Over the last decade there has been a change in the mindset of people wanting to earn or increase their income. Originally the only options were to find new jobs or start your own brick and mortar business, but the internet has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for those willing to try something new.
While there are hundreds of opportunities available on the internet, there is no question that affiliate marketing is proving to be one of the most popular.
There are a number of reasons as to why this is the case, but the basic ones are that there is very little outlay to get started, no great technical knowledge is required, and it’s just not that complicated. Hence, it is the perfect business for those that don’t have a lot of business background or experience.
So What is Affiliate Marketing?
In simple terms, affiliate marketing is where you, as an affiliate marketer, promote a merchant or vendor’s products or services to the public. When someone clicks on your link and is directed to the merchant’s website and buys from them, you get a commission on the sale. Clicks and sales are kept track of with the merchants’ affiliate software.
From an affiliate marketers perspective there are many advantages. There is no managing of products or stock, no dealing with customers and invoices, and no responsibility towards making the sale other than directing the prospective customer in the right direction.
How To Get Started
If you think this is something you might enjoy, it’s fairly easy to get started. You can choose to sign up with any of several affiliate programs that manage merchants looking for affiliates to promote their products, or even find a private program and work with a merchant one-on-one. Just do a search for affiliate programs and have a look through the results. Many affiliate companies pay once a month using PayPal or direct deposit – depending on the size of the company and its location.
Use Keyword Research to Help Pick Your Products
Once you have registered as an affiliate, it’s time to consider what you want to promote and start doing some research on keywords around the products you have chosen. You can do this using the free Google keywords tool. This will give you some indication as to how many times your keyword is searched and how competitive the niche is, which you need to use as an indicator as to whether it will be worthwhile or too hard to pursue that particular niche.
Set Up Your Website
When you have your product names and keywords, you will need to register a domain, purchase hosting and setup your website to promote your niche. Many of the larger merchants will provide you with banners, images, articles, and other content to put on your website. All merchants, large and small, will provide you with your affiliate link (this is needed for you to get credit for any eventual sale) which you will also put on your website. It’s important to write unique and original content when promoting your product as Google will give a lot more credibility to valuable content as opposed to regurgitated articles. If using articles provided by the merchant, be sure to rewrite them in your own voice.
Once you have your site set up, its time to start getting some backlinks to get yourself on the front page of Google, or at least that’s where you should be aiming to be to get maximum traffic for your keywords. Some of the easiest backlinks to build are through social media accounts. You can easily set up your own accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others and add your backlinks. Building backlinks is really beyond the scope of this article, but there are many free tutorials and videos on the internet to walk you through the process.
On a final note, while affiliate marketing is the ideal online business, you need to keep in mind that it is a business and needs to be treated as such. You will need to put in a bit of work to get started so don’t give in if things don’t happen overnight – just be persistent.