by Charles Essmeier
Affiliate marketing has changed the face of retail in the past few years. As a way to increase sales, companies that offer retail products have begun to enlist help in the form of affiliates – people who help sell the product for them in exchange for a portion of the sales price. The affiliates don’t actually sell the product; they merely advertise it or create Web pages that review or promote the product. Their ads or Websites will have special links that point to the retailer’s site, and if the customer buys, both the affiliate and the retailer make money.
It’s a great system for both seller and affiliate; the seller only pays if the affiliate delivers and the affiliate never has to carry inventory. The market can be brutally competitive, however, as there are hundreds of thousands of people on the Internet who are trying to make money in this way. Each individual who is involved in affiliate marketing is trying to find some sort of “edge” that will separate them from their competition.
Affiliate products can be software or electronic books, but they can also be physical goods, such as computers or other electronic items. One way to for an affiliate to simplify the process and make it easier to make sales it to limit the products that he or she promotes to those that are already widely known. While it may be possible to make money selling a terrific new product that no one has ever heard of, it is generally much easier to promote a product that the public is already aware of and already seeking.
There are many companies that will pay you to promote products that are already popular – MP3 players, laptop computers, or popular pieces of commercial software come to mind. There are many large online retailers that have affiliate programs, so it isn’t all that difficult to promote these types of products. Since the public is already interested in name brand laptop computers, for instance, they will be engaged in regular searches for them on the Web. All you need to do is to promote the product in such a way that they can find your ad or Website. This is much easier to do than to “create” a market for a new, unknown product.
It can be difficult enough trying to make money on the Internet without making it harder by promoting a product that no one has ever heard of. Make it easier on yourself by starting small and advertising things the public already knows that they want.