Why I Decided to Look Into Affiliate Marketing
Over the years, I've spent alot of time looking at different ways to make money on the Internet. I've tried several. Some I've had moderate success, and others were simply exercises that amounted into nothing.
To give you an example, I've gotten into Cryptocurrency Mining. For a very little investment, I put together hardware to mine crypto currency, mainly Bitcoin, and have amassed over time a very nice return on my investment. Nothing life changing but a nice little side revenue hustle.
Another area where I've had alot of success is with selling lots of items on eBay. Again, a nice little revenue stream but I hardly call that passive income.
I'm currently in the process of doing some self-publishing. I've hired a ghost writer to write a book for me and I plan to sell that book on Amazon and other sites. The bug area of focus with this self-publishing will be the Audio Book, which from my understanding has the most room for growth. I can say yet whether this endeavor will be profitable or not as I'm awaiting for the first draft at the time of this writing. Once it all gets set up, then I will truly have in place a nice path to passive income. You have to come back later once I launch to find out how that business is doing.
The area that is the hardest is coming up with some type of product or service which you can sell on the internet yourself, hence making alot of money. I spent many of nights trying to come up with that idea. Software seemed to be the easiest area (as I have a software developer background) and allowed for the easiest distribution, but even this was a futile exercise.
Based on the above, I still was searching for the truly "passive income" opportunity. And just so we're all clear, by passive income, what I mean is the ability to make income without have to do much work at all. In other words, once you put in the time to set up to opportunity, it then runs by itself and people are buying your product or service while you sleep. So passively, your making income from the up front efforts you put in.
So all this investigation has led me to Affiliate Marketing, as my next area of focus.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
As stated above, the hard part about selling a product or service over the internet, is coming up with what that product or service is. Once you do that, then you need to produce the product, inventory the product, sell the product, distribute the product, support the product, and deal with returns of unhappy customers. I don't know about you, but to me, that sounds like an awful lot of work and alot of unpleasant areas that you need to deal with.
That's where affiliate marketing comes into play. With affiliate marketing, other people that already have products and services will pay you a commission to sell their products and services. This means, they will deal with all the laborious tasks mentioned above, and all you have to do is drive business their way. You become the marketer of their product.
Some of these affiliates will pay you anywhere from 20% to 80% or higher for each sale that you're responsible for sending their way. They deal with the financial transactions, inventory, distributions, support and returns, while you sit back and collect commissions on all the sales that you're responsible for.
This is what affiliate marketing is all about. It becomes a volume play on your behalf. The more sales you can promote, the more money you can make.
So how do you go about becoming an Affiliate Marketer and what is the best way to market? That's what I'm hoping to convey to you in the rest of this article.
How do I Find Product Offering Commissions to People Like Myself
So where do we find products/services that we can market and make commission? The good news is that there are several places on the internet to find such affiliate programs. The best thing to do if to come up with a specific area or niche that interests you since that will be something you'll enjoy promoting. Examples of niches could be golf, weith loss, fitness, finances, knitting, cooking, ....Once you've selected an area if interest, the easiest thing to do is to start with Google. Using Google, type in the Niche you want to address followed by “+ Affiliate”. The example would be to Google Golf "+ Affilite" and you'll get a complete list of areas to investigate.
The most popular Affilliate site is Clickbank.com. I would highle recommend you check out this site. Take a look at their Affiliate Marketplace to see the many different products and services they list. You can find out the details of their affiliate program including how much money you can make per sale.
Some other useful sites to check out are:
- ClickBooth.com (look at Gravity Scores to find the best sellers)
- JV200.com - check out their best sellers
- Commission Junction
- Amazon Associates
There is an endless list of possibilities for you to select your specific area to market. I'd highly advise going through Clickbank.com to find the affiliate programs you want to push.
How Do I Market My Affiliate?
Email is the best way to contact potential customers. I realize many of you may be saying email is old since nowadays everyone uses social media and applications to get in front of potential customers. I'm not going to disagree with that statement and once you get your affiliate marketing program up and running, I highly suggest you use those other vehicles to promote your affiliate.
That being said, email is something that can't be ignored. Here are some interesting facts about email:
- There are over 5.6 billion email addresses in the world
- There are just over 2 billion people on Facebook
- 66% of the people say they purchased something based on an email they received
So you can see from the above, there are way more email addresses in the world than Facebook users. Those Facebook users stil represent a large market to target but the email addressable market is much bigger..
I know that I personally have clicked on links I recieved via email and have actually made purchases based on those kinds of emails. I guess that makes me part of the 66% mentioned above.
