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What The Hell Is Affiliate Marketing And What's All The Fuss About?

Mar 7, 2008
If you're reading this you've no doubt heard about Affiliate Marketing but what is it and how do you get started?

There are many definitions but one I particularly like is Where a third party advertises products or services (on the internet) on behalf of a retailer in return for an agreed commission for a sale or lead.

It has proved wildly popular because it is a "pay for performance" model that only rewards those that are successful in driving traffic to a merchants site which are then be converted into paying customers.

There a number of affiliate networks which offer multiple affiliate schemes two of the more popular being ClickBank & Commission Junction. This enables the the affiliate to promote many merchants whilst receiving aggregated payments from one company. When you first start out use one or both of these networks.

Affiliate marketing is very easy to get started in but pretty tough to make money at until you become more experienced. Unfortunately, the days of easy money are gone but you can still build a highly profitable business provided you have patience and make the commitment to taking consistent and steady actions.

To get started in affiliate marketing you need access to a PC with an internet connection, a ClickBank account and a Google AdWords account. The accounts are free so set up costs are zero if you already own a PC. A free business - you don't see that very often and that is one of great appeals to affiliate marketing.

As a newcomer with limited funds you should focus on three strategies:

Strategy 1 - Article Marketing

Article marketing means exactly that. You write articles like this one you're reading now and post them to the various article directories such as ezinearticles.com and articlecity.com. There are many more just search "article directories" in your search engine of choice. You then include a link in what is known as your "Resource Box" to your affiliate program of choice. See mine below for an example. You do need to watch the rules of the article directories as some are overly fussy about links but there are plenty you can use. Bear in mind this approach may be free but you need to write and submit at least 1 article per day for this strategy to bear fruit. In 3 months you will have written some 90 articles and you should have started to make some money.

Strategy 2 - Free Classified Ads

Another great strategy is to place advertisements online. Two top sites are usfreeads and craigslist. If someone finds your ad it's because they were looking for it meaning you've identified a highly motivated customer who is likely to follow your affiliate link and hopefully a percentage of these will become paying customers. Again check the rules of the site you are posting your ad with. Craigslist does not allow affiliate links but you can link to a blog that has your link (Again you can set up a free blog at blogger.com.

Strategy 3 - Google AdWords

Also known as Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing. This method was hugely profitable for a number of years but it is a tough competitive market these days and most lose money through inexperience. If you're going to give it a go you will need to be able to invest some money in this strategy and I recommend you buy something like Chris Carpenters GoogleCash Guide.

If you are prepared to invest some money in a proven system you are much more likely to succeed. I'll be perfectly honest and tell you that I got nowhere and lost money when I started out. Especially playing with AdWords. There are some great systems out there that can dramatically reduce your learning curve and get you profitable within 30 days. You won't be breaking the bank but from then on it's simply a case of building on your successes and taking simple consistent actions. Do this and your income will grow from tens of dollars per month to hundreds and hopefully thousands or more.

So know you know what affiliate marketing is, how to get going and the fuss? Well what the fuss is about is that after a couple of years hard work you should be able to maintain a great lifestyle working only a couple of hours per day. Now that's worth making a fuss about.

I wish you every success.
About the Author
Mike Page is an up and coming affiliate marketer with aspirations of quitting his day job. if you'd like to know how he finally started making money with affiliate marketing have a look at this great resource.
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