If you are interested in working from home, you might think about affiliate marketing. You can make money by referring customers to merchants? websites to buy products.
Affiliate marketing is an easy business to get into, as you need only a few hundred dollars and the willingness to learn the business.
Is making money with affiliate marketing for you? You will need a few basic skills in order to be successful:
DO post blogs and articles about why people should buy your products. In order to make money with affiliate marketing, you need to let people know about your products. Blogs and articles on free sites like Squidoo are a great way to do this. Readers interested in a particular topic will see your blog posts and consider buying your product. Make sure you include a link to your ClickBank account so that potential customers know how to order merchandise from you!
Creativity. The key to making money with affiliate marketing is advertising. However, simply posting blogs encouraging people to buy a product, or sending emails asking them to do so will not work. These methods are considered Spam, and most people quickly become irritated with them. Therefore, you will have to find creative ways to advertise the products you are selling, such as posting blogs about a problem that the product helps solve, or creating a monthly newsletter that customers can subscribe to.
You could sign up for a free blogging service such as Blogger or WordPress. You can also use a site like Squidoo, which allows you to write about any topic you choose as long as it doesn’t violate their anti-spam policies. Write some articles about the products you are selling and how they can help people. Make sure to include your ClickBank link so that customers know how to purchase the products.
If you possess these skills and abilities, affiliate marketing might be an excellent way for you to make money. The easiest way to begin is to sign up with a site such as ClickBank. This site has literally thousands of products for you to choose from, and you can earn high commissions on every product you sell. Best of all, ClickBank takes care of processing and shipping orders, so all you have to do is refer customers to the site.
Making money as an affiliate marketer is easy! So what are you waiting for? Choose your products and get started today.
Now you’ve decided to start your own business, you need to work out exactly which corner of the market you are going to target. Whether you’re selling a product or a service (or both) you will not have much success unless you can narrow down your market to a specific area. If you cast the net too wide and try to cater to too many different consumer fields, you will end up pleasing none of them.
For example, if you want to buy a computer you’re not going to go looking in a furniture store are you? If you need a plumber you look up the word “plumber” in the telephone directory – you don’t start looking for an electrician. It’s a very simple but absolutely crucial point! You need to pick your market area carefully and the best way to do this is to find your own niche. But how do you go about finding this? It’s quite simple really…
What interests you?
The first place to start looking for your niche is within your own set of interests and hobbies. Many people will recommend that your niche should always be an area in which you have worked before as you will already have a high level of expertise – but I disagree with this.
First, if you have a high level of expertise at something but find that area of work boring, you’re going to find it really difficult to enjoy your work and stay committed. Second, I’m confident that you have plenty of interests or hobbies outside of work. If so, chances are you know more about this particular field than 90% of anyone else out there. Doesn’t that give you a high level of expertise?
For example, if one of your interests or hobbies is Dog Grooming I would happily wager that 9 out of 10 people you ask on the street wouldn’t even know where to start!. Expertise is all relative – so you should focus on what you enjoy as chances are you already know more than enough to bring value to your future customers. So, pick yourself a hobby or interest that you know you enjoy and can commit to and you’ve found your niche. Next, we need to make sure your niche can actually bring you some income.
Can Your Niche be Profitable?
I’m going to give you the short answer first: YES!
Pretty much any niche can be profitable if you approach it in the right way. In fact, think of the strangest, most specific and narrow niche that you can think of and type that into your favourite search engine. Chances are you’ll see at least one business making a good living out of this. For example, try typing “Dwarf for Hire” into Google and you’ll see what I mean! It doesn’t get much narrower than that.
So chances are your chosen niche is going to have a pretty big market base already. A good way to measure the popularity of the area you’ve chosen is by using the Google KeyWord Tool. This tool is completely free and allows you to type in any keyword(s) and find out how many people are searching for that term in any particular geographical area. Using my previous example, the term “Dwarf for Hire” gets around 800 searches a month on average!
This tool will also give you suggestions on other similar keywords that people are also searching for, which will help give you an idea of the total possible market out there for your business just by telling you who’s looking at what, and where they’re looking.
Of course niches with a wider appeal get much more attention, but if you want to work in a narrow field this just means that there’s less competition. I won’t get into the debates between whether “narrower is better,” but will only say that it’s more important to find a niche you’re interested in – rather than worrying about search engine traffic or monthly volume of enquiries. It’s quality that counts, not quantity.
