Affiliate Marketing - A Good Place to Start

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/24/2006 | Home Based Business
A lot of people are getting involved in online business to help supplement their income or to find a way to get out of a dead-end job that they do not like doing. These are both very valid reasons for starting an online business. A good place to start an online business is by becoming an affiliate marketer because it is relatively quick and easy to start and requires very little, or no investment, in order to start making money online.

With an online business you can contact just about anybody with an Internet connection which means you have an extremely wide marketing area at your convenience. By being an affiliate marketer you do not have to create your own products or services in order to get started making money online. The owners, or merchants as they are sometimes called, give you the rights to market their products for free in most cases.

Affiliate marketing has become one of the most popular methods for making money online today because the products or services have already been created for you. All that is needed is to promote, or advertise them in order to make sells and earn sales commissions which are pre-determined by the owner of the product or service that you will be marketing.

In a typical affiliate marketing set up the merchant provides his or her affiliates with the tools and resources required to sell his product or service. The affiliates use these resources, such as banners, graphics, or text advertising to post on their websites, or to put in blogs. They can also be sent out in emails to create sales of the product or service that they are promoting. The affiliate then gets a percentage of the total price of the product when a sale is made, which is usually 25% to 75% of the total price of the product.

Signing up as an affiliate marketer is easy. Just find a company that offers an affiliate program for their product or service and fill in their online form with your personal details. Most affiliate programs are free to join and most offer valuable instructions to help you get started in selling their products. The merchant stands to gain from your success so it is to their benefit to help you succeed with your affiliate marketing business.

You can also use an alternative method and join what is called an affiliate network. An affiliate network is a business that hosts a variety of affiliate programs for online merchants at one web site location. Most affiliate networks are free and easy to join and provide a full range of products for you to promote. Some of the most popular affiliate networks are: Commission Junction, Clickbank, Linkshare, Cash Engines, and VIP Profits. To find a whole list of popular affiliate networks just go and do a search on affiliate networks or go to the site listed here:

Affiliate marketing is one of the most rewarding careers that anyone could have. Someone can literally start on a shoestring budget and work into a consistent and very decent salary within a relatively short period of time. Many people make thousands of dollars each month just selling products from the Clickbank network. Clickbank is actually a great place to start as an affiliate marketer because they have thousands of products to choose from to market and a very good support system in place. It is also very easy to sign up and join Clickbank. Here is their link:

Becoming a successful affiliate will not be all that easy though because there is quite a lot of competition online. One of the best ways to become successful in affiliate marketing does require additional knowledge and effort and that you create a good content based website. You can have this created for you or you can do your own research and learn how to do it yourself. But, it is important to have a good content based web site that you can imbed links to the products you are marketing within the content on your site. The products you promote should be relevant to the content on your site which will take some initial planning and consideration.

Using this approach you would be able to seed, or insert, several products that you are promoting into the content of your site and then just advertise that one web site. You can start off with just one site and then build another site and do this over and over again over time. Before long you will have created a multitude of sites that promote many different products or services and that are linked to one another, which creates your own network of inter-related sales sites. This could turn out to be extremely profitable for you over a period of time.

If you plan you business properly you would probably want to promote products or services that offer two-tier affiliate marketing programs. With two-tier affiliate marketing programs you will not only get paid for your direct sales, but you will also be paid a percentage commission for the sales that your direct sales members make. This can be a very powerful and profitable plan for your business and it creates what is called "residual income."

An important part of your business plan should include some residual income programs. These residual income programs will allow you to earn multiple commissions each month from just one sale instead of having to sale a multitude of different products over and over again. It is recommended by many of the most successful Internet marketers to concentrate about 75% of your efforts on residual income programs such as monthly subscription membership sites. These types of businesses will bring you monthly income automatically with just one sale as long as the buyer continues their active membership each month. Selling residual income products or services is by far a more beneficial method of earning affiliate commissions than focusing your efforts toward the tedious process selling individual products over and over again although, a combination of both approaches is advisable for the best marketing strategy.