Entryway to eCommerce and Affiliate Marketing

Our lives were changed forever with the creation of this marvelous resource we know as the Internet (the Web), as well as the mass production of computers from the late 80’s and beyond. Today everyone has the potential to be their own boss, whether the individual identifies with a specific group such as stay-at-home moms, manual laborers, MLMers or home-based business owners in general.

Any individual interested in starting a business would needs only to do search on Google for business opportunities and such a search will provide more results, in more industries, than s/he could ever imagine. However, even though an individual may think it’s easy to make a living on the Web, such an endeavor actually requires a solid business plan and a lot of hard work.

Although making enough money to support the average lifestyle is admittedly not easy in home-based and/or Web-based business, it is possible to start and build such a business while continuing to work on your your current job, and as such, your potential market – once your business gains adequate exposure on the Web – is a lot bigger than that of the typical offline retail stores.

The first thing you will need to do when starting your own home-based/Web-based business is decide what type of business is right for you, and then do the necessary research to support the viability of your business type. Some possible business choices open to enterprising beginners are:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • AdSense-Type Programs
  • Ghost Writing (if you’re good with words)
  • Blogging
  • Scrap Booking
  • Selling Information Products (ebooks)
  • MLM (Multi-Level Marketing)
  • Selling on eBay
  • Network Marketing
  • And many more to choose from!

A sampling of how the top 3 choices work

Affiliate marketing programs will pay you a commission for promoting and selling products owned and serviced by companies and individuals commonly referred to as merchants. According to this kind of arrangement you, the affiliate, will have very little contact with customers, as role will be to provide sales leads to the merchants with whom you have m ade agreements to promote products/services.

AdSense-type programs will allow you to place contextual advertisements on any website, blog or video you own or produce. These advertisements are most often in the form of links, banners, buttons and badges produced by Google (originator and regulator of the AdSense program), Yahoo/Bing Network, or other such network. You, as the member and website owner/publisher, will receive compensation (few cents at the most) when someone clicks on a banner or link on your website.

The third method is ghost writing which allows you to use your talent as a writer (word smith?) to compose articles, blog posts, and various types of literary works, including press releases, resumes, salesletters (copywriting) etc., for others who may not have the time or skill to do it themselves and therefore are willing to pay you for doing it.

You will probable have to start out as an associate (member) of an already established company such as Freelancer or Fiverr that has the system in place, before branching out on your own. But either way your earnings are virtually guaranteed as long as your work is good and you deliver on time.

When it all comes down to it, you’ll need to set up a business and web site to derive the most benefit from either eCommerce or affiliate marketing; and as mentioned earlier such an undertaking entails a lot of hard work, long hours and dedication – although in the end it will prove to be well worth the investment in time, energy and the limited money required to get your business up, running and flourishing.

Affiliate Marketing Website Creation Made Easy

There are some myths in affiliate marketing which are presented in such a way that gives people the impression they are true. First among such myths is the belief that managing an online business is easy; and second is the belief that overnight fortunes can be made through online marketing. In both cases these beliefs are misleading because neither myth is practical nor true. In fact you might be able to count on one hand (maybe two) the number of times an affiliate marketing professional became rich overnight.

And note the word “professional,” because casual, part-time or uncommitted affiliate marketers almost never achieve success in the affiliate marketing business and on the rare occasion one does get lucky and make a sale or two, such success is often not enduring.

That said, there are some professional marketers who were fortunate enough – or, according to Bill Gates of Microsoft fame in describing his own success, were “in the right place at the right time” – to achieve overwhelming success in just a short span of time; but only after setting up an affiliate program; and not a majority of them can confidently say they did it with luck alone. Anyone who has achieved lasting success in this line of business would say s/he worked hard to accomplish what s/he did.

Success in affiliate marketing takes time and hard work, but the reward is well worth the time, energy and money invested to reap such reward. So with that in mind, if you are planning to start an affiliate marketing business, one of the things you have to consider is a website of your own; not just an ordinary website but a professional looking one. How do you build an affiliate marketing website? What are the easy steps to build one?

First, you must have already decided on the theme or niche of your website. It would be better if you already have an idea of the products and/or services you wish to promote as this would help you plan the design and lay-out of your web pages. The next thing you’d want to do is choosing a domain name and getting it hosted.

The domain name is a unique name used to locate your website on the Internet; it may be the most important element of your website’s actual address; so in deciding what domain name you wish to register, it helps to look into the theme of your site, as well as products/services you intend to endorse and/or promote. Having the right keywords in your domain name would improve your chances of attracting more visitors to your website. It is also important to choose a top level domain (TLd) or extension, such as .com because of its popularity. In selecting a Web Hosting company, consider the security of servers and up-time guarantees.

Having considered/cpmpleted the above steps, it is now time to start creating webpages. However, if you are not as familiar with this process as you’d like to be don’t be disheartened because any quality Web Hosting company will provide a free website builder for customers. There are page generation tools and fast launch sites available online which you can search as well as obtaining a website creation guide to get a few pointers. Countless online sources, including our own article titled, Website Publishing that could help you build an affiliate marketing website, although you might need more time to study and learn the entire process.

This is one of the reasons why your site or the products you are going to promote must match your core interests. Building a marketing website for the first time would be a lot more fun if you have a good what your website theme is going to be; but if you don’t have time to create your own website, you can use templates or purchase readily available websites, which tend to be at a greater expense; but you can also promote affiliate products on your own blog which you can easily learn to create with this Blog Marketing Techniques guide.

Creating an affiliate website on your own would be cheaper and more interesting. In the process of building your website, you may also increase your knowledge in Information Technology and the use of computers, software and the Internet. As you educate yourself in these fields, you are increasing your advantage against other affiliate marketers. It helps a lot, however, if you already know the basics in web page development like programming languages and graphics software, because you can make your site more corporate-looking, more convenient to use and easier to navigate. Furthermore, if you are knowledgeable and skillful in this area, you can concentrate more on the content of the page rather than the design.

The key to draw visitors to your website is to have high quality content; thus, the next thing you must pay attention to in building your marketing website is this aspect. There may be several other factors that contribute to the success of your affiliate marketing site, but good content tops the list because it is the primary reason why readers are attracted to your site. They want to get information and when they don’t find it, they would definitely go elsewhere.

Write interesting articles related to your theme as this would make them frequent your site. If you have already looked for affiliate programs that complement your site, exchange links with business sites and other high quality informative sites. Links contribute to how well a website will rank in major search engines as well. You sahould also create pages for the products you are endorsing, but don’t just promote the products by putting hyped-up ads; keep your readers interested by providing plenty of relevant and useful information. This would make them click affiliate links to merchants’ sites and buy their product. Remember that no good content means no frequent visitors, no sales and ultimately, no commission.

Make your site simple, yet with a touch of class in order to make it appear more of a business website rather than a personal website. This would be pleasing to the eyes and more interesting to browse. To help you with the design, you can check a few of the successful online stores to get an idea on how you can make your site look better. Make sure you don’t place too many banner ads since these could distract some site users; meaning that instead of clicking your ad, they might just leave your site and look for other interesting websites. After all, banner ads are not the only means of advertising your products. Now your website is complete, submit its URL to major search engines to increase your traffic.

Grow from where you started. Learn about the use of keywords for search engine optimization (SEO) and apply them in your content. Update your site regularly or add new articles and pages. Make sure to inform your prospects about the latest updates on your site. You can use newsletters to accomplish this. The Internet offers a huge source of information about most anything, make use of it. Continue to educate yourself on how to improve your website, make the necessary investment in time and hard work so that you will give yourself the best chance of achieving success in affiliate marketing.