If I could recommend just one article for you to read that covers this very subject it would be “one thousand true fans” by Kevin Kelly. This short piece (about 5-10 mins reading) essentially argues that you don’t need a huge customer base, rather a loyal one. If you can find one thousand loyal customers who regularly purchase from you then you will see a steady income for life. This figure can even be decreased somewhat depending on what sort of price point you are aiming for.
This article uses the example of a recording artist to illustrate its point. Let’s say you release 2 albums each year, plus some merchandise and concert tickets. For argument’s sake we’ll say that you charge $80 for all those things combined. If you have one thousand true fans each of these fans will purchase everything that you sell – meaning that you can expect an income of $80,000 each year.
This concept doesn’t have to apply to just recording artists, however. Whatever you decide to sell, if you can find a loyal customer base that regularly purchases from you then you’re all set. This figure doesn’t necessarily have to be one thousand, but would need to be enough to give you the income you’re looking for. This could be one hundred, fifty or even just ten people – the key is making sure that your customers find value with you and have a reason to make repeat purchases.
Let’s say you decide that you want to sell computers. If each unit sees a net profit of $200 and you are aiming to make $40,000 in a year, how may units would you need to sell? Based on these figures you would need to sell 200 units in a year. However, you also sell software packages which have a net profit of $20 per unit and you also sell extended warranties which make an average of $100 profit per unit.
On top of this you also have a premium rate support line which pulls in another $20 a year for every computer that you sell. Finally, you also offer component upgrades for everyone who buys a computer for you which will earn you an average of $40 profit per year for every computer sold. In total, you make $360 net profit each year for every loyal customer.
With these figures, to make $40,000 a year you would need 112 loyal customers. That’s less than 10 customers per month or one every 3 days. The best bit is that these customers will continue to purchase your products and services regularly, meaning that you can continue to make profit by selling your software, upgrade and support services for an additional $160 per year per loyal customer.
Using these figures, a loyal customer would spend $360 in the first year and then $160 each following year until they decide to buy a new computer, where the whole process would start over! This example can be applied to pretty much any niche – the key is identifying and targeting a loyal customer base and then making sure those customers are well looked after and get real value from your business.
If you can achieve this then I can guarantee that whatever niche you decide to focus on, you will be able to make a steady profit for life.
Is Your Niche Long-Term?
Once you have decided on your niche and made sure that you can make a profit, you need to make sure that any profits you make can be repeated in the long term. It’s no good starting up a business if you know that your revenue stream is going to stop after a few months.
For example, seasonal goods such as Christmas trees, Halloween pumpkins and Easter eggs quite obviously sell by the truck-load at certain points of the year, but aren’t very popular outside of these times. Does this same problem apply to your product or service? For example, have you picked a niche based on a short-term trend or fashion? If so, you need to make sure that you have a plan in place for when your product or service inevitably runs out of juice.
During the worst stages of the recent recession, many supermarkets saw a huge increase in the number of people purchasing their “eat at home” ranges and special offers – because people couldn’t afford to eat out any more. This was a fantastic profit machine while it lasted, but eventually people started to venture out to restaurants and bars once again. The reason that the supermarkets managed to take advantage of these polar-opposite trends is that they all saw it coming!
When data suggested people weren’t eating out any more, the supermarkets ran special offers on premium ready meals and bottles of wine. Once people went back to going out, the supermarkets addressed this trend by promoting special offers on clothing – with the accurate assumption that if people are going out more often, they are going to want to get dressed up!
While it’s unlikely that you have the commercial clout of a major supermarket, there’s nothing stopping you from keeping an eye on market trends and adjusting your approach to suit. If your niche is in a traditionally seasonal market area, is there anything you can do to promote your products or services during other times of the year?
This will obviously very depending on the niche you have chosen, but make sure you do your research to make sure that there aren’t any times of the year that are going to cause problems. As mentioned before, a great tool to help you with this is the “Google Trends”– which allows you to see trends in the number of people searching for your keywords, helping you identify times of the year where you are likely to see a drop in sales.
