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Internet Affiliate Marketing As A Home Business

Mar 31, 2008
To be able to quit one's day job and start a business is a dream of so many people. The thought of being one's own boss, is just so wonderful. No more hassle of facing the traffic jams in the morning. No more stress of doing what one is doing just for the sake of earning a living. Not many people have the luxury of earning a living out of their passion such as musicians, singers and painters. How I envy them. My skills and talents in the creative line is as good as a scarecrow with a guitar or a cow trying to belt out Il Divo's Hasta El Final...

Reality often strikes - hard. Too many people having to do what they hate to do is just a very disturbing thought. No wonder the world is full of unhappy faces. How many people can afford to quit a job and start a business? Many hardly earn enough to pay for mortgages and loans. Let alone sacrificing the hard earn few dollars kept in the bank for emergency use - if there is any at all. The savings, I mean. Even if you have some money to spare, do you have the expertise? How well-verse are you in accounting and inventory control? Do you have space to stock up the goods? How about delivery? How about customers' complains and warranty claims? Boy, sure sounds like real, hard work. Maybe, the day job is less stressful after all.

Fortunately, there are many ways to earn a living doing business at almost no cost - stress free. Affiliate marketing is one of them. The concept of affiliate marketing is something that the creator should get a Noble price for. To be able to sell herbal remedies, books, vacation packages, travel bookings, financial, tax and insurance services from one's own home is not only wonderful, but fantastic. Wonderful because you can start your business risk and stress free. Fantastic because you have to know nothing about what you sell. Everything is being taken care of. You just have to market them. For working mums, it will be such an ideal choice. More so if you are a single parent. The extra quality time that you can now have with you children is just priceless.

Now the next question is, what should you promote? There are many affiliate programs that you can register for free. Most of them require you to have an account either with Pay Pal or Click Bank. Both of which are free services. It's a great way of getting your commissions credited into your account the instant you close a sale. The best part is, commissions from the various programs that you joined can be accumulated into one single account which you can withdraw whenever you want. You can of course, most of the time, opt for the commissions to be paid by checks by the programs that you joined, individually. However, most companies only make monthly payments.

Choosing the right products to promote is very important if you do not want to waste your time. There are countless of products which we thought are great and wonderful but are just not moving because nobody wants them. As a general rule, promote only products that you yourself would buy online. Scented candles for instance - will just not work. I don't know you, but I certainly would like to have a sniff of the scent before I buy it. I do not want to end up having a room that smells like somebody's basement.

After signing up for great products, now its time to market them. As you very well understand, business is all about getting the products promoted to as many people as possible. In a brick and mortar environment, getting your confectionery shop set up right smack on the busiest street in town is probably the best advertising that you can get. The more visibility you get the more chances of people walking into your store; hence the better chance of you selling that wonderful home made candy.

Home based internet marketing is no different. Your sales are very much dependent on the amount of traffic that visits your website. Even if you do not have a website, the same formula applies - where and how you promote your programs are very important. You can have the most beautiful looking and the most user friendly website to promote your products but it will be just plain useless if there are no visitors. You can submit your website to hundreds and even thousands of search engines available today but there is no guarantee that they will even list you. Lets say you are lucky to be indexed and listed. Your website might be in page 2527 listed as one of the 2,045,893 search results! How often did you venture beyond page ten or even page five? I personally will go through only up to page five. In fact most of the time, page 3 was as far as I went before I switch to another search engine.

So how to get listed in the fist few pages? The answer is to include as many relevant keywords as possible reflecting your site content and perform some technical tricks on your website by including meta tags and include as many articles as possible . You see, search engines employ robots - always referred to as spiders. Google has "Googlebot" and Alta Vista has "Scooter". Their job is to crawl into websites looking for relevant subjects or items demanded by a surfer once the enter button is hit. These robots will do their search based on the word or phrase entered into the search box. The more relevant your site content is to match the search request, the better your chances are to be on the front pages. So, relevant articles with good keywords promoting your products can make a lot of difference.

If you have a few dollars to spare to get a search engine submission service to do all the work for you, please do some research before you sign up with them. Check what comes with the subscription. Is there a 24 hour hotline number? Is there a live online support? Is there a guarantee? Make sure you get a service worth the monthly fee. There are companies out there for instance that charge up to US$30 monthly for a submission service to search engines and make claims that your website will always get good spots within the first 3 search pages or so that will guarantee swarms of visitors to your site. The question is how sure are you that they are really doing their job themselves? How sure are you that they did not actually paid only US$10 a month to another company that does all the real hard work? Now that's a good US$20 profit from your account every month. What if there are 1000 website owners who are so eager to market their products in this over US$6 Billion industry thought that US$30 monthly is really cheap to pay? What if there are 10,000 people? Now you do the math.. The point is, make sure you get what you paid for and for the right price. Hunt around and make price comparisons.

Relax, do not panic. Do not get discouraged. Search engine optimization of your site is not the only way to promote your affiliate programs effectively. Remember those who do not own a website? The norm in affiliate program marketing is that, you will be given an affiliate link that consists of a unique ID to point all sales to your account. The simplest way to sell the product is by merely putting that link into your emails, facebook, myspace and other social networking sites as long as you do it smartly without violating their terms of use. Just let your creativity flows.

The other great way to promote this link is by registering it with traffic exchanges and list builders. There are many out there offering this services for free. Some works, some does not. What this link will do is, once people click on it, they will be directed to the merchant's website. Any sales made, you will get a commission. Even if you don't make a sale, you might get a sign-up as your downline.

Some merchants even went the extra length as to providing you with your "own" website. You don't really have the liberty to customize the look as you fancy but some of them do give you an interface to communicate with your downlines through that website so it appears to be more professional. It even has your name and ID right at the top. Fantastic, is it not?

What if you are an affiliate to more than twenty merchants? Its then time to have a website where you can include all the banners and links to promote them. I had 50 at one point. Can you imagine? I started at zero cost. Well, almost. Internet service, electricity and time were my only investments when I first started. You can get free website domain and hosting but it comes with a whole lot of unwanted advertising that might distract your potential customers from buying your products. So the next best thing is, blog instead - with all the links and banners built in, of course. How to promote a blog? Easy. Just make comments in other people's blogs.

This is another way to get your products promoted. When you make comments, make sure to include your address link. This will send swarms of curious traffic to your blog provided that your comments sparked some interest for people to get to know you better. Half the battle won! Just make sure that you do not include too many merchants in one address. If you have a lot, do like what I did. One blog for ten to twelve merchants (even that was a lot) and then have another general business blog to include all the links to your other blogs/sites. So you only have to promote one blog to promote the other five or ten...

You can also promote your blog or website by participating in forums but make sure not to hard sell. Do not even suggest visiting your site/blog. Remember, people will be curious if you make interesting and useful comments. No need to hard sell and appears desperate. Cheap classified ads in your local news papers can bring good returns if you target the right ones. Try putting your website or blog address on a sticker and paste it on you car. You will be pleasantly surprised by the number of traffic that you get by doing just a simple thing...

All the best.
About the Author
A full time internet marketer working happily from home. Visit http://www.homebiz4ever.com to see how to promote six tested and proven affiliate programs simultaneously to earn a residual income. Visit http://homebiz4ever.blogspot.com to see how easy it is to promote your business websites.
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