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A few weeks back, we reviewed some of the essentials of digital marketing and we briefly covered what it meant to do affiliate marketing. While there are plenty of definitions available online, this one via the company Smart Passive Income.
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.
But while affiliate marketing can serve a variety of purposes, such as getting your company’s ad on a wide network of sites, what does it mean to run an affiliate marketing business?
What Is An Affiliate Marketing Business?
Essentially, an affiliate marketing business is a site that concentrates on a particular niche or service while selling products or services for a larger company in that vertical.
For example, many podcasts become affiliate marketing businesses as massive companies like Amazon offer affiliate marketing programs in which the host of a show about the Simpsons might urge listeners to visit Amazon and purchase Simpsons DVDs or other media while using the code provided to them.
Additionally, they’ll likely have ads on their site for Amazon so that they receive the commission on traffic and sales they send.
Each time a visitor to their site or listened to their podcast clicks on an Amazon ad embedded with a tracking code that will allow the company to know the source of the sale and completes a purchase, the owner of the site and podcast will earn a commission with large podcasts making in the hundreds of thousands by turning their podcast into an affiliate marketing business.
How Do I Get Started With an Affiliate Marketing Program?
As we’ve discussed before, making money from home in a way that you see real income doesn’t happen overnight. Most get-rich-quick schemes are a scam.
That is why we like to call affiliate marketing a make-money-faster strategy.
First and foremost, you need your own website on which you can promote the affiliate program’s products and services. Check out our guide to starting your own website in 5 easy steps to get you going today.
Additionally, you need to find yourself a niche that no one else is exploiting, a service no one is offering, or a specialty that you provide better than anyone else.
Do not start a website about gaming if you know nothing about games.
Affiliate marketing works best when you start a site about a topic or product that you know you can discuss more intelligibly than anyone else. If you build it, visitors will come and they will earn you considerable money from the affiliate marketing program you’ve selected.
I’m Ready To Go, But Which Program Do I Choose?
Let’s conduct a little experiment.
Google “affiliate marketing program.” Chances are you’ll see list after list of affiliate programs.
That’s because there is seemingly an endless number of them and amongst the most popular are LinkShare, CJ Affiliate, ShareASale, Amazon Associates, Google Affiliate Network, ClixGalore, PeerFly.com, and ClickBank.
Almost all affiliate networks are free to join and give you instant access to a wide range of websites upon which you can run your ads as a business.
If you’re looking to make money from other business owners, then you’ll sign up your site to run ads or sell products from the affiliate program
For instance, if you run a popular blog about quilting then you may want to consider signing up with an affiliate program that will run ads that will appeal to your audience.
Amazon or Google may be your best bet as you can do whole posts around particular products within their online stores or have their ads with images of sewing supplies reinforce the content on your page.
Even this site is an affiliate marketing business and our niche is helping you to start your own business.
As a result, we’re a big fan of Wealthy Affiliate.
Firstly, this program is for those looking to make money in the long-term, not overnight (and to those who find a safe and legal way to make money overnight, we’re all ears!)
They focus on the fundamentals of making money from home, such as finding a niche, building a site, and creating value for visitors. The overarching goal is to create a home business that will earn you money.
OK, that sounds all nice and good, but doesn’t that take a whole lot of work?
Well, yes and no. Unlike the other affiliate programs we’ve mentioned, Wealthy Affiliate provides a vast learning center full of tutorials, classes, articles, videos, and much more that will truly prepare you to start earning money from home.
And yes, both Google and Amazon also provide a considerable amount of support but they’re focused on home businesses that already are bringing in traffic by selling a particular product or covering a niche topic.
Wealthy Affiliate helps you from the very start up through when you start making serious money and well afterward.
Wealthy Affiliate is not just an affiliate ad network, but an invaluable resource for starting your own online business from home.
At the end of the day, making money online is all about time and dedication and with Wealthy Affiliate, it’s like having your own cheerleading squad and teaching staff to support you 24/7, encouraging you to realize your dreams while providing you with the knowledge and resources you need to actualize your affiliate marketing business.
After all, it’s by doing what you are passionate about that business succeed actually.
How Does It All Work and When Do I Start Making Money?
The top thing to understand with affiliate marketing is that you won’t see thousands of dollars start flooding in overnight.
Once you’ve chosen the affiliate marketing program that is right for you, then it’s a matter of implementing the ads or sales methods you’ve been given or learned in boot camp at Wealthy Affiliate.
While some affiliate marketing businesses can feel scattershot and all over the place–trying to sell you everything from detergent to vitamin supplements to a TV–the most successful home businesses pick a passion, find their niche, and use their site to help other by writing articles and presenting ads and other materials that point them in the directions of products they might use.
At its worst, affiliate marketing can feel like a parody of the internet where the user is virtually overwhelmed by the number of ads being presented to them while lacking any thematic through line to really entice them to click on anything.
But if you present people with the information they are looking for and suggest products that will truly enrich their lives at prices that are a genuine bargain, then you have not only mastered the art of running an affiliate marketing business, you’ve helped make eCommerce more human and enjoyable.
And in a matter of weeks or months, you’ll likely start seeing that first trickle of money come in and before no time, you’ll truly know what it means to sit back and watch the cash roll in!