To the average entrepreneur, with no product of their own, without an opt-in list, and with little or no sales experience, Affiliate Marketing can easily represent the chance of a lifetime, a gift from Heaven, if you will. It’s a viable way to circumvent all the usual requirements that go hand in hand with starting a home-based business.
For one thing, you stand to save thousands by not needing to develop and test a product of your own; you just use someone else’s already proven winner as your own. Also, you can skip worrying about designing your own website; here again, use what is supplied for you by the merchant, and run with it. This saves a lot of headaches, time, and, you guessed it — money.
You’ll also have the enviable last word on whether or not to continue promoting anyone’s product based on its performance. If it doesn’t sell, give it up. You’re your own boss.
For all the reasons touched upon above, as well as for a few others not yet discussed for the sake of brevity, affiliate marketing has evolved into one of the most effective ways to start an online business. And, for anyone with a decent website, it’s also one of the easiest ways to start seeing a profit online.
WHAT'S AFFILIATE MARKETING?
Affiliate Marketing is an agreement between a merchant (owner of the product), and a website owner (the promoter). The website owner, or the affiliate, allows the use of their site for the promotion of the merchant’s products by linking to the merchant’s website. In exchange, the merchant pays a commission to the affiliate on all sales generated by the affiliate.
Every time someone clicks on the link in the affiliate website and proceeds to make a purchase, the affiliate gets a commission. Obviously, a commission is earned by the affiliate only when a customer makes a purchase.
Affiliate marketing programs are described as a win-win situation, for both the merchant and the affiliate, because of the pay-for-performance scheme. And, as you’ll see, both the merchant and the affiliate do enjoy specific benefits in this arrangement.
HOW THE MERCHANT BENEFITS
There are many benefits to the merchant’s side. It gives the merchant a wider customer base to advertise their product or service to. Affiliate marketing gives the product or service the maximum exposure that it could possibly get, as compared to any other traditional advertising technique.
It goes without saying, the more affiliate sites a merchant has, the higher the traffic, and the higher the chances of converting visitors into sales.
Affiliate marketing is the equivalent of having an army of salespeople who do all the promotion and only get paid a commission if a customer purchases. If their efforts fail to make a sale, the merchant isn’t out of pocket one thin dime. The burden of performance is, thus, squarely on the shoulders of the affiliate.
It’s a “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately?” kind of scenario.
HOW THE AFFILIATE BENEFITS
As described, an affiliate marketing relationship is a win-win situation, so the affiliate also enjoys many benefits.
Foremost among these, is the easy chance to make a profit. The affiliate can earn by having an ad or link leading to the merchant’s website, which prospective customers will hopefully click.
As soon as the customer clicks on the ad on the affiliate’s site, they’re redirected to the merchant’s website, and if they make a purchase, the affiliate earns a commission. The more prospects being referred, the more profit potential for the affiliate.
Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to earn money from home. There are no product production costs. The product is already developed and proven by the merchant. All you have to do is find as many prospects as you can who will visit the merchant’s web site.
There are countless, capable affiliates who have mastered the art of convincing prospects to visit the websites they promote. This elite group of marketers earns big chunks of money from their grateful merchants.
In affiliate marketing, start-up costs are minimal, if any at all. In addition, there is absolutely no sales experience required. Most affiliate programs offer excellent support when it comes to providing marketing material. The simplicity of affiliate marketing allows you to be an affiliate marketer with the least cost and the most support.
You can even build a successful affiliate marketing business right in the comfort of your own home, which is what most affiliates do. In affiliate marketing, your responsibility is simply to find prospects for the merchant; you do not have to worry about inventory, order processing, or product shipping. These, along with customer service, are the duties of the merchant.
Another benefit of an affiliate marketer is the freedom you enjoy. If the product you’re advertising isn’t making money, you can dump it and choose another. There are no long-term binding contracts tying you to products that are not profitable. As an affiliate marketer, you have the last word about what you promote.
This kind of freedom is something you’ll never see in the offline world if you’re in sales. For instance, if you’re shoe salesman, and your company’s buyer blew it this season and bought nothing but alligators, it’s very unlikely that you’ll turn your back on your career as a result, and start selling home owner’s insurance, or kids’ bicycles. Chances are, you’ll have to stick it out, and hope for something better next year – or, for a different doggone buyer!
By far, the best benefit of being an affiliate marketer is an unparalleled opportunity to increase your income; and, you can make good money even if affiliate marketing is only a sideline business.
Indeed, as you’ve seen, affiliate marketing is one of the simplest and most effective business opportunities available online today, or anywhere else, for that matter.