So, how to make money with affiliate marketing is a common question for anyone looking to make some money from home or even to start a full time career as an affiliate marketer and replace their existing career.
On the surface, making money as an affiliate marketer seems to be an incredibly attractive proposition. You are told on the Warrior Forum internet marketing forum and other similar forums such as digitalpoint.com, blackhatworld.com, that it is an easy way to create a passive income.
Frankly, it isn’t.
It is possible, it’s true, but does require considerable skill, hard work, marketing skills, native intelligence, and a good entrepreneurial mind. The number of people who actually succeed as affiliate marketers, or make any significant money online, is incredibly small.
If you spend any time on the Warrior Forum for example, you would form the impression that making money online is easy and you will hear the same silly mantras: “take massive action”, “don’t give up”, “success is just around the corner”, and so on.
The promise of trading a humdrum nine to five humdrum job for working from home in your pyjamas at a time of your choosing is a compelling one for most people.
But most of the Warriors that you will come across on the Warrior Forum or similar forums are not making 10% of what they claim and are making chump change in the delusional hope that one day they will have a proper online business.
It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. And it is sad to see the number of bright eyed newcomers wasting their time and money chasing the dreams and delusions that are the daily diet of popular internet marketing forums.
How Affiliate Marketing Works
Firstly, it is important to understand how affiliate marketing works. Put simply, if you take a look at Amazon.com or Clickbank.com you firstly sign up as an affiliate. You then choose a product to promote and you are given an affiliate code to place on your website or on a site like Squidoo.com or Hubpages.com where you can create a lens on Squidoo or a Hub on Hubpages.
Once someone clicks on your link and goes to Amazon or the Clickbank product creator’s site and makes a purchase you will have earned a commission.
The commission can range from 4% on Amazon up to 75% on Clickbank.com for the digital products which are in their marketplace.
This looks simple but the key when you are operating off a 4% commission on Amazon.com is the need to generate a lot of sales. And to do this you need to generate a huge amount of traffic to your website as only a small percentage of visitors may click through your affiliate link to go to Amazon or Clickbank.
And of these visitors who click through and visit those sites, only a small percentage will actually buy.
So, this is the basis of how affiliate marketing works. It looks simple. However you do need to generate a lot of traffic if you are promoting products with a low affiliate commission percentage.
Clickbank Affiliate Marketing
Clickbank.com is the largest site for downloadable digital products and the commission rates look very attractive, ranging from 50% to 75% generally. It is these massive commission rates that make Clickbank affiliate marketing such an attractive proposition, on the surface.
The problem is that many of the products in the Clickbank market place are pure dross and any self-respecting would be online business owner is bound to have great difficulty recommending them to anyone.
It is rumoured that there are good products on Clickbank and it is true to say that Clickbank have cleaned up their act in the last 12 months or so. But the reality is that the good products are in a small minority and Clickbank still insists that the product creator offers a money back guarantee of up to 60 days or longer.
Niche Affiliate Marketing
Niche affiliate marketing refers to the need to concentrate on specific niche markets rather than trying to succeed in a hugely competitive market such as weight loss or make money online.
So, rather than trying to make money as an affiliate marketer in the massive weight loss market you might concentrate on the niche of losing weight for women who have just had a baby or for busy office workers.
You might also consider focus on a particular area that you are knowledgeable or passionate about. But the key point is that you choose your market carefully and don’t be lured by the promise of easy riches and huge commissions in very competitive markets.
Remember 75% of 0 sales is still 0 income.
Affiliate Marketing Strategies
There are a number of different affiliate marketing strategies that you can employ.
One which works very well is the “review site”. This type of site will review either one product or many in a particular market and your goal is to rank well in the search engines for the keywords and phrases used by people searching for honest reviews of the product.
People looking for specific products when they search are good prospects for a sale as they are generally at the end of the research before buying cycle that most people go through before making a purchase online.
So if these type of people land on your site while they are rationalising their decision to purchase and you are the last site they visit for this affirmation of their buying decision, then you will make sales.
An alternative affiliate marketing strategy is to create site that you are knowledgeable about and write lots of useful information demonstrating your interest and passion and provide great information for people with similar interests.
On this type of site the goal is to attract people like you-people with similar interests. Once you become a trusted source of information in this niche market and make a recommendation about a particular product or service that has impressed you there is a great chance of a sale.
Best Affiliate Marketing Program
You may be searching for the best affiliate program but it is hard to be definitive here. Because the best affiliate marketing program will be the one that shows you the best return on your investment of time and money.
This will depend on
- Your interests, hobbies, passions, knowledge
- Your ability to generate traffic to your website or page containing your affiliate link
- Your ability to convert this traffic to sales
- Your knowledge of sound, time tested marketing principles
- An ability to write good copy to persuade visitors to buy through your link or to sign up for your subscriber list
- An appreciation of the psychology of selling and the fundamental principles of persuasion
- And a few other factors.
So looking for a good affiliate program which will generate quick and easy profits will be a futile exercise.
As I have stated at the outset, the number of people who succeed at affiliate marketing is small which is not surprising as the number of start-up businesses which fail in the offline world is very high also.
And you must remember that the barriers to entry to starting a business online are so much lower that you are bound to have more dreamers and fantasists who actually buy the lie that you can earn push button profits and don’t have to work hard and approach your online affiliate business just like any other business.
Affiliate Marketing Tools
The affiliate marketing tools that will ensure your success as an affiliate online all relate to the points raised above.
That is, you will need to be able to generate organic traffic in your chosen niche and convert that traffic to sales.
So any book, course, teaching program, or any other source of information which teach you how to achieve these two goals of traffic and conversions are the only affiliate marketing tools you will need.
And to learn these necessary skills you need to accept that you are setting up a business and need to work..and work hard.
You need to commit to acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills and approach your new online business in a professional, committed way.
Once you do this you will have an exponentially better chance of succeeding as an affiliate marketer and give yourself a much better chance of being in the small percentage of people who fall into the 5%-10% who succeed.