We have all experienced this at some point, or are still struggling to make ends meet in some kind of dead-end job. Now, having said that I know there are some who actually love what they do for a living and hats off to those who were able to find their ideal dream jobs, but what about the majority who absolutely hate what they do and earn peanuts while working their butts off. Are there alternatives to the everyday grind and struggle that so many of us face? The answer, of course, is YES! So, is working from home a viable option and is affiliate marketing the best way to make money from home in 2017?
So, What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a relatively easy way to generate income where you act as the salesperson and promote a manufacturer’s product or service, and when a sale is made you earn a commission. You do not own any of the products you are promoting and selling which means there is no need for you to carry any inventory, so it basically becomes a nice, simple 3-way relationship between you, the seller and the buyer or customer.
What Affiliate Marketing Is Not
Let’s say you get an email inviting you to join an affiliate program but you are required to make a payment of some sort up front, there should be red flags flying everywhere now. Chances are in almost all cases that if you are asked for money to join an affiliate program, they are not legit and are probably just a scam. If you want to know more about that particular affiliate program, or any program for that matter just check out the Better Business Bureau and if that doesn’t produce any results do a Google search and read reviews on that affiliate program, you can also check out things like affiliate marketing forums or discussion boards.
Beware of affiliate programs that are trying to sell unrelated products or something that you will probably never be able to use, for example, a $300 ” Become An Affiliate Marketing Millionaire In Only 60 Days ” e-book or some other type of completely unrealistic, flashy full of fluff kind of product.
In reality, you can learn the basics of affiliate marketing from some of the top ranked websites or blogs, and you will most likely learn a lot more because of the quality of information and training offered as compared to those high-priced specialty books and DVD’s that are everywhere you look.
Signing up for an affiliate program should always be free, and the only cost you will incur will be for some web hosting and an affiliate marketing blog. At some point you may want to pay for a unique website/blog logo, you may down the road want to outsource some of your content and pay someone to write for you or even do some paid advertising, but the bottom line here is that it will be relatively inexpensive to get started.
So What Kinds Of Affiliate Marketing Is There?
The real attractive thing for most people is that affiliate marketing offers several different ways to earn commissions. Here are some of those:
- Related Affiliate Marketing. This kind of affiliate marketing requires you to have some sort of presence online, such as blogs, podcasts, videos etc, and you offer affiliate links to products or services that are relevant to your niche but they are most likely for products you yourself may not actually use. It doesn’t really matter much whether you use the products or not, placing affiliate links on your site that are related to your niche is a great way to generate income.
- Involved Affiliate Marketing. Involved affiliate marketing is when you have actually used a product or service and actually really like it and want to recommend it to your visitors or readers. You won’t be telling people about the product you like in a banner ad or somewhere that says ” highly recommended, ” but instead you will be telling people within the content of your blog post or website. And if your content is unique and convincing then hopefully that product now becomes a must-have for your readers. However, a level of responsibility comes with this kind of affiliate marketing especially if your site is viewed as an authority site.
- Unattached Affiliate Marketing. This is your basic pay-per-click kind of affiliate marketing where you have no online presence and no kind of authority website or niche for the product or service you are promoting. There is no real connection at all between you and the person buying the product. All you are doing is placing affiliate links in front of someone via platforms such as Google Adwords, Facebook or Twitter ads in hopes that someone will click on a link and make a purchase. The big reason why this kind of affiliate marketing is so attractive is that no online presence or authority is required. It takes some time to build trust with people online and that is why a lot of people are afraid to commit to building a website or blog.
Putting Everything Into Motion
So, now we have some of the basics about affiliate marketing and we understand what some of the pitfalls are. It’s now time to get started, so here are some tips and ideas that should help you along the way.
1) Find a niche, this could be something you have a passion for or are knowledgeable about. It will be far easier to write about things you like or know about because you will tend to spend more time writing and will be more thorough. Just about anything can be a niche and there are literally thousands of things to write about, and affiliate programs also offer thousands of products and services that would be related to the niche you choose.
2) Next, create your website and purchase an inexpensive but reliable web hosting provider. You won’t need a web designer to build a website or blog, you can use providers such as WordPress ( my recommendation ) Weebly, Web.com, Blogger etc. Wealthy Affiliate is a site that is dedicated to teaching anyone to become successful online and take it from me, I mean anyone! If you are completely new to this kind of thing then Wealthy Affiliate is your all in one online marketing superstore.
3) Learn as much as you can about SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ). Knowing as much as you can about SEO and having good SEO practices will allow your site to be ranked highly by the search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo which will, in turn, make it easier for people to find your website when they go online looking for what you have to offer.
4) Get involved with social media marketing. In this day and age, social media plays a huge roll in what happens with everything online. There are literally billions of people hanging out online, and the vast majority of those are using social media sites of one kind or another. It only makes sense to use social media to drive traffic to your website or blog and increase sales.
5) Learn about paid advertising and decide whether or not it is something you need. If you are not well versed on how to properly use paid advertising it could backfire on you and wind up costing a lot. Learn how to target the right kind of people, and once you have done that you stand a good chance of making sales and increasing your revenue.
6) Now start adding content to your site. Try to avoid writing boring and irrelevant blogs articles, your content should be unique, helpful and intended to help someone solve a problem or issue. Make your content easy to read and aesthetically pleasing, use relevant images where possible, break up your content into short paragraphs, you will be able to keep your reader’s attention longer if they don’t have to read huge chunks of content all at once. Reader engagement is everything, it will ultimately determine how much money you will make so write the best content that you possibly can for your website or blog.
How Are You Going To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?
- A manufacturer or seller signs an agreement with an affiliate network such as ShareASale or LinkShare/Rakuten Affiliate Network, and when you sign up with one of the affiliate networks they will provide you with links to whichever product you decide to promote and you will earn a commission on every sale you make. You will now be able to embed or place links on your website or blog. The purpose behind these links is to direct your readers to the seller’s web page where they can make purchases.
- The commission percentage will depend on the seller but can range anywhere from 1% – 10%, and some offer much higher commissions. For example, you are writing a blog about mobile phones and when someone visits your site, clicks on one of your links and makes a purchase of say a cell phone or some other device that the seller is offering and that product is selling for $200, and your commission is 10%, then your commission paid to you will be $20.
- Now, you may be thinking that $20 isn’t all that much and really isn’t enough to convince me to get into affiliate marketing, but if you were able to bring 10,000 visitors to your site in 30 days and roughly half of them bought that $20 item, then your income for that month would be $100,000. And if you were able to consistently bring that amount of visitors to your site each month, well your income would now be something to write home about wouldn’t it?
The Question Everyone Asks – How Much Can I Make?
The only real answer to this question is, it depends. Depending on how much effort you put into it will determine the amount of income you will generate, and if you put the effort into affiliate marketing then quite simply put the sky’s the limit!
If you stay focused, are determined to reach your financial goals and learn as much about affiliate marketing as you possibly can, then being a successful affiliate marketer is pretty much guaranteed.