Affiliate marketing is one of the most powerful ways of making money online. An affiliate marketer is simply someone who drives traffic to a merchant’s site and gets paid a predetermined percentage if a sale is made. Commissions can range from as low as 5% to as high as 75% or more. A single tier commission structure pays you only once for the sales you broker, while a multi-tier set-up also pays you a commission on the sales made by those you’ve led to the merchant who later become affiliates. There is also the possibility of getting a recurring commission on a sale that requires periodic payments. Some affiliate agreements even allow for commissions on backend sales.
There was a time, not long ago, when all it took to be a successful affiliate marketer was to put together a simple AdWords campaign and make your affiliate link the destination URL. You didn’t even need your own website to make money. Although this avenue is increasingly less available, there are many other ways of driving traffic to your vendor’s site. The dream of starting an affiliate marketing home business is alive and well.
But, where to begin?
Two of the main sources of affiliate programs are Clickbank and Commission Junction. These should be the first two places you look for affiliate programs to join.
Clickbank specializes in information products. They have over 10,000 items to choose from. They provide you with all of the information that you’ll need to make an informed choice about the best products to promote. On their site you’ll find how much the product cost, the commission you’ll earn per sale, and how well the product has done in the past and is currently doing.
Commission Junction, on the other hand, offers over 1,800 products from which to choose and is much more varied in its selection. Commission Junction has affiliate programs that pay both for sales and leads (a reasonable possibility of a sale even if the sale doesn’t occur).
The keys to being a successful affiliate marketer are, one: to diligently choose profitable products and services to promote. And two, driving quality visitors (those in a buying mood) to your merchant’s site. And always remember –the affiliate’s job is not to sell, but to presell. Your job is to get visitors to your merchant’s site in an open to buy mood.
In order to drive these well-primed visitors to your merchants’ sites you must first engage them and then make them want to click through to these sites. There are many ways to accomplish this, such as submitting articles to article directories, pay-per-click advertising, emailing list, classified ads, and ultimately, creating your own content-rich websites. Whatever your methods, never forget that wise product selection and generating targeted traffic is the heart of any successful affiliate marketing home business.