What is Affiliate Marketing and How do I Start Doing Affiliate Marketing?

Have you always wondered about how those people who make big money online do it? What is affiliate marketing all about? Can someone with no prior knowledge of the concept do learn and do it with ease? Is it possible to make $500 in a single day? Let me try to answer your queries today.

Do not be intimated by the term “affiliate marketing”. Let me break it down into the two terms, “affiliate” and “marketing”. Well, we are all familiar with marketing, which is the promotion of a merchant’s products to a customer via a number of ways, advertisements and commercials on TV or magazines for example. It is the term “affiliate” that perhaps create much curiosity. An affiliate is someone other than the merchant who tries to direct internet traffic to the merchant’s websites selling the merchant’s products. Now if the customer who gets “referred” by the affiliate goes on the merchant’s site and buys a product, the merchant will pay the affiliate a commission for the sale. This is the basis of Affiliate Marketing.

As you can imagine, this method of making money from the internet has many possibilities with the vast amount of products from various industries being sold on the internet right now. How exactly can you start being an affiliate then?

Firstly, you will need to find a product to promote. As with any kind of marketing, you will need to do a quick research to find out what type of products get the most interest at the moment. There are a number of ways to do this. You can for example use the Overtures search tool (inventory.overture.com) and type in keywords such as “buy” or “shop for” and the free tool will generate for you a list of search results of key phrases that consumers look for on the internet, such as “buy new car” or “shop for new house”. With a general sense of where to start, you will now want to go further and look at the actual brands available. If there are no affiliate programs for the product you chose, there is probably no way to make the industry profitable for you. To search for affiliate programs, you can type in Google, “industry name + affiliate program” which in the case of buying a car, we could type “car sales + affiliate program”. This task would reveal to you the merchants who offer an affiliate program for you to take part in.

Seeking out a market and an affiliate program to join is not a guaranteed way to make you money however. You will need to choose the right product and affiliate program. You can use the free Alexa.com tool to check up on the merchant website’s traffic; just head over to the website and type in your merchant’s URL. A good alexa ranking (lower number, in general under 100,000 is a decent rank, remember the lower the better) would indicate to you that the merchant’s site receives a fair amount of traffic and reputation; this translates to better success for you too as an affiliate.

Armed with the knowledge of which industry to tap on and the right affiliate program to use, you are now ready to start directing traffic to your merchant’s site and start earning commissions. You can do this in a number of ways. One such way is through creation of a website.

Again referring back to our car example, you could generate a content based website on which you discuss various models of cars. You could do a simple review of the various models, or offer car tips: how to keep the coat looking brand new for instance. You could even set up a forum for people sharing the same interests to discuss in, a forum is a good way to ensure return traffic to your site. Within this website, you could then plant your affiliate links to direct traffic to the merchant’s site. In a content website like this, you open the doors to other products within the same industry. For example you could promote car waxes, tires, brakes, car repair services, used car sales and subscribe to their respective affiliate programs. The possibilities are limited by your imagination.

So there you have it, you now have a good idea of what affiliate marketing works and how it is possible for affiliate marketeers to make big bucks even when they sleep or are on vacation. Of course, to be successful at affiliate marketing takes some effort: to do the research on markets and to create ways to direct traffic to your merchant’s site. Also, you have to spend some time to learn certain strategies and techniques that will allow you to generate the most amount of traffic and convert the traffic into purchases and commission for you.

Affiliate Marketing is one of the most lucrative ways to make money on the internet, with the possibilities of earning $100/day or $500/day or even $1000/day through commissions, I think you would agree with me when I say the effort you put in to learn and apply these skills is worth the while!