Start an Affiliate Business
Affiliate marketing is one of the best choices for anyone looking to start an online business.
Why? Because, besides the fact that it can bring you lots of money, you don't have to have any product to sell and the cost of setting up an affiliate business is minimal: you only need to create a website.
What is affiliate marketing?
As an affiliate you have to recommend on your website other people's products. Each time a visitor on your website buys one of the products you recommend, you earn a commission.
You may also earn per lead (meaning - when someone subscribes from your link to the site you are affiliated with, you get paid).
How much can I earn from affiliate marketing?
There are commissions of $50, $75... $500 or more. How much you will earn depends on various factors like the products you choose to promote, the niche you choose, the traffic you will get etc.
Many affiliates make HUGE profits - a good example would be Allan Gardyne who earns a good living online from affiliate programs since 1998 or Rosalind Gardner, who makes $500,000 every year since 2002 without having any product to sell.
However, you should know affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme! Your money won't come overnight. It is just like any other business: you have to work on it in order to make it successful.
Another quality of this business, except the fact that it can bring you lots of money, is the fact that you don't have to deal with customer service, taking orders, packing up products, shipping, etc.
Do I have to pay to become an affiliate?
No! Affiliate programs are FREE to join; the only cost of setting up an affiliate business is the cost of creating your website (a few bucks, these days the cost of creating a website is so affordable).
All you need in order to become an affiliate is to create a website on a topic that you like and sign up for FREE with a few affiliate programs related to the topic of your website.
How Can I Join an Affiliate Program?
In order to become an affiliate you have to do the following:
1. Build your website (select a web host - which will give you the space and the tools you need to create your web pages)
2. Sign up for FREE with a few affiliate programs related to the topic of your website (here's a directory where you can search for the appropriate affiliate programs in your niche)
3. Link to those affiliate programs from your site (the company you become affiliate with provides you with a track link for you to use to link to their site, so that they can see how many sales have been generated from your website)
4. Generate traffic to your website (read my article Bring traffic to your website)
Other Things You Should Know About Affiliate Programs
When entering into a business relationship with a company, both parties (you and that company) have to agree to a “contract” detailing their rights and responsibilities.
Important elements of the contract include the amount of commission, the type (pay per sale or pay per lead) and the “return days”.
The “return days” represent the length of time after the initial visit of a customer, period in which that affiliate will still get a commission if that customer decides to buy that product later.
A long “return day” period is better for the affiliate, as it allows time for the customer to decide if he/she wants the product, and if he/she buys it later directly from the merchant's site, the affiliate will still get the commission.
Make sure that your site has a registered domain name (all the web hosts aforementioned offer the domain name for free when choosing their hosting plan), and that it looks professional, as many companies check the sites of their potential affiliates before starting this business relationship.
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