by Eileen Childs
What is Affiliate Marketing? Let me put it this way. How many times have you told a friend or relative about a product or service that you like that resulted in them purchasing that product or service? Now imagine doing the same thing on the Internet, but on a much larger scale. Now imagine that that the companies you refer people to pay you a commission for your referrals. That's how affiliate marketing works.
The perks of starting an affiliate marketing business include:
Typically no cost to join most affiliate programs.
The ability to work from home, be your own boss and set your own hours.
Startup costs are usually low. A fraction of what traditional business can be.
You don't have to worry about customer service, inventory, shipping or receiving.
It's easy to get started in affiliate marketing. There are many online programs that assist you and allow you to get started immediately.
You can work full time or part time.
You would be surprised how much affiliate marketing it going on out there. I know I was. It's all around us. For example, when I drive out of my housing development, there are little signs beside the road advertising a dating website. I see these signs every day, but I never realized they were put there by an affiliate marketer marketing for a dating site. The next time you are shopping at your favorite online store, try scrolling down to the very bottom on their homepage. You will find that many of them have a little link at the bottom of their page labeled "affiliate". Look at the Amazon.com and Dell Computers sites for examples. These companies are looking for people to advertise their products. How many times have you purchased something on the Internet and ended up making your purchase through Clickbank? Clickbank is an affiliate program network. They describe themselves as "...the Internet's largest digital marketplace". They are basically the middle men between affiliates and the real product sellers. If you have an ebook you want to sell, you might put it on Clickbank. When someone purchases your ebook, the affiliate and Clickbank both get a percentage of the sale.
The thing I like most about affiliate marketing, is that there really is very little maintenance required. Once you set up your website and affiliate advertisements, your home business can be on autopilot.
It's not uncommon for affiliates to market for multiple companies, creating multiple streams of income. Although focusing on one particular type of product is typically recommended. For example, you might have a website that promotes Internet dating sites or work at home opportunities.
There is a lot of opportunity out there for those who want it. It does take some effort during your startup months, but if you stick with it, you can expect to earn extra income, stay at home with your kids or replace your existing income working fewer hours. If you are going to venture into affiliate marketing, you should do plenty of research. There are a lot of people who try affiliate marketing, don't stick with it and fail, but there are also those who are persistent and make a lot of money doing it. The best advice I can give is, start slowly, do your research, test to see what works and stick with it!
Eileen Childs is a mother of two living in Virginia. She had twenty years experience working in a corporate environment when she decided to start a work at home business. http://www.best-work-at-home-directory.com