Google KeyWord Tool will also suggest “related keywords” which you can see alongside your main keywords. If you can find related searches that are high in volume during times that your main keywords are low, this will help you find ways to adjust your approach in hard times. Make sure you do your homework!
Carve Your Corner of the Market
Once you’ve decided on your niche and made sure you can see a steady income from this area, you need to think about finding your own corner of the market. If you don’t do this, any prospective customers are going to find it difficult to identify exactly what it is that you’re selling and are likely to look elsewhere.
Let me introduce you to Jill.
Jill is looking for a way to carve out her own corner of the market in the area of Dog Grooming – an example we touched on before. Will Jill be selling a product or a service, or both? Her focus is going to be different depending on which area she chooses.
For example, if Jill is selling a product she is going to need to make sure that her store or web page makes it clear what’s on offer. If she’s selling a product will she ship items long distance or will focus only on the local market? Will she stock a wide variety of products, or only products related to a specific aspect of Dog Grooming?
If Jill decides to sell a service, will she carry out this service herself? If so, she is going to be limited to a local area only, so how does she plan to promote herself within this geographical region? If she is selling someone else’s service (e.g., a national agency or franchise) then how does her target market vary within different geographical regions?
The reason that this section is SO IMPORTANT is because you need to make sure that any prospective customers stick around long enough to purchase from you. You’re not going to be able to do this unless you are offering them exactly what they want, so it is VITAL that you make it clear exactly what you’re offering from the start. Without this approach, even with a high volume of traffic, you will see a very low conversion rate.
For example, with her Dog Grooming business, Jill has decided to offer the following:
1) Products – “No more expensive Grooming fees! No more kennels! You can give your dogs all the care they need from the comfort of their own home. We sell all the products you need to get started in the exciting area of dog grooming. We offer 3 packages for you to purchase, depending on your level of expertise. We have the Starter Package, Intermediate Package and the Expert Package – each of which contains full instructions and everything you need to take care of your dog’s grooming needs at home!”
As you can see from the above example, Jill has made it clear from the first sentence exactly what value her business can provide (an alternative to professional grooming) and lists three specific packages that a customer can purchase from her. If Jill were simply to list all of her stock, how would people know what to buy? By narrowing down the options Jill has given her prospective customers a reason to stick around and hopefully make a purchase.
2) Services – “Don’t know where to start? We also offer a great value tutoring service for those of you who want to give your dog the best care – at home! We can send one of our trained groomers out to your home to show you how to make the most of your grooming package – at a time that suits you! We can visit you on a one-off basis, or you can choose one of our block-bookings at a discount and learn techniques usually reserved only for professionals. Get in touch to find out more!”
In additional to a well defined product line, Jill will also visit customers’ houses to show them how to use their purchases properly and teach them the techniques they need to do a good job. By doing this Jill is making sure that customers who buy her products have a reason to buy from her again – which also gives her the opportunity to meet them in person and form a strong relationship. This, in turn, makes it more likely for the customer to visit Jill’s business again in the future.
Due to all this hard work, Jill has managed to carve herself an easily identifiable corner of the market. When visiting her online web page or shop, prospective customers can easily see that Jill offers a great way to groom dogs without having to pay expensive grooming fees or take a trip into town and pay for a kennel for the day. Customers can also easily identify products that suit their exact needs and are given a range of products and packages to suit their individual circumstances.
If Jill hadn’t bothered to structure her business in this way, she would run the risk of not appealing to anyone because her approach was too vague. The key is to appeal to a specific type of customer and do it properly – rather than trying to please everyone. If you try to please everyone, you will inevitably end up pleasing no one, so make sure your customers know exactly what you can offer them and how this can address their needs.
SUMMARY OF STEP ONE
1) Find your niche. What interests you?
2) Is your niche profitable? Do some research on businesses already trading in this area.
3) Is your niche long-term? Use some online tools to measure your niche’s popularity throughout the year and make sure you identify and adapt to any potential drop in sales.
4) Carve yourself a corner of the market. Make sure your customers know exactly what to expect when they visit you – and don’t try to please everyone!
Steps two and three will follow soon in future articles – links will be provided here once they are published and available to view.
Until next time.
Nick Stephenson is a qualified marketer, ex-lawyer, and author. He is best known for his fiction work – the bestselling Leopold Blake series of thrillers – now available on Amazon.
