It began with a few people earning commissions by selling books from their own home based online business websites. For those who might not know, it was mega-bookseller Amazon.com who is credited with developing the very first internet affiliate marketing program. Following the unquestionable success of that new online marketing concept, literally thousands of companies have since offered partnership commissions to virtually anyone willing to sell their affiliate products.
But, finding the right online marketing company, with the best affiliate programs is indeed a difficult task for the internet newcomer. It is a mind-blowing maze of choices, created by relentless marketing hype and online scams. There is simply no shortage of affiliate program promoters, promising immediate riches, by using their 'little work' or 'no work' techniques to acquire wealth and a new address on 'Easy Street'.
One common newbie mistake is best described as trying to 'Run With The Big Dogs'. As tempting as it may seem, focusing your affiliate programs and internet ad campaigns on the most profitable online niches is likely to consume a disproportionate chunk of your business start-up cash. So, you may find that positioning yourself in the more competitive affiliate markets may be beyond the limits of your entry-level cash budget. And just as importantly, your affiliate target niche may also be well beyond your knowledge based comfort zone.
An internet marketing newcomer should instead focus on what they already have the most extensive knowledge of. The advantages of utilizing what you already know, regarding hobbies or small non-competitive niches, will provide the most affordable and practical entry market for the online novice. The experience gained will put you in a much better position to survive later on, at the more competitive, riskier and profitable levels.
The reasons for deciding on a career in affiliate marketing are generally as varied as the individuals themselves:
- Escape The Rat Race
- Earn More Money
- Have More Free Time
- Be Your Own Boss
- More Spending Cash
There is an awful lot to learn and it certainly won't happen overnight. To be sure, more than a few months may be required before you get a secure grip on the necessary fundamentals. You will need to know the basics of affiliate marketing, internet search engine optimization and cost efficient methods of driving traffic to your websites.
Your training should include the latest affiliate marketing manuals, online marketing tutorials, and internet affiliate conferences. Learn from the successes and mistakes of others through various articles, books, ebooks and other publications. These are the training tools that will not only enhance your understanding of how the various affiliate programs work, but will help you in developing the expertise to intelligently select the best affiliate companies to work with.
Affiliate marketing is no different than any other type of business, which operates in a highly competitive environment. But, that does not mean there is no room for additional competition. New ideas for making money emerge almost daily, as do marketing techniques to improve efficiency and lower your costs. So, if you have the patience and are willing to invest the time and energy required, you may certainly succeed in becoming the internet's newest affiliate marketing guru.
For more information, see http://www.thresholdthree.com/affiliate/index.html
Harry Monell maintains several affiliate and content websites. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Old Dominion University. Following formal retirement in 2000, he spent five years working as a special projects consultant and now spends time with what he considers his most challenging, yet most rewarding endeavor - developing his writing skills.