Many people today look for a way out of normal full-time nine-to-five jobs and the so-called rat race. It is impossible to find a person who loves waking early every morning and spends all day at work and traveling to and from work. If you are one of those you probably dream about starting your own business and making enough money to be financially independent.
Many people and probably you too are looking online to start your business and rightfully so because the internet today has opened many business opportunities that can be started and operated from home by anyone, anywhere on earth. There are many business models and ways to make money online from homes like opening an online store or dropshipping business or blogging, and many more. One of the most profitable online businesses is affiliate marketing.
What is affiliate marketing?
To put it simply affiliate marketing is selling someone else’s products for a share in the profit that is generated. If you are an affiliate marketer you will promote products from one or more companies and every time you sell a product you will earn a share of the profit.
There are three sides in the affiliate marketing process:
1. Product makers, vendors, that is people or companies that make the product.
2. Affiliate marketer. The side that promotes or advertizes the product using various marketing methods.
3. The buyer, or consumer that buys the product online and pays full price.
As you can see from the above example affiliate marketer is an intermediary between sellers and buyers and is rewarded a commission or percentage of profit for every sale that is made.
What types of products can affiliate marketers promote to make money?
Affiliate marketers have the opportunity to promote and earn money out of everything imaginable. Today affiliate marketers earn fortunes online promoting all kinds of physical and digital products and services: web hosting, software, books & tutorials, eBooks financial services, food, cosmetics, magazine subscriptions, appliances, tools, footwear, fashion items, etc. Today it is easy for affiliate marketers to find a large selection of products and services to promote when they join affiliate networks. Top affiliate networks have hundreds and even thousands of in-demand products and services from all categories to choose from.
How much can affiliate marketers earn?
There are a number of things that determine how much can affiliate marketers earn. Affiliate marketers usually get paid for every sale they make, This is called pay per sale. It’s is very simple, Affiliates make a sale and earn a percentage of the product. For physical products, this percentage that affiliate marketers get is low usually a few percent of the total price. On digital products such as eBooks or software, this percentage can go over 50% of the full sale price of the product. This can be explained because digital products can be easily replicated and shipping cost is practically free because buyers usually just have to download the product after they complete the purchase.
Another way of how affiliate marketers are paid is pay per lead. With this model affiliate, marketers earn even without customers paying for products or services. All that is required is for customers to fill up a form, sign up for a free trial or provide credit card details for affiliates to earn a commission. The commission for pay per lead can go from less than a dollar to hundreds of dollars.
Recurring earnings is another way and probably most profitable of all. This model is mainly associated with subscriptions for various services like web hosting or magazines or membership sites. These are services that bill their customers on a periodic basis. So affiliate market can refer a customer once and he can get paid every time the customer renews his subscription. Since some subscriptions can go on for years that means years of recurring earnings for the affiliate marketer.
Advantages of affiliate marketing
There are many advantages of affiliate marketing over other business models. Here are some of them:
1. You don’t need your own product or service.
Affiliate marketing is easy to start because you don’t need to develop your own product or service to promote on the market. You can join an affiliate marketing network and choose those products and services you want to promote from there. You will also not have to deal with customer support because all the affiliate marketers do is connect the buyer and the seller and the seller or vendor takes things into his own hands from thereon.
2. Work from home
Affiliate marketing campaigns can be run online from the comfort of your own home. All that is necessary is a computer and an internet connection to launch marketing campaigns and a payment processor to receive the commission. This is why affiliate marketing is great for those who have had enough of waking up every morning going to the office and dealing with a boss watching over their shoulder.
3. Low startup expenses
To start a business requires an initial investment to finance the cost of office space, storage space, equipment, etc. With affiliate marketing as with online businesses in general you can avoid all these costs because business can be operated from home. To get started with affiliate marketing is practically free because there is no fee to join affiliate networks and you can use free promotion methods to drive customers and sales. The only thing you’ll need is a computer and internet connection.
4. Flexible work time
When you run an online business you set your own working hours. You can choose to work in the morning or in the evening and even split your time into several sessions if that is what is comfortable for you. Even more, as you progress and start earning money you can outsource your daily tasks and work even more.
