Affiliate programs may be the easiest online business to
start running. Why?
With any online business you must have a product or service
to sell. First you must create this product or service and
then you must be able to fill orders.
Selling your own product or service also means creating a
website, learning how to write ad copy, setting up a
marketing plan, being able to accept payments online and
obviously doing the work. If you're selling a physical
product then you will need to make or buy the item, package
it and pay for shipping costs. If you provide a service
than you will likely have to start by doing free jobs to
build your credibility and then when you are charging for
your service you are still limited by how much work you can
THE MAGIC OF AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
Affiliate programs are a great way to get started in an
online business. In fact there are even some 'Super
Affiliates' who are making fabulous incomes from affiliate
programs. So, what ARE affiliate programs?
Affiliate programs allow you to sell another company's
service or product and make a commission on every sale or
lead. You do not even need to build a website or handle the
transaction. Your job is to drive traffic (customers) to
your affiliate link.
An affiliate link is a special URL code that will identify
customers coming to the company's site from your
advertising. It will likely be the website address with a
code attached to the end.
Some affiliate programs also have tiers. That means if
someone who is interested in SELLING the product comes
through your link and signs up you will also get a small
percentage of THEIR earnings.
HOW DO I CHOOSE A PROGRAM?
You should research the popularity of some of your
interests. Try to determine if people are buying that
product or service online. There are many sources for
finding that information including free ones such as the
Overture keyword tool.
When you have found an area that is popular then type the
subject along with 'affiliate program' into your search
engine and see which programs have services or products for
that area. You can also use an affiliate program directory.
When you have found a program that looks interesting you
should read the terms of the program. Make sure that payouts
are not based on a high commission earning or you may never
see your money. Also try to choose programs with high
commission rates. Often you will find ebooks and
downloadable software has the highest rates as there is no
physical product to make or ship. If you are satisfied with
the terms then you need to sign up - usually a simple
The reason affiliate programs are so great for beginners is
that you only need to focus on marketing - not making - your
Many affiliate programs have information on how to market
and give you tools such as banners, product feeds and more.
You can also look for other information on marketing
including writing articles, creating pay-per-click
campaigns, commenting in online forums etc. As you gain
experience marketing you will make adjustments to your
selling and start creating a wonderful income!
Brennan Howe is the owner of http://www.opportunity4all.net -
Intenet Opportunities for the Average Person. Sign up to
receive a 10 part internet marketing course and free downloads.