Friday, June 02, 2006

Affiliate Marketing Online: Does It Make or Take Your Money?

One of the biggest questions I see all over the internet these days is: "Is Affiliate Marketing an Online Money Marketing Scam?" If you have spent any time looking for ways to generate extra money from home, I am sure you have seen this many times. Before I try to answer this question, let's step back and explain what affiliate marketing really is.

If you are new to the internet or have not paid much attention to what is going on, you may not realize the amount of advertising that exists in ether-space. These days, on almost any search engine, article, blog, myspace, email account, etc that you visit, there is probably some sort of advertising somewhere (if not all over the place). One of the biggest reasons for this is its low cost. For as little as $5, you can start advertising on the web in less than 5 minutes from now. Some advertisers charge for "ad-space", some advertisers charge for the number of times your ads appears (called "impressions") and some will only charge you if people actually click on your ad. Pay-Per-Click is one of the most common and effective ways to advertise around. Go to any search engine right now and type in a keyword. At the top and the middle of the screen you will see ads that are described as "Sponsored Links". Believe it or not, but most of these ads are put up like jo-schoes like us. Some are corporate advertisers, but majorities are not. And unlike magazine ads, TV commercials, etc, these are actually affordable to all of us!

So what is on the receiving end of these sponsored links? Some of these links are directly trying to sell their product. Others (and a lot of others) are trying to sell other people's products for a commission. This is called "affiliate marketing". Finding products to promote is fairly easy and costs your nothing! A lot of affiliate sites currently exist online where you can browse the companies and products and choose the ones to promote. The affiliate site will give you a "tagged" internet hyperlink which, when someone clicks it, the vendor will know it was through your promotion and you will receive a percent of that particular sale. Once you find a product, you can then either promote it through a blog, a website, myspace, directly advertise it, etc. The harder you promote it and the more products you are promoting, the higher potential you have to make money.

Let us step back and logically think about this.

* You earn money for every sale that is made from your affiliate link.

* Promotion and advertising can start at less than $0.05 per click.

* The internet reaches over a billion people each day worldwide.

As you can see, there is plenty of opportunity here to make money, legitimately. There is no con involved. Nothing illegal involved. Just good business practice. So is making money online through affiliate marketing a scam? Absolutely not! It is no different than being a distributor, without the need of a warehouse, or a staff, or a large wad of cash to start your business. Add the fact that you can advertise affordably and to a wide audience, it makes an excellent, low-risk venture for virtually anyone.

Of course, there are details to understand like where to advertise, what products to promote, how to write effective ads, etc that can be learned through a lot of internet surfing or spelled out fairly simply in an eBook for about $50 (not too bad of a price to actually start your own business!). I started my affiliate ventures out about 6 months ago and now I am learning that my logical assumptions about affiliate marketing are correct. Right now, I average about $50 per day, but there is plenty of room for a lot more! With the right attitude and guidance, anyone can be successful making money online through affiliate marketing.

Matthew is a 31 year old engineer and online marketer currently living in San Diego, California.

Visit:
http://www.TheWebReviewer.com Making Money Online

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