Book One: Panic
Leopold Blake sighed and removed the gun from the hand of the dead senator. The body lay face-down on the hardwood floor, dressed in an expensive suit, a fresh exit wound to the back of the head staining the dead man’s white collar and neatly trimmed gray hair with dark blood. Leopold examined the left hand carefully, lifting it from the floor to get a better view in the dim light. Slowly, he sniffed the skin in long, drawn inhalations and noted a distinct smoky, metallic scent. The forensics team stood back, shuffling impatiently, waiting to get back to work. Leopold took no notice and continued sniffing. Satisfied, he stood and turned to the police lieutenant who was glaring at him from the back of the room.
“Thoughts, Bradley?” asked Leopold, brushing the dust from his knees to the floor.
The living room was spacious and decorated with expensive furniture, although it was in need of a serious cleaning. Warm cinders glowed in the fireplace, the flames having died hours earlier.
The lieutenant folded his arms. “You’re supposed to be the expert.”
“You look like a man with something to say. What’s your take on this?”
Bradley arched his eyebrows, further creasing his wrinkled forehead. Leopold wondered if another fifteen years would have the same effect on his own face, but he pushed the thought to the back of his mind and reminded himself he was still young, if a little scruffy around the edges. The lieutenant paced over to the body and glanced down, taking a second to compose his thoughts…
Do you remember when you were a kid and you dreamed about what you want to be when you grow up? This likely changed several times by the time you grew up! Then if you had an idea of what you wanted to do with your life, you may have gone to college to pursue that. You had to do research on which colleges had the best curriculum, how much it costs to go there, costs for living arrangements, etc. Then you determined whether it was feasible for you or not at that time. Do you have the grades to qualify for that school? Do you have the money? If not, what loans are available to you?
The point is people don’t just sit there and dream and then suddenly everything materializes so that they can realize their dream. They have to do planning and research and then develop that into a step-by-step process that will get them to where they want to go. They also need the ability to change direction if necessary, so the plans need to be both focused and flexible.
If they do go to school, when they graduate it will be the same type of routine where they will need to find the companies that hire whatever particular speciality they had pursued. Where is the company located? Would they need to move if you they were hired? Who do they need to see to get the job? Will the company pay them what they are expecting? Will they be willing to compromise if not? Will the company representatives like them and offer them a job after their interview?
Your plans are usually dependent on outside forces as well as your own resources as far as if you can make it happen – and importantly, if not, what other options do you have? It is always best to plan for contingencies no matter what. Reality is such that we shouldn’t ever be caught off-guard if anything unexpected happens. This can mean something as simple as always remembering to have a savings account so that you have resources to survive no matter what, and ideally to be able to pursue your dreams.
If your dream is to create a business in the Internet marketing industry, then all of the above applies. It seems to attract its share of ‘mavericks,’ as entrepreneurs do not necessarily have college degrees. They just need initiative and motivation and be willing to learn. Of course there are other options to learning other than college, and many resources are available on the Internet itself; so if someone decides that they want to go their own way and start their own business, then they would find out what it is they need to do and how and where to learn how to do it.
There are as many aspects or possible avenues to this as with anything else. You might want to be a web designer which along with computer programming would probably take some real solid instruction as they are both technical and as such are very exact sciences. This would be starting at the top and something that more than likely would take quite a while to master to the degree that you could build websites or develop systems.
Never fear there are less skilled jobs you can do in Internet marketing. For example, you could start your own affiliate membership program and be a mentor or coach, teaching and guiding your members who want to start an online business. In that case maybe you could hone up with some courses from an online community college in sales and marketing, business management and communications. If you enjoy working with people then this might become your dream.
However, maybe you are not all that ambitious or are unsure what way you want to go at this point. Then ‘test the waters’ by doing something less involved, such as just becoming an affiliate and focus on being a super affiliate in the future. Learn the ins and outs of the industry in that way; something like ‘working your way up’ the proverbial ‘corporate ladder.’ Determining what the difficulties may be for people, as well as the best techniques and strategies for marketing and advertising online would definitely help you get information and experience. Down in the trenches is a very effective place to learn and then you can share with those that come behind you.
One of the best ways to get started with an online business is to try affiliate marketing.
