Looking for ways of making money online with little or no capital? One of the ways is to learn and practice the concept of internet marketing. A good step in this direction, (especially for a beginner) will be to promote or market other peoples’ existing products and services online for commissions, using applicable methods. This methodology of internet trade is what is referred to as affiliate marketing. The essence is to register as merchants’ affiliate, then source and refer potential internet buyers to the merchant’s pitch page (where the products are advertised and sold). Every conversions (referred buyer that actually makes a purchase) made will fetch you a predefined commission which can be as high as 95% of the actual price of the product. The more conversions you get, the higher your earnings via commissions…
Affiliate programs are all over the internet and you can join virtually anyone of them FREE of charge. They all have one thing in common; products and services to market or promote for conversions and commissions. These products and services are made available in the “marketplace” or "storefront". All you have to do is register with them and get your affiliate ID and referral link, then select products to promote. These parameters will be used to track and monitor your efforts and effect payment of commissions accordingly (based on conversions). Apart from commissions earned for every actual buyer you referred to the vendor’s pitch (product advert) page, you also stand a chance of making money on commissions from referring people to become fellow affiliates like you; some commissions even spiral into various levels of affiliate referrals with you being the main referrer getting commissions on your sub-referrer and your sub-referrer’s sub-referrer etc.
As an affiliate, you’re often assigned a “referral link” distinguished by your chosen username or affiliate id. This link is what you use to refer potential buyers/affiliates to the products and services offered at the affiliate program’s page or website. The link is also used to track your conversion performance and commission packages accordingly. It is therefore very important that you refer potential customers using your referral link so as to avoid losing the commission assigned for the conversion.
There are however, some basic challenges involved in affiliate marketing. The most common of them, which requires careful consideration, are listed below:
- Sourcing out and registering with the right affiliate programs and choosing profitable products (with good commissions) to promote for better conversion rate.
- Ensuring that the content on the pitch pages (where the chosen product(s) is advertised) are appealing enough for conversions… if it is not appealing to you, chances are that potential buyers will also turn it down. Also check to ensure that the payment links on the pitch page does not divert referred customers to other optional payment pages where your affiliate link will be forfeited and therefore your conversion commissions will be lost.
- Creating convincing review page(s) optimized with niche keywords/phrases, where your chosen affiliate products/programs can be reviewed and promoted before referring potential buyers to the vendor’s pitch page/website using your affiliate link. This could be in form of a website, blog or even a webpage dedicated to the chosen products/programs.
- Ways to go about actually promoting your referral links via which potential buyers are referred for conversions and commissions accordingly.
- Generating Targeted traffic to your landing (preview and promotion) page(s) for greater chances of conversions at the vendor’s pitch page.
Basic Research Skill
Affiliate product/program choice for promotion is of utmost importance here, it holds the ace as per your chances of success or failure. Careful research is needed before a decision is made… High valued, high quality, good commission and not necessarily over-popular products that are not easily obtainable for free online can come in handy. Also look out for products that are tested for deliverables within specified period. Most online shoppers are interested in products related to:
- Discounts: - Price slashes or cheap alternatives to choice digital products
- Information: - On health, make money related and personal development etc.
- Entertainment: - Music, Movies and Games etc.
Be sure to choose products/programs whose niche captures any of these categories. You will need to do keyword research (using the chosen product niche) on the best keywords/phrases that potential buyers might use to search for the product(s) via the search engines. The keywords/phrases of choice should be those with minimal competition and high search volume. These keywords/phrases will be used to create optimized content for your product/program promotion page, website or blog… From the title of the page, description, heading, subheading, and all through the body content; making sure you don’t SPAM up your pages with unnecessary repetitions. A basic knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) will help here (Google search). With that in place, you’ll have a ready, relevant and targeted traffic product promotion page/blog with high chances of conversions.
As stated above, it all depends on your impressive reviews which will guide potential buyers to the vendor’s convincing pitch page via your affiliate link for conversion/purchase. To help aid your promotions, you can also register your adverts with free classified ads websites to promote your review pages or directly link potential buyers to the merchant’s product pages using your affiliate links. Websites with vibrant traffic that offer such services for free includes craiglist.com and backpage.com
Affiliate Programs Online
There are lots of affiliate programs that you can join for free and start making money online from commissions on referrals or conversions using your affiliate links as assigned by the respective programs. You however need to be careful on the choice of programs or products to promote (some are outright scams)… You can detect scam websites and programs using the tips here. However, there are tested popular affiliate networks that you can immediately pitch your tent with and start marketing/promoting almost instantly; these includes Linkshare, Commission Junction, Amazon, Moreniche(healthcare) and Clickbank (to name a few). They all have products from various merchant vendors that you can promote for varying commissions… You also get paid for referring potential affiliates as mentioned above.
One of the most widely sort after affiliate program on which lots of other affiliate programs depend is CLICKBANK which offers over 10,000 digital products in its market place for affiliates to promote and earn commissions on conversions. They have a very good payment/purchase tracking system that ensures that you get paid for your promotional efforts resulting in conversions. I recommend you join the CLICKBANK affiliate program as there are other interesting affiliate programs that require that you get a CLICKBANK ID to join them (the affiliate programs use CLICKBANK’s tracking system to make payments). If you’re into programming and you have quality digital products like software, e-books and creative programs/ideas of your own to put up for sale, you can also include them in the marketplace or storefront by registering as a publisher in CLICKBANK and affiliates will help you promote them. Same is applicable for other publisher-affiliate network websites online… Just do a search and select those with quality and vibrant traffic.
Some countries are however exempted from the benefits that Clickbank offers online, basically because of records of fraudulent activities from the affected countries. However, there are paid online services that provide virtual addresses (including phone numbers) from countries that are not affected which you can register with and use for your clickbank registration process. Your payment check is sent to your virtual address and either credited to your online account for withdrawal or sent to your actual address as desired. You can get this from graphcard.com.
Lost about choosing a product to market from the marketplace/storefront?
If you’re confused about what product to choose and promote (say in clickbank marketplace), there are other online malls (market places) offering affiliates the opportunity to promote already researched quality products selected from the clickbank marketplace (using your own affiliate link based on your clickbank ID). You will get affiliate links from the mall that refers potential buyers to a the online mall (market place) customized for you, where thousands of quality products are already reviewed and assigned your clickbank affiliate hoplinks for possible commissions on conversions… A good example of such a mall is CBMALL where tested clickbank products are put up for promotion by would be affiliates for commissions as provided directly from clickbank. That is a free product review website fully customized with your clickbank affiliate hoplinks (which can be cloaked)… All you have to worry about is driving traffic to your customized CBmall’s product review website (they also cater for this).
To be concluded...
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