Affiliate Marketing

When you work at home you can have your cake and eat itIf you want to make money on the Internet and don’t have (or don’t want) any products, affiliate marketing is a great way to do it. Basically, the idea is that you advertise and promote someone else’s product(s) on your website and for every person you refer to the product owner you earn commission. It’s not hard to find avenues for this type of enterprise, as many companies nowadays offer an affiliate scheme. The rate at which you get that commission may be either per click, per lead (which could be just the prospect’s e-mail address), or per sale, and even at 50p-a-time it’s possible to clock up quite a tidy sum, as some individuals do.

When it comes to selecting who to affiliate with, apart from obviously picking the ones that are most generous with their payments, you should go for those whose products are most relevant to your own website, as you will then have the right target audience who will be more likely to be interested in a related affiliate product. Knowing the type of person who is attracted to your site, what they are really looking for, and why they come to you, will help you to select a product that they are more likely to be interested in, and which will ultimately make you more cash.

Of course, if you are going to promote other people’s products and you’d like it to be a long-term venture you need to choose items that have value and worth. It’s no good picking cheap throwaway rubbish. The test is to ask yourself if you would part with good money for whatever the item is. You’ll also need to check that the affiliate company is going to be reliable – i.e. that the program they use to track sales works properly, that their customer support is reliable and efficient, and that you feel you can trust them to treat you decently and pay you in a timely manner; but then again, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and it may just be a case of diving in and seeing how things pan out. At the end of the day you’re endorsing a product with your good name, so pick a company that will make you feel proud to do so.

The other side of the coin is for you to have your own affiliates and let them promote your products. In this scenario you’d have a specially created affiliate page on your website where they go post sign- up, and which would give them resources such as articles, banners and adverts which they can put on their site. You could also provide other useful tips and ideas to promote the products, and which could include e-mail and the more traditional forms, like newspapers and word of mouth.

If you’d be interested in pursuing this latter option you could use an online e-commerce and marketing company like 1ShoppingCart (www.1shoppingcart.com) who have all the technical know-how and facilities for running an affiliate program, and can also provide help with handling many of the other admin tasks and functions connected with running an online business, such as… handling payments, autoresponders, e-mail facilities, and much more.

Whether you’re working with, or are an affiliate, you’re basically doing a joint venture. Play fair and it can be a win-win situation, whichever side of the tracks you decide to operate from.