Maybe you have a hobby you’d like to earn money from, such as RC airplanes, playing an instrument, star gazing or teaching people how to develop a better golf swing? Or maybe you’d rather teach people a professional skill such as how to invest in the stock market, become an actor or actress, start a self-storage company or how to create a kick-butt resume that will “WOW” any employer.
Affiliate marketing is a commission-based income model, in which merchants reward affiliates for sending them customers. The term usually applies to online transactions, and affiliates are paid when the customer takes an action on the merchant's site. It's often suggested as a business plan for new Internet marketers, because it requires a very low capital outlay to get started. Affiliate marketing can provide a useful side income, but its weaknesses make it unsuitable as a core business model.
Check out AffiliateTip.com, a popular site about affiliate marketing run by industry guru Shawn Collins. The right rail of his site features a “Blogroll” that contains affiliate links to a number of third party sites. While some of these sites have blogs, the links generally lead (through an affiliate link tracker) to landing pages where visitors can sign up for a product:
The important thing is finding a site that works for your product specifically. This can be a bit tricky, depending on what you are selling. It is unlikely you are going to find a site that is selling your EXACT product (though it is a nice bonus if they do). On the other hand, you should be looking at sites that are closely related to your niche – if you’re selling running shoes and you stumble upon an Amazon affiliate site selling treadmills, for instance, this could be a good purchase for you as a way to sell more of your shoes. If you sell hardcore health juicers, an Amazon affiliate kitchen website could potentially be alright, but you would likely see far less benefit of buying that site as a strategic acquisition.
I spent 3 months thinking about a domain name. Yes, the Epic Niche Site Battle started 10 days ago, but I could still think of my website beforehand. To think about my holiday website, I came up with over 237 different domain names, slowly fine-tuning them, and emphasizing keywords that made sense to my brand. Those 237 domain names were just the ones that were available when I researched them on GoDaddy.com, there were hundreds more I tried that were unavailable. I went a little insane finding the right domain name.
I am afraid this is just the beginning and we will see more drastic decrease in commission in the next few years. My main revenues are usually from Toys and Home. I’ll need to check and do some calculation to see what I’ll loose. Might have eventually to change some links and go through other affiliate programs that may pay more. Again, will have to check that out. I love Amazon because I find all the product from them instead of having to deal with multiple affiliate sites. No headaches about sites closing their affiliate programs, no stress about getting paid on time etc..
The keys to earning a decent income from an affiliate website are to reach as many users as possible and build trust with them. If visitors trust you, they’ll be more likely to make purchases from your website. You can compare this to impulse buyers, who might visit your site once or twice, make a purchase based on your recommendations, and then never come back.
My company wants to get positive reviews. We are thinking about distributing product discounts through various services that encourage reviews. Some services require individuals who want discount codes to provide information allowing sellers to read their other reviews before deciding which reviewers to provide with discount codes. Other services send out offers of a limited number of discount codes and then follow up by email to see whether the recipients have reviewed their products. Still others send offers of discount codes to those who previously posted reviews in exchange for discounted products. All of these services say that reviews are not required. Does it matter which service I choose? I would prefer that recipients of my discount codes not have to disclose that they received discounts.
Yes, it matters. A disclosure should be placed where it easily catches consumers’ attention and is difficult to miss. Consumers may miss a disclosure at the bottom of a blog or the bottom of a page. A disclosure at the very top of the page, outside of the blog, might also be overlooked by consumers. A disclosure is more likely to be seen if it’s very close to, or part of, the endorsement to which it relates.
One of the ways I’ve also been able to make good money with Amazon is to automatically populate information from a WordPress plugin that I had developed based on the needs I had for building Amazon centric websites. The result was EasyAzon. The plugin allows you to insert information and affiliate links to Amazon in a much faster way than creating the links yourself by hand from Amazon.com.
It can be time-consuming to find product images to use when promoting Amazon, the same thing goes for adding links. With EasyAzon I can add images, links, product info boxes and more by the click of a button directly from my own site. Super simple and it saves time and helps maximize earnings. If you monetize with Amazon take a look at EasyAzon here.
One of the key elements to success with affiliate marketing is picking the right products to promote. They could be digital information products, memberships, physical products, online services… there are many industries that use this model. When promotiing to your target market, you may be promoting one or many of these different types of products as an affiliate.