What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is promoting other peoples products and services through advertising and promotions in an online environment for a commission. This concept is to find people or companies who have items to sell, and use Affiliates to do all the marketing for them. This business type has the potential to rake in huge profits to those who can master it.
There are several companies that host as a bridge between Affiliates and Vendors (those who have a product or service to sell). These include such companies as Clickbank, Rakuten, CJ Affiliate, Amazon Associates, and many more.
Pro’s of Affiliate Marketing.
The largest attraction to many starting entrepreneurs is the potential commissions one can earn, and never a need to hold an inventory or invent a product. You can quite literally set up a website, join an Affiliate site, pick a product, and in a matter of a few hours have everything set up to make money.
In addition, the low startup costs can be a really good thing for those who are just getting started, and can start making a little money early on. Also, you can scale up relatively easy with the purchase of automated software and other tracking tools to help you be really efficient.
Over time, one can build this type of business with no cap on how much you can make. Plus it is a global market. It is also relatively easy to learn.
Another nice thing about it as opposed to direct selling, is that you manage no inventory, no shipping, or returns. You are merely driving traffic to the vendors site.
This business model allows for you to work from anywhere. Being completely online allows you the freedom to operate anywhere.
Cons of Affiliate Marketing.
The largest drawback is the costs in advertising for traffic, and purchasing the automation you need. There is also some technical skills required to put it all together. The overall costs can climb really quickly.
As with any business, there is no guarantee you will ever make a dime. It is possible to lose a lot of money if you don’t build a strong foundation first before striking out. Finding a coach can be pretty costly as well.
There are three factors to success when dealing with Affiliate Marketing.
- Having the right Niche and product / service
- Marketing to the right people.
- Funneling enough of those people to your site to get them to click over to your vendors.
Having the right niche is important to sales and profit potential. I will always recommend working with products and services that appeal to you, as you will put more into it than if it is something you care little about if at all.
More popular niches tend to have more competition than smaller ones. Though having competition isn’t a bad thing, and even in a flooded market, if you put yourself ahead of the game by providing something no one else brings to the table. If it something you love, then you should pursue it regardless. Just work harder than the other guys, and eventually you will have a good chunk of that market.
There are affiliate programs for just about anything and everything you can think of as far as niche’s go. You may have to dig a little deeper, but you can find them.
There is numerous ways to figure out which niche you should start in. The easiest way is to find something that is in line with your goals. Decide what fits best to get you to where you want to go. Write down all your ideas, and then go through them and maybe take the top three. Then do a little research on them. See if you can find of the three which has the best potential. How many vendors? What is their conversion rates for the various products and services? Piece together which niche has the best recipe of market, conversion rate, and commission. Then start with that.
Market to the right people:
The trick to any successful marketing campaign is to not bleed money on advertising to people who couldn’t care less about the product / service you are marketing to. Unlike television, radio, and magazine adds that try to time their target audiences to a particular time of day that they will be watching, listening or reading.
Internet marketing is static. It will always be there whenever the person you are looking for gets online. You don’t have to try and time everything. You just have to narrow down who you are trying to reach. Most men in their 40’s don’t care about lipstick or bras, and most women in their 60’s are not looking for extreme workout videos or how to build tree houses. There are always exceptions, but that shouldn’t be the rule. Fortunately, Facebook, Google, and other marketing platforms already have done all the work. You just have to tell them who you are looking for, and that will be the only ones who see the adds.
Traffic is probably the toughest to deal with. Fortunately, social media like Facebook, have build in the analytics to help get your ad campaigns in front of the perfect audience. Paid advertising is going to give you the greatest chance at generating traffic.
You just have to weigh advertising cost versus conversion ratios. Once the cost of advertising is paid, add back in the commissions per sale at the conversion ratio to consider your potential profit. For example: If you pay Facebook $100 to reach 5,000 people, and the conversion ratio is 1 in 5, then you can expect to sell 1,000 units of whatever it is. If your commission is $5 per unit sold, then you stand to make $4,900 in profit. A lot depends on how many people even click on your ad. That $4,900 can drop quickly if only a small percentage of people click on your ad in the first place.
On the flip side, if you pay $2,000 for 100,000 people, and your conversion rate is only at 2%, and only 10% of those people click on the ad in the first place, then only 10,000 people even see what you are selling. At the 2% conversion rate, and at the same $5 commission, you make $0.00 in profit.
So, bottom line, you need a good niche with lots of people who have the problem your product / service solves. Then you need to drive as many of them to your site as you can afford to a product / service that not only solves their problems, but also makes you money. Otherwise it’s a charity, and that is something entirely different.
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