What is Affiliate Marketing?
According to Wikipedia, Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
My interpretation is that I am an affiliate marketer and I sell other people’s product for an agreed commission. I send targeted customers to their purchasing page through an affiliate link or banner that I have created. If I send the right person to the right offer I have a better chance of making a sale and getting my commission.
First off, I’m a blogger so it seems wrong not to mention it, but more importantly, it’s a legitimate way to make money. It’s quite possibly the least straight-forward way on this list, but it’s very doable and it’s also quite possibly the funnest way on this list. I love blogging and I know hundreds of bloggers who feel the same. So let’s talk about making money blogging and what it really means.
Blogging is something that requires patience, persistence and discipline. It may mean writing everyday for over a year before you really start to see any money from it. There are exceptions to the rule, but from my dealings with other bloggers, it seems to be pretty common to spend one or even two years building your blog, your brand and your authority, before making any serious amount of money.
Some people argue that you can make money without a lot of traffic and while that is true in some circumstances, you will generally need a lot of website traffic to start earning from a blog and that takes a while. Once you’ve reached that point, here are the primary ways to monetize your blog and start earning:
1. Advertising – This is definitely the most old-school way of earning money with a blog. It’s also starting to become the least common way. You can sell advertising spots directly on your site or you can sign up with a company like Google AdSense or Media.net. Either way, you won’t see a whole lot of money from ads until your views are well into the thousands each day.
2. Affiliates – There are many affiliate networks, such as FlexOffers and CJ Affiliate that allow you to promote other people’s products and services. You simply put a link or a banner on your page and then you get a percentage if someone clicks through and buys the product/service. You’ll want to select products that are specifically within your blog’s category.This is an effective way to earn money once you have the traffic coming to your blog.
3. Membership – Many people have created a paid membership area on their blog. This is typically for exclusive content that you can only access in the “member’s area.” If you have a really great idea on what to include, this can be a great idea. You’ll have to create something that can’t easily be accessed around the web.
4. Products – You can create your own product, such as an ebook or computer software. You would then use your blog as a promotion tool to get people to buy your product. As long as you create a legitimate product with a whole lot of value, you should be able to get some buyers, but like everything else with a blog, you’ll need the traffic to get the sells.
5. Services – You can offer a paid service, such as life coaching, blog coaching, goal setting or financial planning. Just be sure to investigate all the legal implications and make sure you’re not claiming to be a professional if you’re not one. With a service like this, you’re basically using your blog to sell yourself. You’ll need to convince people that you’re worth buying and then be able to back up your claims once they purchase your service.
6. Sponsored/paid posts – Many blogs publish sponsored and paid posts. Sponsored posts are basically just posts about a specific brand, product or service. A company will pay you to publish an article about it. It’s similar with other paid posts as well. Your basically selling the spot for the article on your site. If you decide to take this route, you’ll want to build your traffic before you will get many offers.
7. Subscription – If you think of something valuable (newsletter, online magazine, etc.) that you can consistently offer on a certain basis (weekly, monthly, etc.), you may want to offer a subscription service. This could be a fee charged each time your product is sent out or on a monthly basis. Either way, this has to be something that your customers can only get by subscribing to your website.
8. Videos – This could be an entire section on it’s own. Many people have made money by creating YouTube videos. It’s not easy to get views into the millions, but once you do, you’ll start seeing some cash come in. Many bloggers have completely turned to videos to get their point across by starting a video blog.
1.Advertising: You can sell space on your Website or blog for advertisements and you earn when these ads are clicked by visitors to your site. The sorting and placing of ads is free. The profitability of pay-per-click advertising depends on the traffic level of the Website and, most importantly, on the clickthrough rate and cost per click. Google AdSense is the most popular option, while others are BidVertiser, Text Link Ads and Blogads. Direct banner and RSS feed are some other forms of online advertising.
2. Affiliate marketing: If you’ve got a good presence on social media or perhaps you even have a blog or website, you can start bringing in money immediately by promoting all sorts of companies, products, services and offers online.
Sign up to an affiliate network such as Clickbank, check their offers blog or browse the merchant listings to find something you think your friends would be interested in, grab your affiliate link and share it. If someone buys (can be within up to 90 days) using your link you’ll make a nice commission.
To take it a step further, set up a website (read our guide) or a topical Facebook page and invite all your friends to join it and post your affiliate offers on there.
3. Network marketing: Also known as Multi-Level Marketing (MLM), this is a business model that allows you to generate ongoing income in two ways: by making a commission selling products and by recruiting other members who go on to sell. The later allows you to make money from the sales made by those you have recruited.
Importantly, this is not a pyramid scheme (they are illegal) because there is an end goal which involves a customer buying a product or service of value.
It’s also not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. You will have to work I’m afraid! However with the growth of social media, network marketing is becoming easier and lots of people are now making a decent living from it.
This is a serious way of making good money on your own terms and it’s well worth reading up on it.
Writing an ultimate guide about affiliate marketing for beginners has not been easy for me and has actually taken hours to write (I also apologise for the length of this post in advance). The reason is that I had to go back in time to recall the finer details of affiliate marketing for beginners.
People often call me lucky when I tell them how I make money online, but my business has absolutely nothing to do with luck. Earning money with affiliate marketing didn’t just happen for me. It took a lot of trial and sadly a lot of errors.
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