Affiliate marketing is by far the easiest way for a beginner to start to earn an income from the internet. Being an ‘affiliate’ simply means that you are working for a company whose products you sell.
You are effectively a salesperson selling someone else’s products. However you are not doing any cold calling or person to person selling – you will never meet your customers. What an affiliate does is find customers through the internet and direct them to the sales page.
Amazon, for example, has an affiliate program. Anyone can sign up to it and start to promote any product from the massive website. Most large sales platforms now have an affiliate program.
Think of the last thing you bought from the internet. They probably also have an affiliate program. What you do as an affiliate is simply refer customers to these kinds of products.
What is so appealing about affiliate marketing?
One of the best things about affiliate marketing is the potential for scaling your business model up. It can eventually become a ‘passive’ income and the income potential is huge. There are affiliates who earn millions without even having their own product to sell or any customers to deal with.
Once you have set up one income stream selling affiliate products, you can set up several more and they can all work more or less on autopilot, generating sales around the clock. You can work from anywhere in the world providing you have an internet connection and you are you own boss. Not many business models offer this amount of flexibility without a huge price tag attached.
What are the downsides of affiliate marketing?
Creating a model which works and creates sales takes time and effort. Just like building a normal ‘bricks and mortar’ business, your affiliate marketing business won’t create itself. You will need to invest in learning some new skills and implementing a few techniques on a regular basis.
You are effectively the ‘sales team’ for another company and not having your own product you need to build a value into your business which continues to bring in new customers. Affiliate marketing is a competitive industry and open to anyone who has the time and energy to devote to attempting it. There are thousands of affiliate marketers on the internet some of who are successful and some who are not.
Even if you manage to sell something, you are not building a relationship with your customer for future sales since you have referred them to someone else’s product. With the right products though, you can potentially benefit from lifetime commissions from each individual sale. See subscription affiliate programs.
How much can I earn from affiliate marketing?
Because the internet allows you to leverage your time and generate many income streams which run on autopilot, there really is no limit to the amount you can earn through affiliate marketing.
However that doesn’t mean that earning money is easy. You will need to implement certain tactics to get your business up and running first. See how much do affiliate marketers make and how long does it take to make money with affiliate marketing.
Nuts and Bolts of an affiliate business
So what will you do on a day to day basis as an affiliate? Your main job as an affiliate is to find customers and refer them to a product. You can do this is several ways. Firstly it is better to create something of value which people want – no-one wants to be ‘sold’ to. Some affiliates create product reviews and give their opinion on particular products and services.
Blogging is one specific way to find potential customers and refer them to products. If writing isn’t your bag you can also pay for advertising on sites like Facebook and also through the Google Adwords program. Youtube offers another platform where affiliates can find customers by creating videos.
List building is what the highest paid affiliates generally do. They collect emails from subscribers who are interested in their particular brand or service. Once their email list grows they have a huge audience to which they can send their affiliate products to.
Of course they need to offer something of value first or they won’t get any subscribers. Think about what sort of email service you would subscribe to and create a similar service. Then find products and services which have affiliate programs which you can offer to your subscribers.
Top affiliate marketers have email lists with thousands of subscribers. Just sending out a single email with a good affiliate offer in it can earn them thousands! Over time, as their subscriber base grows, so does their income; providing they collect well-targeted subscribers, offer the right products and services to their subscribers and provide valuable content within their emails.