With 2017 and beyond shaping up to be great years for Affiliate Marketers, thanks largely to Google’s clean up of spam from search engine results, this may be the best time ever to get started in affiliate marketing. So let’s do a little rundown on what this thing is all about.
So, what is Affiliate Marketing?
In its simplest form, it is a program where you are paid a commission, or referral fee, for recommending a merchant’s product or service on your website. You get paid if a visitor to your site follows a special link that you place on your site to the merchant’s store where they can purchase the item, and they purchase the item. Simple as that!
It’s a win-win for you, the website or blog owner, and the merchant offering the program. The merchant gets word of mouth advertising, product reviews and use stories from real people. You get an easy way to earn some income without having to handle transactions, stock or ship the actual product. Your relevant website content drives business to the merchant. The merchant handles the physical product, payment transaction and delivery.
Merchants also save a ton of money by not having to rely so much on conventional advertising, which is expensive. The niche websites of few passionate enthusiasts can generate a lot of referrals!
One of the greatest things about affiliate marketing through your own website is that you can:
- Choose what you want to promote
- Choose how you want to promote it (within reason!)
- Give your website your own format and personality
- Build a business around a hobby you enjoy
This is certainly not a get rich quick scheme. It requires effort on your part. You have to attract targeted audience traffic to your site, maintain content, and be patient with the process. It can take some time for a new website to get established and start to become active. The tough part for many is just giving the process the time and commitment it needs to start to become profitable.
Put in the effort, stick with it, and you’ll be rewarded!
Affiliate Marketing is easier than ever today!
The good news is that technology has advanced and is making a lot of things easier. This includes setting up the essentials you need for an online business.
Setting up a website is super easy
Your website is your foundation! You can now create websites with just a few clicks. In the past, setting up a minimal website involved writing your own HTML code and then having put it all together as a structure and hope the whole thing works.
Today it is easy with web hosting and content management systems like WordPress, Weebly, and many others. I personally love WordPress because it is so versatile. Easy to install on your own website and/or server. Easy to manage yet very customizable.
Domain names are dirt cheap, and hosting on a shared server is cheap. Low cost shared server hosting, like Bluehost and many, many others, are a great low cost option for new websites. An established website that receives heavy traffic will need a dedicated server which is more expensive.
Search Engines are smarter
Google and other search engines have taken big steps to get rid of search engine spam, aka “Spamdexing”, and irrelevant results. They’ve made it more difficult for people who cheat the system to gain high ranks in search results. This kind of abuse made it hard for the rest of us, who are playing honestly, to be found in search engine results pages.
Major updates to the way search engines index and rank web pages have been made that will detect these type of abuses and will keep these “bad guys” from cluttering the search results.
In fact what ranks best is high quality original content and a few carefully researched keywords. Posting fresh content and engaging your visitors will get you ranked. Choosing the right keywords, combined with relevant content, will help you zero in on your target audience.
Affiliate programs are very easy to join
Affiliate programs exist for every imaginable product or service from Matcha tea to model trains – solar panels, legal services, digital media, audio books, smart watches, and the list goes on… you name it! You can join website like Share-A-Sale or Commission Junction and browse thousands of merchants who offer affiliate programs. There’s enough choices to make your head spin!
Of course, Affiliate Marketing has several gotchas to be careful of. I cover some of the common ones in another post:
Many different ways to promote your business
You can be patient and let your site gain trust and traffic via the search engine result listings. There’s also a wide variety of social media platforms like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and many more for promoting your site. You can share a new post you’ve authored on Facebook or Google+. You can Pin or Tweet an infographic from your blog – etc. etc. etc! I carry business cards with my website info and even a QR code on back.
The most effective way to build your site and promote your business is to choose a niche that your are passionate about. There will certainly be many related affiliate programs you can leverage.
Here is just a small sampling of the types of niche businesses you can build around:
And now it is easier than ever to get the best training!
Grab your favorite niche, bring your commitment and patience. Get in on the best training on how to build your own online business.
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I hope you’ve enjoyed my latest post! I would be delighted if it helped clear the clouds and answers the question: “What is affiliate marketing and does it work?”. Let’s make this an awesome year for online marketing. Feel free to ask questions or comment below!