I’m glad you asked. With the advent of the Internet, marketing a business has changed drastically from years gone by. Today; many people will go to the internet long before they go to a brick and mortar store, some to actually shop and BUY a product or service on the internet; and some to research their purchase before going to a local store. Either way, millions of consumers are searching the internet for products and services.
Realizing the internet gave businesses the ability to reach new customers on a global scale; they have devised a way to reach all those buyers, Affiliate Marketing. Businesses found that giving people like you and me a cut of their profit was the most economical way to reach as many potential customers as they could. If they get a sale to someone they would have never normally reached, it is beneficial to them to give you or me a cut of the profit for the sale. The got the customer for FREE, so sharing the profit is a no-brainer to them.
Profits can come in the form of a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of a sale. After you sign up to be an affiliate for a company, you “sell” a product or service for that company and they give you a commission for your effort. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, in theory, it is. In practice, it can be an altogether different story.
Affiliate Marketing in its simplest form is signing up to a business or company to sell their product(s) and/or service(s) and they give you a custom link or number that you use to refer your customers back to the business. You place the link on your website and tell your customers why they should buy product X from you. Your customer clicks on your link and goes to Company Y and purchases product X and you get a commission for your work. The more customers you drive through that link, the more money you make and the more of product X the company sells; everybody is happy.
“What happens if I don’t have a website?” you ask. This is where things start to get really interesting. Ever heard of a little company called Google? In the infancy of Affiliate Marketing, enterprising marketers realized they could plug their affiliate links into Google AdWords and send customers a running without even owning a website. Massive fortunes were made overnight, and I am so sorry I missed the rush, it was similar to the gold rush in California in the 1800’s. It didn’t take long for even more enterprising souls to realize they could package their little “secret” and sell that to people that wanted to make money. They made a killing too! But, like the gold rush, it only lasted a short while and when the real miners; Affiliate Marketers, showed up is when the real work began.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are still huge, huge amounts of money to be made on the internet; but the low hanging fruit has been picked, well for the most part. There are still nuggets to be found; but you have to know where and to look. By the way, there are products you can buy that show you how to do that too! There really is money everywhere on the internet.
Google quickly picked up on the fortunes that were being made and took their piece of the pie as well. Today, if a product is really hot, the cost of buying keywords on Google goes through the roof very quickly and it becomes difficult to make a profit that way. That’s not to say money can’t be made; but you have to educate yourself on how to do it or you’ll go broke, quick.
A lot of the products you see offered to Affiliate Marketers today are still geared toward the “Gold Rush” days, from a few years ago. You see, greed is an amazing thing, people are always looking to “Make Money on the Internet” and those products sell, they sell like hotcakes; but, the results are just not quite as good as they were a few years ago. But, if you are to truly make money on the internet; you must be willing to look past the “Get Rich Quick” persona and be willing to fall back on your “Why” statement. If you are serious about making money on the internet; you are going to have ups and downs, just like in any business.
I’m preparing you now, that the hype that you read about making X thousands of dollars in a day, a week or a month are real; trust me they are very real; but the folks making that kind of money are playing on your greed! If you are just starting out and planning on making that kind of money next week; you are in for a rude awakening. A guy didn’t show up at the hospital one morning and say “I’m a brain surgeon,” he went through years of training, successes and failures and earned his salt. You will need to do the same.
So; if I haven’t scared you off by now, Affiliate Marketing is simply this; selling the products and services of other people. Products and services of which you never have to own, inventory, ship, return, perform, answer emails about, deal with customer complaints or otherwise be involved with, and getting paid (and getting paid well, I might add) to sell said products and services. Like any business endeavor, there are financial risks that can be associated with operating a business, but; the rewards of Affiliate Marketing are far greater than any other business I have ever been involved with.
Next time we will look a little deeper into Affiliate Marketing and explore some of the different marketing plans that provide you the best financial benefit.