What is Affiliate Marketing?
Online merchants are aggressively competing to get people to promote their products online to gain an online advantage over their competition. Their Affiliate Programs are a way for them to achieve a leading position. This competition is driving affiliate marketing programs to improve as we move forward. This creates not only increased opportunities for Affiliate Marketers but going forward, it is certainly going to be beneficial for Affiliate Marketers, bloggers and website owners.
1. What will I be selling and where do I get the products or services to sell?
Affiliate Marketing is the way that most people get started in online business. You do not need a product of your own to sell – As an Affiliate Marketer you generate income from promoting and selling products from any of a number of the best known, reputable online companies such as Wayfair and Amazon. You can also choose to promote and sell from many other lesser known companies that will typically pay you a higher commission for you to promote and sell their products. Under this arrangement, you become the “Affiliate” and they are the “Merchant”.
Basically, it works very simply, the affiliate marketing “merchants” provide you with personalized affiliate links to place on your blogs, website, social media, email campaigns, newsletter etc. When people click on your affiliate link and make a purchase from that merchant, you get paid a commission. The merchant takes care of payment, shipment, and any other Customer Service requirements. Once your website, blogs or social media is properly setup and attracting visitors, making the sale does not require input from you. This is what many refer to as online automation, essentially being open for business 24/7 even while you are away, on vacation or asleep generating what they call a “passive income” online.
As an Affiliate Marketer, you are responsible for promotions to help Customers solve a problem or decide on the best products or services for their needs. You do not have to make or source a product of your own. You do not have to collect payments. You do not have to worry about spending time on taking care of Customer Service. This is all done by the merchant. This is a win, win situation with the merchant getting the sale, the Customer getting what they need and the Affiliate Marketer (you) getting paid a commission for your efforts.
There is no cost to sign up for affiliate marketing Associates Programs like Wayfair or Amazon and as I mentioned, there are also many other companies that have affiliate programs that you can choose to promote. Some merchants offer recurring commissions for selling monthly subscription products. If your referral remains in the merchant’s monthly program you would get paid every month. These are ideal as you would be receiving commissions from both referred old customers and also from new ones.
The Wealthy Affiliate marketing program is a membership site that you can join for free with an option to upgrade to premium. You can be a free or paid member, learn and promote Wealthy Affiliate and receive recurring commissions.
This membership site teaches affiliate marketing and can be a life changing opportunity, teaching you how to capitalize on this growing market. It will provide you with the required training, the tools, the help and the knowledge that you need to create your own profitable online business.
2. How much investment is required?
The most intriguing thing about an online business is that the start-up costs are minimal and that you are not limited to the amount of money that you can earn. It is a business that you can start from home that does not require a lot of expenditure – basically, you need a computer or tablet with an internet connection and the time to build and maintain it.
Your success and earning potential is controlled by you. You can build an online business and carry on running it into your retirement or even start one in your retirement. You can sell it as well run high traffic and profitable websites are very valuable. You will be successful if you are able to help as many people as possible get the information, products or the services that they need and desire in the most efficient way possible.
There is a way that you can try this out for free. You can create your first website as a “sub-domain” on another website.
It is quite easy and you can do it in under a minute. The setup is automated and you can create a fully functional WordPress website at no cost and do your test run.
If you want a viable online business, I firmly believe that eventually, you will need a website with your own domain. The cost of registering a website ranges from $10 to $15 annually. Website hosting costs range from $5 to $7 per month and some providers include a domain registration.
If sign up for with an Affiliate Marketing Training Program like Wealthy Affiliate, you pay to register your domain but they include hosting as part of their annual membership. ($49 per month or an annual fee of $359)
Once you have a website you can post blogs and publish pages and include your affiliate links. You then work to attract visitors for free from search engines like Google, social media, email campaigns, newsletter etc., investing your time but with no advertising costs. I suggest that it is best to wait until you are generating income before choosing paid marketing services, or hiring people to do the required work. There are far too many options for us to try and cover them here.
As for time investment, you will spend personal time to make progress with your online affiliate marketing business if you do not invest in Affiliate Marketing Training, on automation tools or hiring others to do some of the work. Doing it yourself is a good but you have to find the time to do it yourself.
It can be very rewarding to see your efforts unfold into a viable online business. Alternatively, if you have money to invest, you can move forward faster by investing in the tools and having others to do the work. Even then, these costs would be substantially lower than almost any other business start-up.
3. What should my affiliate marketing business be about?
When considering an affiliate marketing business, we look at what is known as niche markets. A niche is really about appealing to a group of people. Just about anything that you can think of is really a niche.
Choosing the right niche is one of the most important aspects of getting into the online business. Ideally, your niche is a topic that is of great interest to you. Something that you will really enjoy working on. Something that you find easy to talk about. Make it something that you are yearning to keep learning about and that you want to share your knowledge about, your expertise and something that you want to instruct or teach others about.
It could be a need or a want, a passion, a hobby or a set of problems that you want to solve. Your online business should not feel like work. It should be fun to earn money online. When you are working on something that you enjoy doing, it feels a lot less like work and you will likely be much more productive.
Whatever niche you choose, you are going to:
- want to enjoy helping people within your niche
- be writing content and communicating within your niche
- promoting within your niche
- potentially turn it into a “full time” successful business
- possibly change niches
Specificity for your Niche is very important
That audience ( a group of people) is interested in something and that something is quite specific. It is imperative to be specific when choosing the group of people that will be your audience. If you are too broad, it will be much more difficult to speak to and to connect with your audience. Think about the category of exercise and health – you surely wouldn’t walk into a yoga center and expect them to give you the best advice on how to use weights to build muscle mass.
You have to be very specific. As an example, if you chose a Niche for people interested in Cooking. That is far too broad. People are looking for something more specific than cooking.
There are thousands of niches in cooking. Thousands if not millions of people are looking for something specific as it relates to cooking. They may want help in solving the fact they the lack a lot of time to prepare meals. They could be looking for ideas on quick and easy meal preparation. They may want great meals for their toddlers. They may want to cook with ingredients found in the wild etc., etc.
So be specific, rather than cooking, choose instead something precise like the following:
- Easy Meals to prepare for the busy working mom and dad
- Great nutritious meals for toddlers
- Meals you can cook in less than 15 minutes
- Cooking with meats
- Cooking tasty meals with wild plants
- Make meals quick and easy
- Cooking with real ingredients
If you effectively target the specific audience you will have a niche with a large group of people. Don’t be concerned about competition in your niche. Within a targeted group, there are thousands if not millions of low competition keywords that you can target. You can learn all about these keywords and how to capitalize on any niche at Wealthy Affiliate for a competitive advantage.
There are millions of people within every niche. So go ahead and choose a niche. Jump into it with both feet. Drill deep and find that specific group of people that you want to appeal to.
The internet continues to grow, creating more opportunities absolutely everywhere that you look. It is only going to continue to grow.
Hope this breakdown of Affiliate Marketing is helpful. If you have any questions, need any help on finding a niche or you want to get feedback on your ideas, drop a comment below and we will be more than happy to try to help.
Disclaimer: Results vary from person to person and there is no guarantee that you will make money or achieve any kind of specific results using the information that is shared and presented.
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