The primary reason being that everything is all put together for you, and you can just sit down and get started right off the bat with learning how to market a business on the Internet.
While some people may balk at the membership fees, they should actually be grateful that this is a small price to pay for all that they will be provided just by virtue of their membership. They will save untold hours and much more money in that again, everything is put together already.
There is no learning how to build a sales page because the affiliate program will provide one
-encoded with the affiliate ID that is associated with the membership. When any sales are made from that page, they will be credited to the member. Additionally the affiliate program will handle the customer service for the member’s customers, and process the transactions. So here we see our affiliate is saving time and money again as they do not have to provide either support or a payment gateway which can be very costly.
Additionally the affiliate program may provide other resources
-for their members such as training in Internet marketing, banners and other graphics for advertising purposes, authoresponder messages, an actual authorepsonder system, and list building mechanisms.
It is actually a very fair exchange that a member pays membership fees to compensate the program for the expenses they had in creating and maintaining not only the membership system but the product or service provided by the company as well. This again, greatly reduces the time for a learning curve and development for the member in that they can just walk in and use what is already there, rather than to need to create their own system and product.
Affiliate program membership makes it legal for members
-to profit from the company’s intellectual property. It is a very fair exchange that the company may benefit from the advertising and marketing the affiliates do to promote their own businesses to earn commissions. This is why they pay the commissions on top of all they do. The relationship is definitely a win/win all around for everyone.
The key however is for the affiliate to realize there is nothing magical about having an affiliate link.
They have to really work to make anything happen. They have to learn how to, and then they have to actually promote the link diligently in order to make any money. Nobody will ever see their link unless the affiliate does substantial marketing and advertising over time. They need to be very aggressive about it rather than lackadaisical (“lacking enthusiasm and determination; carelessly lazy”).
So if you are really serious about wanting to have an Internet business, try at least one affiliate program to see what it is all about; then give it a fair chance of at least 90-days where you consistently focus on developing your business. Even if you fail the first time, try another one. The more experience you have the more likely it is that you will succeed.
It’s a revenue sharing business relationship between the affiliate who agrees to promote the products or services, and the merchant who gives them.
The affiliate advertises the product owner’s services and will get a commission for each profitable referral. Every time a buyer is referred to the merchant’s website, via the affiliate’s efforts, and makes a purchase order, the affiliate gets a share of the profit. No fee is as a result of affiliate until profitable outcomes are realized. Compensation is based on either number of visits (Pay-per-click), registrant (Pay-per-lead), or commission for each sale (Pay-per-sale).
The opportunity to earn in affiliate Internet marketing can solely be limited by the affiliate’s willpower, creativity and strategy. It is a brilliant method to earn online, and also you would not have to provide your personal product or service to make a buck. By advertising your product owner’s products passionately, you get more in return. Making an Income in Internet affiliate marketing often start small but can get larger fast because the marketing campaign begins to build up steam.
There are a lot of ways that an affiliate marketer can do to maximize their profits.
If you ask any affiliate marketerhow many affiliate checks they’d want to receive, they may most certainly want to get as many as possible. Some affiliate checks are small, amounting to nothing greater than $25. While others are giant and may simply reach the hundreds and even more. Over time, these affiliate checks could build up to a very spectacular amount. Nevertheless, making a fortune in affiliate marketing is just not instant. You must put in sufficient work and effort as well. You have to use your imagination to seek out more ways to draw extra net traffic that can convert to gross sales for the merchant and revenue for you as well.
What number of affiliate checks do you want to obtain?
Most affiliate marketers will enthusiastically reply that they want to receive as many affiliate checks as possible. Nonetheless, is it as simple as it sounds? Does becoming a member of many affiliate marketers guarantee extra affiliate checks that actually amount to one thing? The answer is no, most affiliate marketers assume that joining multiple affiliate applications is a clever option. Because, it is vitally simple to hitch affiliate packages, and there may be really nothing to lose, affiliate entrepreneurs are tempted to join as many applications they can get their palms on. Thus, they fail to offer their affiliate packages enough attention and work that they ought to receive. The maximum potential of the affiliate programs are usually not realized and the resulting earnings from these programs will almost definitely be disappointing.
