If you're looking to earn some money online, chances are you encountered the term “affiliate marketing”. This is how it works: with your own websites and marketing activities, you send customers to the vendor of a certain product or service. Thanks to a special code included in the links you'll publish on your websites to promote that product, the vendor will know which customers come from you. If they buy, you are rewarded a commission. The customer pays exactly the same price, whether or not he landed the vendor's website directly or via affiliate links on your websites.
Starting with affiliate marketing is easy, but making a decent living from it may be a long term endeavor. Anyway, the sooner you start, the earlier you can see additional income coming in. Affiliate marketing can be done as as secondary activity to your main job. A couple of hours a day in the evening will get you started all right.
You'll need to have some websites of yours, where to publish your affiliate banners and links. If you don't want to spend money, you can set up free blogs on WordPress.com or on Blogger. If you learn the ropes and decide you have potential for developing it into a real business, you can go ahead and buy your own domain names and hosting later.
In order to find what exactly to promote, you can join affiliate networks such as Commission Junction or Shareasale. There are many of them. Just join one to see what everything is about, then you can search for others. When you join, you'll most probably need to already have a website, because they will ask you to see it. Make a free blog, put up a few posts and you're done.
After you get accepted, you'll see a list of merchants and products. For each merchant, you'll see what commission they give to affiliates. This can be anything between 2% and 50%. The art of affiliate marketing is to find those offers that pay well and are very easy to sell because people want them already.
Choose the merchants you want to promote and apply to their programs. Some of them will accept you on the spot, others will give you an answer in a few days. After you get approved, you have access to all banners and links. Browse through them and choose the ones you like. You'll be provided a line of code which you need to copy and paste on your website, in order to have that banner or link displayed and ready for your visitors to click on.
Knowing what to write to attract people and to rank high in search engines is actually what makes the difference between success and failure. If you want results, you'll need to learn the basics of SEO and of internet marketing. Bringing traffic to your websites is the most challenging part of affiliate marketing. If you succeed and your blog becomes popular, you'll be able to make money in more than one way out of it. Affiliate marketing is only one possibility.
Have you started your affiliate blog yet?
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