Affiliate Marketing is probably the best home based business idea for people who want to start something of their own with no or low cost. It is in fact way simpler than you think, but it doesn’t mean you don’t need to do anything! You have to do a lot of hard and smart work for the success!
Before I get into the details of how to start making money with an affiliate program, let me be very clear that you must have good sales skills. Since most of the affiliate programs are web-based, you should have a clear understanding of using different marketing channels to sell the products/services. In case, if you are not much familiar with basic online marketing tools and techniques, you must first learn the basics to get started with affiliate business.
You can start in two ways;
1- Setting up your own Affiliate Program; letting people signup as your affiliates and you pay them a commission when they make a sale for you. This is the case when you have a product to sell and you let other people sell your product and give them a commission on every sale. Of course, this requires investment for buying/manufacturing a product and reaching out people to sell it.
If you are a creative entrepreneur, i.e. writer, designer, app developer, you might not require any money to have a product, but you need to spend some money to find people who can sell your product.
2- Signing up for an existing Affiliate Program; This is the option when you do not have a product/service of your own and you join an affiliate program of some other merchant, sell their products and make money. All you need to do is to select your niches, set up a sales channel and sell other people’s goods for a set amount of commission.
The selection of niche entirely depends on your sales skills; for instance, if you have a big mailing list of entrepreneurs, you might join affiliate programs of financial services, business software, marketing companies and so on. You can also select a niche based on your interest, i.e. a travel blog, a music review website or a niche product review website. Here you can also find perfect products to sell on Amazon, using Unicorn Smasher.
So, the first step is selecting your way to go, depending on your expertise, product idea and prevailing market conditions.
If you have a ‘product’, let it be a tangible or a digital one, you may think of choosing option 1. Otherwise, if you are good at sales yourself and you think of it like setting up a website, developing relevant content, bringing traffic to the website, you can succeed with option 2.
Whichever the option you select, getting complete strangers to become your affiliates or want them to click on your affiliate links is something really challenging. It takes trust; from your visitors as well as Search Engine Spiders and that’s the only challenge.
There are many misconceptions about affiliate marketing, and you must have a clear mind before starting. We’ll discuss those misconceptions and the ways to meet those challenges in coming posts!