The best way to realize multiple streams of earnings is to focus on one associates program first. Select a product or service that you can promote passionately. Choose a product by which you could have full trust. The best services and products to promote are those who you utilize personally. Your prospects will have the ability to sense your sincerity every time you promote a product that you’ve experienced. This can enormously improve your credibility in addition to your product’s marketability and will actually encourage your prospect to purchase or get the product or service.
-then you may proceed to becoming a member of another affiliate program and repeat the process.
“Too much, too quickly” is a typical pitfall in affiliate marketing. Joining too many affiliate packages concurrently in the hopes of getting multiple streams of revenue simply doesn’t work.
Focus first on one associates program and work on it in order that it makes an excellent profit. Then, go find one other promising program and give it your best effort. The question should not be what number of affiliate checks you need to obtain, however what number of “excessive-paying” affiliate checks you can receive. The reply lies in your determination to succeed and dedication to maximize your earning potential. With the right instruments, the fitting actions, and perseverance you’ll be able to positively make an excellent revenue out of affiliate marketing.
It’s a revenue sharing business relationship between the affiliates who agrees to promote the products or services, and the merchant who gives them.
The affiliate advertises the product owner’s services and will get a commission for each profitable referral.
Every time a buyer is referred to the merchant’s website, via the affiliate’s efforts, and makes a purchase order, the affiliate gets a share of the profit. No fee is as a result of affiliate until profitable outcomes are realized. Compensation is based on either number of visits (Pay-per-click), registrant (Pay-per-lead), or commission for each sale (Pay-per-sale).
Affiliate Marketers can earn a few bucks to thousands of dollars with affiliate programs.
The opportunity to earn in affiliate Internet marketing can solely be limited by the affiliate’s willpower, creativity and strategy. It is a brilliant method to earn online, and also you would not have to provide your personal product or service to make a buck. By advertising your product owner’s products passionately, you get more in return. Making an Income in Internet marketing often start small but can get larger fast because the marketing campaign begins to build up steam.
There are a lot of ways that an affiliate marketer can do to maximize their profits.
If you ask any affiliate marketer how many affiliate checks they’d want to receive, they may most certainly want to get as many as possible. Some checks are small, amounting to nothing greater than $25. While others are giant and may simply reach the hundreds and even more. Over time, these affiliatechecks could build up to a very spectacular amount. Nevertheless, making a fortune in online marketing is just not instant. You must put in sufficient work and effort as well. You have to use your imagination to seek out more ways to draw extra net traffic that can convert to gross sales for the merchant and revenue for you as well.
What number of affiliatechecks do you want to obtain?
Most affiliate marketers will enthusiastically reply that they want to receive as many affiliate checks as possible. Nonetheless, is it as simple as it sounds? Does becoming a member of many affiliate marketers guarantee extra affiliate checks that actually amount to one thing? The answer is no, most affiliate marketers assume that joining multiple affiliate applications is a clever option. Because, it is vitally simple to hitch affiliate packages, and there may be really nothing to lose, affiliate entrepreneurs are tempted to join as many applications they can get their palms on. Thus, they fail to offer their packages enough attention and work that they ought to receive. The maximum potential of the affiliate programs are usually not realized and the resulting earnings from these programs will almost definitely be disappointing.
The best way to realize multiple streams of earnings is to focus on one associates program first.
Select a product or service that you can promote passionately. Choose a product by which you could have full trust. The best services and products to promote are those who you utilize personally. Your prospects will have the ability to sense your sincerity every time you promote a product that you’ve experienced. This can enormously improve your credibility in addition to your product’s marketability and will actually encourage your prospect to purchase or get the product or service.
As quickly as your first affiliate program is making an inexpensive revenue
-then you may proceed to becoming a member of another affiliate program and repeat the process. “Too much, too quickly” is a typical pitfall in affiliate marketing. Joining too many packages concurrently in the hopes of getting multiple streams of revenue simply doesn’t work.
Focus first on one associates program and work on it in order that it makes an excellent profit.
Then, go find one other promising program and give it your best effort. The question should not be what number of affiliate checks you need to obtain, however what number of “excessive-paying” affiliate checks you can receive. The reply lies in your determination to succeed and dedication to maximize your earning potential. With the right instruments, the fitting actions, and perseverance you’ll be able to positively make an excellent revenue out of affiliate marketing.