And for some online home businesses, that is all they do. An affiliate marketing business can be a single page (a sales funnel) that directs the visitor to the merchants site or a content site in a related niche.
For example, if you come across a review site (one that reviews comparable product or services) it is very likely that the person behind the site is an affiliate for the companies who produce the products or services that are being reviewed.
The good review sites will offer honest reviews based on personal experience with the products or services.
On these sites their recommendations are honest opinions of each product reviewed, but sadly, some affiliate marketers are just in it for the money and will offer their visitors biased or dishonest reviews designed purely to get the sale.
Please, if you decide to become an affiliate marketer, do it the right way.
We really don't need any more misinformation on the internet than we already have! Having said that, creating an affiliate marketing business can be lucrative (if done the right way...) and it is definitely an option to consider.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
According to clixGalore Affiliate Marketing, affiliate marketing is:
... internet advertising that allows any online business to affiliate themselves with web site owners (known as affiliates or publishers) using affiliate programs. Affiliates make money by generating sales, leads and traffic for the Merchants business.
So it is a three way relationship between the visitor, the affiliate marketing business owner (the publisher) and the owner of the merchant site. The affiliate or publisher generates traffic - paid or organic depending on the type of affiliate site they create - and then promotes the goods or services produced by the merchant. If the visitor likes what the affiliate has to say they will follow the links the affiliate has created on their site to the merchants site.
The merchant provides the affiliate with a unique link identifier so that visitors and any purchases that they make are allocated to that affiliate. Affiliate agreements and payment arrangements vary from one affiliate program to another, but generally the affiliate receives a percentage of the sales value as a commission.
Creating a One Page Affiliate Marketing Business
For this type of affiliate marketing business you don't necessarily need a website of your own. It is a good idea to have your own domain name and domain email address but you can use third party software providers to create lead pages which are hosted on their site and then drive paid traffic to your page or pages.
Another thing you will need to add to your tool box is an email marketing software provider. I currently use GetResponse and have used Aweber in the past.
Building an email list is an important step, by collecting the email address of any prospects before you send them to the merchant, you have an opportunity to build a relationship with them. If they do not buy the first time they click on your affiliate link, but you stay in touch by sending out regular emails that offer them valuable content, you (and your affiliate link) will still be in their minds and in their inbox when they do decide to buy. And you can also keep them up to date with any special offers or related products that you are promoting in the future.
If you do stay in touch, make it real. Nothing turns me off faster than email communication that is obviously self-serving. Give the people on your email list real value and work to build a real two-way relationship instead of just bombarding their inbox with obvious sales letters and you will reap the benefits.
Creating a Niche Affiliate Marketing Business
Another form of affiliate marketing involves creating a niche content site. This type of affiliate marketing business builds a loyal following of visitors who are interested in the content offered with the pages of their site (or social media page, group or some combination of all). Traffic to these sites is generally a mix of organic traffic from the search engines, direct traffic from repeat visitors, visitors clicking through from posts on social media, email campaigns and paid traffic.
A niche affiliate marketing business is more focused on online relationship building than a one page affiliate business is, and as a result the cost of acquisition per visitor is usually much lower. A niche affiliate site needs some meat (enough content so that the site doesn't feel patchy to the visitors) but if you are looking to earn an income a bit faster than you do with a content site, you can start with a landing page or two and paid traffic while you build the content. Providing your commissions on sales are higher than the cost of acquisition, using paid traffic can be very effective.
But of course, you need to find the right product(s) for your niche or topic! If you try to promote a product or service that is not closely aligned with the core message of your site, you are only going to confuse your visitors and they will not click on your affiliate links. No clicks means no sales, which of course means no income...
Social Media and Building Your List
Alternatively, you can create an affiliate marketing business using a social media account and your email marketing software provider. In this type of business your post, tweets, images or videos are your content, which with a bit of work can build up a following.
Once you have people interested in what you are creating, you can then introduce them to products or services that you recommend through the content you are adding to your social media presence or you can add links to electronic newsletters that are sent to your list.
Other Methods of Generating Affiliate Marketing Leads
No matter which method you use, attracting good leads is going to cost you. Either in time or money.
The trick is to invest enough to get them to buy, and still earn some income either from that initial transaction or from up-selling, down-selling, or repeat purchases. And as you gain experience you should be able to pin down which methods you use to attract new affiliate marketing leads are the most cost and time effective for your affiliate marketing business.
Other than posting on social media or developing a following for your content rich site, you can also use paid advertising online to generate leads.
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