5. Huge earning potential
Affiliate marketing is a business that has huge earning potential. There are affiliate marketers that earn millions of dollars. This is especially true if paid promotion methods are used. If an affiliate marketer uses paid promotional methods he can use the profit to invest in more paid advertising and earn even more and so on. Considering that the internet is global your marketing campaigns can reach clients worldwide. That is billions of potential clients.
6. It’s passive income
Not only you can earn a fortune with affiliate marketing it is also a passive income. That means you will earn money even while you sleep. You are not paid by the hour like is the case with freelance jobs but on how much sales you make. Once you set up your campaign you will see sales and money rolling in even while you do nothing.
How does affiliate marketing works?
Step 1: Join affiliate networks and choose products you want to promote.
To get started with affiliate marketing first step is to find products you want to promote. Thankfully there are many affiliate networks today like Amazon Associates, eBay partner program, AliExpress affiliate program and others where you can find hundreds and even thousands of products to promote you can choose from. To join is free but they will probably ask you a few questions about you and how do you plan to promote before they accept your application. After your application is accepted you can search their database of affiliate programs and find products and services you can promote.
Step 2: Get your affiliate link and start promoting it
Once you have been accepted into affiliate programs you can start promoting them. For this purpose, you will need to get your unique affiliate link or referral link as it is also called. The affiliate link is a link to the product you will promoting but it will also contain necessary information so that the seller will know that you have sent the customer to his website. You can place your unique affiliate link inside your blog post in form of a text link or place banners or other types of ads. If you are YouTuber you can make place your affiliate link in the description of the video etc. When someone clicks this link he will be taken to the seller’s website. If the visitor that you have sent makes a purchase you will make money as your share in the profit as an affiliate.
Step 3: Get paid
When you send customers to the seller’s website every time they make a purchase you will make money. The last step is to get paid. There are a number of ways affiliate networks pay. The most popular ways are PayPal, Payoneer, Check, Bank Deposit, etc.
Who is affiliate marketing for?
An affiliate marketer is an option for anyone for wants to start an online business and reach financial freedom. The most important skill necessary for affiliate marketing is to bring traffic that is targeted visitors to the products or services you are promoting. Some people can start making conversions from the very beginning because they already have established assets how to do this all is to direct the traffic to the vendor’s website. These are:
Social media influencers. People with a large following on websites like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and others have a huge influence on their audience. They can use this influence to refer their followers to the products they promote and earn money every time they make a purchase
Bloggers. Blogs also have a large number of visitors and bloggers can easily promote products and services to their readers. They can do this by placing ads on their blogs or writing reviews of products they use and they place links to the product that promotes in the review.
YouTubers. Popular YouTubers have a large number of subscribers, sometimes this number can reach millions. YouTubers can also promote affiliate offers by making review videos and placing a link to the offers in the description of the video. Their viewers then click the link and visit the vendor’s website and when they make a purchase the video uploader earns money.
How can newbies get started with affiliate marketing?
If you are interested in making money online and starting your affiliate marketing online business and you are an absolute beginner your first step would be to educate yourself. Luckily today there are many free online resources that can help you get the affiliate marketing education and training you need. Keep in mind that most are free to join but if you really want to get the best training in the shortest amount of time then consider paying for premium membership. One place to get necessary information is online forums about affiliate marketing. There are many and some of the best are:
STM Forum (paid membership)
Online affiliate marketing training and tools websites you should certainly join:
Wealthy Affiliate – free membership and paid membership. You get access to video lessons, a website, and all you need to be a successful affiliate marketer.
Affilorama – Great website with lots of lessons and training about affiliate marketing. Free and paid membership available
Affiliate marketing is a legitimate way to make serious money online. Thanks to the internet you can reach a large number of consumers and make money by promoting products they are interested in. Affiliate marketing is a model that is very beneficial for both sellers and affiliates as well. If you have a blog with lots of visitors or social media account or YouTube channels with a large number of followers or any other way to drive traffic you can be making good money online.
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