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Affiliate Marketing News : What Is It and How Do I Find It?

May 21, 2008
In the next couple of weeks I will publish a series of articles, each will detail a step on the way to a rewarding affiliate marketing business. The first article is written for people who are completely new to the subject and are still looking for information. I will suggest a simple definition of affiliate marketing and show some simple ideas for finding lucrative products.

This article is not meant for skilled marketers or for people who are familiar with affiliate marketing and with the process of identifying products to promote, as it will discuss only the very basics. Hopefully some of the future articles will cover advanced steps, which even veteran marketers will find beneficial.

I will start by explaining what affiliate marketing is. Well, I like to say that Affiliate Marketing is to the 21st century what the Gold Rush was to the 19th century. The gold is there - one only needs to find it. But, on a more practical note: Affiliate Marketing is simply an agreement between you and a merchant or a product publisher, that says that the merchant will pay you a percentage of each and every sale he or she makes to a customer that you have driven to their web site.

The "product" may be physical - from a bar of soap to a private plane; it may be digital - anything one can instantly download from the Internet: ebooks, software, video courses etc.; and it may be a subscription or a registration to a newsletter or a list. Tens of thousands of companies pay their affiliates a commission for a sale, a registration or a lead.

You can see that the fortunes are there, hidden under the ground in Internet land. You need to go out there and dig it out. Most new affiliate marketers learn that their first step, i.e. finding the right product, is the most complicated one.

Here are a few ways to start:

1. Think of a product that you have purchased online and were very happy with. Try to become an affiliate. Visit the product's web site or sales page and click on the link to the "affiliate program." You can read there all the details you would want to know.

2. Start thinking about your hobbies, things you are interested in, things you have knowledge about. Perhaps you are a member of some forums in which you discuss your passion. This will help you a lot later, in your promotions. Let's say you like basketball; you know everything about the game, the teams, and the players. Start searching for products that are associated with basketball, find their affiliate programs and start promoting them.

3. Try to think of something that is very popular in the United States, but hasn't reached Europe yet, register to become an affiliate and start a Google Adwords campaign in France or in Great Britain. And, vice versa. Perhaps you've been to Europe and discovered a great product that is not yet known in North America. Contact the production company and start promoting it in the US.

4. Try to follow the hot items that your children and/or other young people spend money on. Teenagers are a vast group of consumers.

5. Read popular magazines and see what new fashions and products they report about.

6. And let's not forget the obvious: register to become an affiliate at Commision Junction, ClickBank and other Providers of affiliate programs. Search their marketplace to find their best selling products.

In Article 2 I will describe the second step on the way to rewarding affiliate marketing.
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