Affiliate Marketing Basics

By January 11, 2011Affiliate Marketing

Let’s face it: We’d all like to make a little extra money here and there. And we’d like to do as little work as possible to get it.

Having sponsors advertise on your blog can be a great way to do just that. But finding advertisers with money to spare can be tough, and it’s even harder to get the big guns — with their big money — to come on board if you’re just a little guy yourself.

Lucky for you, though, there’s a little thing called affiliate marketing that can help companies earn a bit of extra money with very little extra legwork apart from your initial time investment.

According to blogger Heather Sokol’s introduction to affiliate marketing, the process is simple: Affiliates (site publishers and bloggers) direct customers to their partners, where the customers’ sales are completed, then the partners pay affiliates a commission for the referral. It’s the modern version of companies paying a “finders fee.”

Affiliate marketing is also an inexpensive way for companies to promote and sell their products through a network of online resellers. It’s sort of like having a network of retail stores selling your product on your behalf.

Affiliate marketing experts can make $10,000 or more in a single month, because they work hard, promote their online store, and build their networks. The upside of that is, the more people hear about the affiliate marketer’s site, the more they hear about the retailer’s product. And the more people who buy through the affiliate store, the more people who hear about the retailers company.

However, only 1% – 5% of affiliate marketers reach that super affiliate level. And while some companies may worry about paying $10,000 in affiliate fees to a single person, think about how much that person had to sell in order to be paid that much.

Affiliate marketers find their success by finding a unique niche that will only appeal to thousands of people, not millions. By doing this, they are able to find the marketing channels that will reach those thousands, rather than wasting a lot of time and energy trying to compete with the Wal-Marts and McDonalds of the world.

There are niches for nearly any product you can think of — hiking equipment, business products, even a template for the WordPress blogging platform — that affiliate marketers are making a significant amount of money from.

As marketers you should consider making affiliate marketing part of your marketing toolbox. At OperationROI, we can show you how to do this.

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