The online marketing opportunity
Many business owners have seen the tremendous benefits that can be derived from marketing their products and services online, and have opted to join the ever expansive Internet (online) marketplace to market their own businesses. Other people who have never owned a business in the offline world have also entered the Internet marketplace in massive numbers so as to engage in the aspect of online business known as Internet Marketing; and they do this either to supplement their income from an offline “job,” or to replace it. Why?
Because Internet Marketing offers great opportunities to start and maintain a business with very little start-up costs, while creating the potential for substantial earnings and the benefits that accompanies such earning capacity for the business owner. Internet Marketing also offers these newfound business persons the ability to reach just about anybody in the world who has Internet access; which means a wider market for these marketers, thereby creating the prospects for larger profits.
Another aspect that has attracted so many individuals (entrepreneurs?) to online marketing is the fact that there is no requirement for them to have their own products to get started. With online marketing anyone can start making a substantial sum of money by simply marketing and selling other people’s products; and getting started with this kind of marketing strategy is actually quite easy. All an enterprising individual would need to do is create an agreement with an online retailer or merchant, after which s/he can start making money by selling products owned by the merchant’s or retailer.
The rapid growth of Affiliate Marketing
Incidentally, the most popular and fastest growing method of selling other people's products online is through an activity commonly referred to (and mentioned in several earlier posts on this site), as affiliate marketing which, based on its simplest definition, is a relationship between an online merchant or retailer who has products to sell, and his affiliates, who are willing to promote the merchant's product on their websites.
In a typical affiliate marketing set up, the merchant provides his/her affiliates with banners, text ads and other creatives that link to landing or product page on the merchant's website. The affiliates will then get these ads posted on their own website and will get paid whenever traffic or sales is directed to the merchant's website. Affiliates are often paid on a commission basis, although other online merchants have been known to to pay a fixed fee to affiliate as compensation.
Starting to make money online in the business of affiliate marketing is relatively quick and easy when approached properly and with the right mindset. It entails signing up as an affiliate account for an online company that offers affiliate programs. An alternative method, and usually an easier one, is to sign up as a member of an affiliate network that hosts a variety of affiliate programs for different online merchants or retailers.
To start making money as an affiliate
Signing up for an affiliate account is usually free, although some companies and networks may require the payment of a signup or monthly fees. Such fees, however, are often made as payment for additional services which the company may render, like providing certain specialized tools, resources and assistance to jump-start the affiliate's online business. When individuals sign up with an affiliate marketing program, they are usually required to fill out a form containing personal information.
Some affiliate programs may also require new sign-ups to provide the URL of their website and describe its contents. This information will allow the retailers to verify that the affiliate actually have a website with content that is relevant to their products. Other affiliate programs that do not require the new sign-up to have a website will inquire as to the method by which the affiliate will market affiliate products. After completing the form and all, the affiliate is then allowed to choose which affiliate programs s/he wishes to promote.
If you've considered becoming an affiliate marketer, it might interest you to know that the process outlined in the above paragraphs is basically all you would have to do; and after signing up with an affiliate program and being an actual affiliate, you are actually ready to start making a lot of money by selling other people's product online. How do you make money? There are actually a number of ways for you to earn money as an affiliate, and many of these ways depend on the type of affiliate marketing program you've signed up with.
Various methods of affiliate compensation
For example, many affiliate marketing programs compensate their affiliates in one of three methods: pay-per-click (PPC), pay-per-sale (PPS), or pay-per-lead (PPL). With the pay-per-click affiliate marketing method, the affiliate is paid whenever s/he directs traffic to a merchant's site. However, PPS and PPL affiliate marketing programs work rather differently. With PPS, the affiliate only gets paid when his/her referral converts into an actual sale, with the payment being about 15% to 20% commission for each conversion. PPL affiliate programs work similarly with the affiliates being paid a fixed fee when visitors are converted to leads for the merchant.
Some affiliate marketing programs are two-tier programs, wherein the affiliate is also allowed to recommend other affiliates to the merchant. In such affiliate programs, the affiliate would not only be paid for the traffic or sales that s/he would direct to the merchant's site, but also for the traffic or sales directed by the affiliates whom s/he recommends. Yet another way of earning more profits with affiliate marketing is through residual affiliate programs.
Residual affiliate programs are affiliate programs where an affiliate would be paid a number of times for as long as a merchant keeps the customer referred to that merchant's site by the particular affiliate. One form of residual program gets the affiliate paid a commission every time his/her referred customer purchases an item on a merchant's site. Another form of residual affiliate program gets the affiliate paid a percentage every month for as long as the company keeps a referred customer.
Affiliate success depends on the affiliate!
With a lot of options available and a lot of ways to earn money, affiliate marketing is undoubtedly a more popular and easier method of making money by selling other people's products (OPPs) online. As to how much money an individual can earn from affiliate marketing, it actually depends on the affiliate. A dedicated and hardworking affiliate would certainly get more from the program as compared to those affiliates who would simply sign up and lose interest in, or forget about the program altogether.