If you’ve ever thought about having a web-based business, you may have felt overwhelmed with the idea of having to stock, sell, and ship things to a worldwide customer base. But the thing is, you can make money online without creating an online store and without dealing with all the trappings of a traditional business. The way you can do this is by joining an affiliate program and featuring affiliate products on your website. If you’re just starting out as a potential internet business, you should strongly consider joining an affiliate program. It’s one of the easiest things for a beginner to get into when it comes to web based businesses.
You may be unfamiliar with the concept of affiliate marketing, but it’s pretty simple. When you sign up or register as an affiliate with online merchants, you get paid commissions when you drive sales from your site to their site. Different merchants structure their affiliate programs differently. Some pay you for every click that comes from your site, some pay you whenever someone from your site clicks and signs up for their online newsletter, and some pay you for actual sales that come through your site. You don’t have to have any stock of your own or worry about shipping the actual product to the customer. The merchant’s site does all that. You just send the merchant potential customers.
There are thousands of online business that offer affiliate programs. Some have a great track record while others do now. Do your research and choose your merchants wisely. They will be your business partners. If you send traffic to a merchant that provides poor customer service or an inferior product, this will reflect on your business in the eyes of your users. People will remember that you recommended this business, product or service and could consider you guilty by association. If this happens, users may be less likely to return to your site or trust your recommendations again in the future.
You want a merchant you’ll trust with your web visitors. It helps if you choose a merchant that sells something you might actually be interested in yourself. You may even want to test the merchant personally by purchasing the product yourself before promoting it on your website. You can always return it later. How was your experience working with this merchant? Remember, the way they treat you is the way they will treat the visitors you send them.
You also want to select products and services that appeal to the typical visitor to your site. If you’re running a website about dogs, don’t choose a cat toy affiliate to hook up with. Pick something that you honestly think your visitors will be interested in. If you don’t, you’ll be wasting your own, the merchant’s and the potential customer’s time.
Once you’ve signed on as an affiliate, your job is basically the same as it ever was: increase traffic to your website with great content. The more traffic you get, the more potential you have for sending someone through to the merchant’s site, and the more you’ll make in the way of commissions. It’s not going to be instant overnight success, but you’d be surprised how well you can do with some time and effort.