Affiliate marketing is one the easiest ways of making money online. You simply promote other peoples’ products and receive a commission for doing so. You do not have to develop your own products nor do you have to worry about billing, customer service, shipping etc. Thus, many internet marketers prefer this business model due to its convenient, hassle free nature.
Here is a simple example of affiliate marketing – Jack is extremely passionate about fitness and thus he has started a health and fitness blog. He writes about healthy habits, diets, recipes, exercises, meditation and so on. He interviews fitness experts and doctors and posts their opinions on his blog. He keeps on adding valuable information and soon his blog begins to receive more and more visitors. John feels that a particular protein shake is really tasty and healthy and thus he recommends it to his visitors. He also comes across an eBook titled Fitness For Beginners and reviews it on his website. John earns commissions for all sales of the protein shake and the eBook. As the popularity of his blog increases, so do his earnings!
Remember that you do not have to be an expert on a certain topic to be an affiliate marketer. However, some understanding of that topic certainly helps a lot. Consider the following case. Steven Spielberg is an amazing film maker. He knows a lot about making and marketing films and is certainly an expert on the matter. You, on the other hand don’t know much about direction, acting and other aspects of film making. Still, that does not stop you from reviewing Steven Spielberg’s film. Sure, you have an advantage if you have some experience in drama or other theatrical arts but even if you don’t, you can still write a pretty decent review if you want to. The same holds true for affiliate marketing – You do not necessarily have to be an expert to promote a certain product. You just need to have credibility as a reviewer. If you were an expert, wouldn’t it make more sense to create and sell your own product?
There are many affiliate programs to choose from. Programs can be divided into two categories.
1) Programs that pay per click: You receive a small commission every time someone clicks on the ad (text or image) that you have displayed on your website/blog.
2) Programs that pay per action: You get paid when the visitor performs a certain pre-specified action after clicking the link. The action may refer to subscription, purchase etc.
Some of the most reliable affiliate programs include the Google Affiliate Network, Commission Junction, Chitika, Clickbank, LinkShare, Amazon Associates etc. Clickbank offers some of the highest commission rates since it deals exclusively in digital products.
As you may have already noticed, the most challenging aspect of affiliate marketing is to create a high traffic blog or website. However, once you do manage to build an audience, you can earn a very respectable income by promoting other products. The key is not to get greedy and to only promote products that are genuinely good. Top affiliates make millions every year.