Looking for Regional Information?

Work Online: Building a Business Selling Other People's Stuff

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/26/2007 | Home Based Business

Do you want to work online? Do you want to build your own business? Do you have a dream of working for yourself, from home, where you could work as many or as few hours as you like and still make a good living?

A lot of people have that dream too, but what's the best way to make it come true?

Chances are when you start on this journey, you'll end up joining some get-rich-quick schemes and multi-level marketing programs; but you'll soon realize that only a select few make money this way, and unfortunately the odds are against you.

However, there are in fact many multi-millionaires being made online.

Most of them are selling their own products they've developed; but nearly all of them are also selling products as affiliates.

What does that mean? Selling as an affiliate means working as a commissioned salesperson, or making money selling other people's stuff!

While the product owner takes care of billing, customer service, refund requests, tech support and so forth, the affiliate just recommends the product to others, and gets a hefty sales commission for doing so... which can often be as high as 50-75%, and sometimes even 100%, for digital downloadable products.

Why would a product owner offer such high commissions? They do it because 25-50% of your sales, and every other affiliate's sales, add up to a lot more than 100% of their own sales. In other words, they wouldn't be selling those products at all without you.

Why would anyone offer 100% commissions? Because they want to give you a good reason to promote their product (usually at a fairly low price point so they don't mind giving up the sales money) in exchange for building their list of opt-in subscribers. Everyone who pays you the 100% commission for the product also ends up signing up with the product owner to download it, so its a win-win scenario.

Now here's the biggest question: how do you get people to buy products through your affiliate link when it seems everybody online is promoting the same thing?

There are numerous ways to get the attention of a customer, which leads them to buy through you.

1. Pay per Click Direct-to-Merchant

Many people are making great money online by purchasing clicks from Google AdWords or other pay per click search engines, and sending that traffic directly to the product owner's sales page through their affiliate link. This can be very profitable if done right. The main drawback is that only a couple of people can use the same domain name when promoting through AdWords, so rather than using your affiliate link as it is, you should create a redirect link. The other drawback is that the traffic you have purchased may be interested in other products you're promoting, but you don't have contact with those people once they've clicked through to the sales page, so thats a lost sales opportunity.

2. Pay per Click to a Landing Page

This method uses the same type of pay per click advertising, but sends people to your own landing page first. You can offer a review of the product or some other type of unique content, before offering the visitor your affiliate link to click on if they like your review. Again, once the people click through to the sales page, you won't be able to contact them anymore.

3. Combination of Pay per Click and List-Building

This method is very similar to #2, sending people to your own landing page first. However, the idea is to have them opt in to your newsletter list before they get to see your review or the sales page. Once someone is on your list, you'll be able to send him or her related offers down the road. But be careful that your landing page is not just a "squeeze page" with an opt-in form and no content, which goes against Googles AdWords regulations.

4. Combination of SEO and List-Building

If you don't want to pay for traffic or worry about operating within Googles pay per click terms, you can go the natural search way and build traffic through SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization. This takes a different resource your time -- in order to properly optimize your page. You will also want to research how to do it the most effectively. However, many super affiliates are to the point where all their traffic comes naturally from the search engines, and they get thousands of visitors a day.

To combine SEO with list building, you would once again offer an opt-in form to the visitor so that you can keep contact with them. Otherwise youre letting them leave as easily as they came, which is a waste of your SEO efforts.

As you can see, there are numerous ways to get traffic to your sites and build your affiliate marketing business. If you choose an option that involves opt-in list building, then you'll also have a growing list of subscribers who know, like and trust you, and will buy much of what you recommend.

Another way to stand out is to offer a bonus or rebate that nobody else offers. You'll make less on each transaction if it's a cash rebate, but not everyone will cash in on your offer, and you'll also have more sales overall.

With a little ingenuity and effort, you can be a super affiliate in no time.