Affiliates make money by referring customers to their merchants. There are many companies and webmasters offer affiliate programs to promote their online sales. When you sign up for an affiliate program, you will be given an affiliate link with an unique affiliate ID which will be used to market the product. When someone makes a purchase through your affiliate link, you make money (earn affiliate commission). Below are the steps to starting an affiliate marketing business:
Step 1 - Join an Affiliate Program
Clickbank.com is one of the best places to find an affiliate program that interests you as there are a ton of sellers looking for people to promote their e-books and info products. Before you join any affiliate programs, do a little research. Find out which products are most popular, the conversion rate of the products and visit the sellers’ websites to see whether their sales letters are convinced enough to generate sales. A conversion rate of 5% is reasonably good. This means that for every 100 visitors to the website, 5 visitors will buy.
Step 2 – Promote an affiliate program through a website
You need to have a website to promote your affiliate programs. Creating a website isn’t difficult nowadays. You can use an easy website builder to create a website with little or no technical knowledge. To learn more about how to set up a site with website builder, you can go to Google and enter the search term 'website builder' to find a site builder that is right for you.
Step 3 – Decide the Content on Your Website
As you are promoting e-books, you can write a review on each e-book with an affiliate link to the sales website of each e-book. If you do not wish to write reviews, you can create a product recommendation list on your website (e.g., ‘Top 5 SEO e-books,’ ‘Top 3 MP3 music download,’ etc.).
Step 4 – Drive Targeted traffic/visitors to Your Website
To earn affiliate commission you need to drive targeted traffic to your website. The more traffic your website gets, the more likely you’ll generate more sales. There are several ways to drive targeted traffic to your site in short period of time (2 to 5 days). Here’s how……
Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
You can get a lot of targeted traffic using PPC advertising. The two most popular and effective PPC advertising programs are Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing. So how PPC advertising program works? PPC advertising programs allow you to bid for top rankings on the keywords of your choice. When someone enters a search term matches your keyword in the PPC search engine and press the search button, your contextual ad will appear on the sidebar of the search result page. If the visitor clicks through your ad to your website, you’ll be charged base on your bid amount. To learn more about PPC advertising, please click here.
Writing an article related to your affiliate products with a link to your website in the article’s resource box and submitting it to many article directories can bring some free targeted traffic to your site. To get more and continuous targeted traffic, you need to write more articles. Try to publish a new article every week. Doing this for a year can drive truckload of free traffic to your website.
Post Messages on Forums
Another way to get free traffic is by posting messages on community forums with a link to your site on the signature of each message posted by you. Here’s a technique I learned from an affiliate marketer.
1) Run a search on Google to find out forums and message boards that are related to your affiliate products and try to join as many forums as you can.
2) Make sure that each one of your forums profile is edited to include your website link within the signature option.
3) Spend a few hours navigating the pages of the forums. You can ask questions and post informative and helpful replies to other peoples’ questions or messages to build your status. The more people trust you, the more likely they will click your link.
Today, affiliate marketing programs is seen as one of the most important methods by online companies and merchants to market their products and services because implementing an affiliate program doesn't cost much money and it helps generate a consistent stream of online profit.
On the other hand, the affiliates see affiliate marketing as a feasible and low cost method to make online online by promoting other people products using a website or without a website (using Google AdWords PPC advertising program).
There are many affiliate programs on the Internet and not all of them are similar. The most basic affiliate programs fall into 3 categories:
- Pay Per Performance
- Pay Per click
- Residual Income Affiliate Marketing Programs
Pay per performance (PPP) affiliate programs are what most companies and online merchants likes to use. The companies only need to pay when an affiliate referral translates into an action. The action can be a purchase or a lead. The affiliates will spend their own money to promote the affiliated company's products, This save a lot of money for the company. PPP affiliate programs can be futher classified into 2 sub-categories:
- Pay Per Sale (PPS) The title says it all. The company only pays the affiliate when a visitor referred by the affiliate make a purchase.
- Pay Per Lead (PPL) PPL is a little different to PPS. PPL affiliate programs usually used by finance and insurance companies. In this type of affiliate marketing, the affiliate will be paid a fixed commission whenever a visitor referred by him/her to the merchant's website requested a quote or filled up an online application form.
PPC affiliate programs are most popular. You should have heard them a lot. PPC programs are probably the easiest way for web publishers to make money from their websites and blogs. The affiliate gets paid a certain amount ($0.05 to $0.50 usually) whenever a visitor click a banner or text ad displaying on the affiliate's website. PPC typically used by contextual advertising companies like Google AdSense, Yahoo Publisher Networks and much more.
Residual Income Affiliate Marketing Programs
In this type of programs, the affiliate not only compensated for every customer referred to the merchant's website, the affiliate is also paid whenever the referred customer returns to the site and buy another product.
The different types of affiliate marketing programs would deffinitely work differently for merchants and affiliates, and each would have their own advantages and drawbacks. To find out which types of programs work best for you, you'll have to know which one of them suit your need and characteristic most. And then start testing them.