So, you want to make money online from the comfort of your home, and you’ve heard of affiliate programs. But what does it all mean? If you don’t already have your own blog, you’ll need to learn how to start a blog and if you do, then you’re in luck. Because basically all you’re going to do is use your blog to sell other people’s stuff.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
So where did affiliate marketing come from? Back in the pioneer days of the online commerce – also known as the mid 90’s – Amazon came up with a program where they paid people to refer clients to them.
For example, if you went to a blog and clicked on the Amazon link and bought something, the owners of said blog got paid a commission. Today, there are tons of affiliate programs out there for everything under the sun, no matter what your niche is. Companies will happily split the profit with you for referring customers to them.
Affiliate marketing is a win-win situation and a great way to make money online. They have the products and you have the audience that might be interested in what they offer. They’re basically giving you a cut of their profit that otherwise would have gone to advertisement. A lot of them have back end products as well, so you’re likely to get a high commission percentage of sales.
Choosing The Right Affiliate Program For You
So you’ve built up your blog, email list, and gained an audience. Now you need to decide which way you want to go in terms of monetization. There are many different types of affiliate programs that can help you make money online.
Google AdSense is a popular option because it’s an easy program to apply for and it is simple to set up on your blog. All you need to do is apply for the AdSense program, then insert a snippet of code into your blog. Google will then display contextual ads, or ads that are related to your blog’s niche. They usually have decent click through rates. This is an amazing way to earn completely passive income!
However, the bar for getting paid is lower – it’s based on every click instead of a sale. Just don’t violate the program’s terms and start clicking on your own ads. That will get you banned from Google! You may think you won’t get caught, but Google has some very sophisticated programs and smart people with degrees in statistics checking for potential fraud.
Or perhaps you want to sign up some other affiliate network? They basically match merchants with affiliates. Instead of getting paid from like 100 different merchants, you get the money consistently and timely from just one source.
ClickBank connects digital product owners with website owners. We strongly recommend them over traditional affiliate networks Commission Junction, LinkShare, Google Affiliate Network and Share Sale which typically cater to traditional physical products that they’d then have to ship.
Digital products tend to result in faster transaction, thus resulting in more commissions and less potential headaches. Physical products are often hinder by logistics that are beyond your control. Web hosting companies and online software companies also enjoy the benefit of instant gratification on the part of the user.
Individual Affiliate Programs
Finally, you can also sign up to individual affiliate programs which often pays more than the networks, but the downside is that it might take longer to get paid. You’d have to be a lot more organized to track each merchant, and the corresponding logins and passwords.
Do your homework and pick the partner that’s right for you and who will help you make money online and meet your goals. Don’t just signup every affiliate program in sight. The product owners should be hooking your followers up with products or services they are actually interested in.
To avoid seeming “spammy,” make sure the products are related to your niche. Stay on topic. It has to fit in with your branding – or you’ll lose customers. You don’t want to have ads for sports cars on your dog food blog!
Promote, Promote, Promote
The more people you send to your partner products, the more you can make money online. It’s simply the law of probabilities. Use links, banners, directory listings and written article product reviews to promote your affiliate partnership.
If you don’t feel comfortable promoting your partners then you’ve picked the wrong partners. We never promote a product or service that we cannot truly recommend it to our friends and families! Basically, only promote products that you believe in. Otherwise, you’re going to feel bad and not really able to sell them well. Who needs the guilt when there are so many options out there?
Monitor Your Blog
When you start your own blog, you need to optimize it and constantly improve your numbers. We watch the whole sales funnel very closely from the impressions to clicks, and finally conversions. Make sure you’re getting good conversions from clicks to sales – you don’t want to promote a product that doesn’t convert. If your affiliate partner isn’t working out for you, find a new one! That’s why we like to have a few partners in each sub-niche of our site, then work closely with them to improve their sales funnels, because the more money they make, the more you will make. But if any of them doesn’t work out, it’s no big deal.
Your affiliate partner should provide you with accurate metrics. That’s the other thing we love about ClickBank which has all the detailed stats.
When you find something that works, try to make it work better. As an affiliate you can ask the merchant for higher commission percentages, money on back end sales, custom promotions, even white labeling their product. That’s where you re-brand it and sell it as your own.
In the age of uncertain economy and massive corporate layoffs, many people are looking for alternatives to support themselves and their families. Making money with affiliate marketing might just be that flexible option to help you make a few extra dollar, build a passive income, and perhaps even one day become financially independent! So take those steps.
Learn how to start a blog, then build an audience of dedicated readers, and join some affiliate programs. Remember to be creative and never be satisfied!