Blogs and websites that utilize advertising, such as Google AdSense, provide one means of making money online. Since the viability of many of the most profitable article types, such as news and current events, are short-lived, it’s essential to branch out with your online money-making ventures. If you create an affiliate site, it can prove a viable long-term money-making opportunity.
In affiliate marketing, the goal is to promote products and services through a website geared toward consumers who are shopping for those items. You do not have to have products to sell yourself. Instead, you sign up with companies who fulfill the orders of the consumer. For instance, if you are a member of Amazon’s affiliate program, each purchase link on your affiliate site links directly to Amazon, the consumer purchases through Amazon, and Amazon fulfills the order. As the affiliate marketer who brought Amazon the sale, you get a percentage of the item’s sale price, called an affiliate commission.
Choosing Your Niche
Before diving into the world of affiliate marketing, you must determine the type of products or services you wish to promote. Keep in mind, you’ll be writing numerous articles about the product or service in question, so it helps to choose a subject of interest to you. If you like yoga, for instance, consider starting an affiliate site for yoga products, like DVDs, attire and equipment.
Investigating Your Niche
Once you determine the type of products you want to promote, it’s time to do some research. Though Sasquatch may be your first love, you may find there simply aren’t enough products to make affiliate marketing of Sasquatch memorabilia a viable option. On the other hand, you may find multiple companies selling Sasquatch merchandise, who also offer affiliate programs, to determine that Sasquatch is a perfect affiliate niche market.
Creating Your Site
Companies who offer affiliate programs want to take a look at your website before approving you as an affiliate, so you’ll need the site up and running before applying for affiliate programs.
The first step needed to create an affiliate site is choosing and purchasing a domain name. The name should offer some indication of the types of products or services you plan to sell. Yogamasters.com or Yogatime.com, for example, gives you an idea of what you’ll find on the site. Once you choose a name, check availability and make your purchase with a domain registrar, such as Namecheap or GoDaddy.
To launch your site, you’ll also need a web hosting package from one of the numerous web hosting services online. Check out WebHostingGeeks.com and WebHostingReviews.com for reviews of web hosting services to find the web host that best suits you. Pay special attention to the “uptime” listed for each host. This shows the reliability of the host to keep their servers up, which is necessary for consumers to access your site.
Building Your Site
Affiliate websites can be as simple or as complex as you want to take the time to make them. Sales have been made through sites as simple as WordPress blogs. When designing your affiliate site, consider whether or not you would make a purchase through your website. Cheap and fast may get your site up, but a good-looking HTML site may result in more sales.
Signing Up for Programs
Once you know your niche, you must sign up for the affiliate programs of companies that offer products or services within your niche. Good places to find affiliate programs include Clickbank, Commission Junction and Share-A-Sale. Since Amazon sells such a wide variety of products, the Amazon Associates Program should be one of the first places you sign up. You’ll likely find multiple products on Amazon that you can promote through your site.
Once your site is up and you have found some affiliate programs you like, the real work begins. To keep your site ranking high in the search engines, a necessity for sales, you’ll need a steady supply of content. Good content to place on affiliate sites includes product reviews or comparisons, as well as information pieces, such as articles detailing how to use specific products. On a yoga site, you may have an article on basic yoga poses for beginners followed by an article on the best “Yoga for Beginners” DVDs. Any article that specifically relates to a product should include an affiliate link to make it easy for readers to make the purchase.
Abiding by the Rules
As you sign up for each affiliate program, don’t forget to read the affiliate agreement. It’s essential to work within the rules of each affiliate program. Non-compliance with affiliate rules may result in termination. Amazon Associates requires a disclosure on each site where you use their affiliate links, for instance, and many affiliate programs have rules regarding methods of advertising.
Reaping the Rewards
Once you start earning commissions from affiliate programs, those commissions will accumulate on a monthly basis. Different affiliates pay on different schedules, but you can expect to see your first payment within 30 to 90 days after your first month of sales.
Starting an affiliate site is a great way to make some extra money and explore the world of online business. However, you need to realize that it takes a great deal of time and persistence to create an affiliate site and make it profitable. But if you are willing to put in the work, your efforts will no doubt be rewarded.
“Written by Ryan Avila who is a content writer sharing his knowledge and experience on affiliate and niche marketing”