and watch this free instructional video.