So How Do I Find the People to Email?
The entire goal of being successful with email marketing is to generate lists of email addresses. These email addresses will be what is known as traffic. You can't simply add everyone's email address to your list because then you are just spamming the entire list. You need to get people to "opt-in" to your list, meaning they are willfully providing you their email address, or are "opting in" to whatever it is your providing to them.
The best way to get someone to provide you their email address is to give them something for doing it. As an example, you can provide a report, relative to your niche, or provide any of the following:
- PDF Guides/eBooks
- Planners, calendars, and other printables
- Resource lists
Now I know that I knowingly gave up my email address on many occasions to obtain a free report or giveaway. These were usually work related. Based on this, you need to come up with that free thing you want to give away when someone provides you with their email address.
This is how you start to build your email list. Again, the more email addresses you have, the more chance you have to make commissions on your affiliate sales. The important thing about these leads (or traffic) is that you know that person is interested in your niche or product line since they opted in for your giveaway,
There is no need for a complex website. All you need is a very simple landing page which talks about your "giveaway" and has a simple one field form for the person to enter their email address. Once the person submits their email address, you send them to a thank you page that already has a link to your affiliate site, but more importantly, adds their email address to your list of subscribers that you will email on a regulat basis, trying to get them to purchase your services or products. Remember, these people opted in and provided their email address based on the fact they are interested in your business or niche. This should be low hanging fruit to email them on a regular basis with information about your product and why its important for them the click the affiliate link you provided in the email.
So far I talked about what you want to do to get your list of email addresses, but the remaining question is how do I get the traffic to my landing page, in order for people to provide me with their email address. Well there are plenty of ways to get traffic. The simplest and quickest way is to buy the traffic. Lots of different programs will gladly sell you leads which they will garantee you that some percentage of your purchased leads will definintley visit your landing page. You can typically select the amount of traffic you want to purchase, provide them your payment, and you're off and running. The main problem with this method, is that it can get costly.
The other way which still requires an outlay of funds is by using Facebook targeted Marketing. For as little as $20, you can place ads on facebook which will get shown to your target market.
Some other ways to gain traffic is through your social media accounts, writing a blog which talks about your affiliate programs, Youtube videos, and yes, even an article on HubPages (this is my experiment).
Anyway, the result of all this effort is to come up with a nice list of email addresses that you will continually start marketing to.
Once you start building up your list of email addresses, you'll want to automatically start emailing them with your product information and a link to your affiliate page. This is where you'll want to invest into some type of autoresponding package. Some major one's to look at are Constant Contact, Sendlane, and Aweber.
These packages will all send out your desired emails on a regular basis to everyone on your list. These autoresponders can be set up to define your first, second, third, and fourth emails. They will keep track of how many times each subscriber was emailed and what their click rate was.
Of course, these autoresponders will cost money. The larger your distribution list get, the more you will need to pay in terms of a monthly fee.
Example of an Email Marketing Landing Page
As I worked my way through a complete setup of an affiliate marketing program, I used a business I found online, the "12 Minute Affiliate". This was also one of the top affiliate programs on Clickbank. It's an affiliate program about affiliate programs.
The reason this affiliate program is so attractive is that there is not only upfront commissions that you'll get when someone from your list buys the program, but there is also a monthly subscription fee that gets paid, and you as the affiliate marketer will continue to get on-going commissions for as long as the person who signed up continues to use the program.
To get a feeling for what I'm talking about, go visit the following link to see what a landing page would look like:
Now if your really interested in this topic and want to give it a go yourself, supply your email address on the above link and you will receive the additional information on how to sign up and what you need to do to start your own Affiliate Marketing program. There are several programs out there to choose from. I chose this one as it was one of the top sellers on Clickbank. The hope is that there are many people out there like me trying to make that additional hunk of revenue online.
As stated above, you can choose whatever product or niche area that you would want to promote.
To wrap up my article on Affiliate Marketing, I will only say that there appears to be many people out there making alot of money with it. They all flash their Clickbank or affiliate program dashboard page which shows thousands of dollars of revenue per month.
Is this real? Can you and I also turn into one of these successful Affiliate Marketers? I sure hope so. I'm gain to find out. You supposedly need to be patient as it may take alittle while before you generate that first sale.
Keep investigating new ways to generate more traffic to your site and hopefully you can sit back and watch the money start to trickle in.
Good luck in your efforts. Hopefully after several months, I can write a follow-up article to this one which talks about how good or bad I did.
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.