What Is Affiliate Marketing?

By: Jason Bacot

One of the most exciting ways of generating an income online today, is through affiliate marketing. It's not only legitimate, but it can be fun, and very lucrative for those who master it. What affiliate marketing is, for those of you who are new to it, is where you sign up with a company and promote their product or service for them. Then for each sale made from the link they give you, you get paid a commission. All you do is drive traffic to a pitch page that leads them to a sales page where they can get the product.

Even though this sounds simple when you word it like 'all you do', it's really not as easy as it sounds. But it does have some very good advantages over other types of businesses you may be thinking of starting. Number one is that you don't have to have your own product or service. You can make money selling someone else's product. That means that they take care of collecting the money and shipping the product. Your job is just to steer people to the product by advertising it online, or even with some offline advertising. Some affiliate programs supply you with a ready-made site for promoting their products. But many don't, and this means you'll need to get a domain name and a site.

One of the most important steps you need to take first, is in the selection of the product or service you intend to promote. Due to the time and effort you're going to need to put into it, this selection needs to be something you totally believe in and can deal with each and every day. The first few months are the hardest for the beginner in affiliate marketing. It takes time, effort, determination, and staying power to get over the hump that lays between the 'beginner' stage and becoming an 'effective and successful' affiliate marketer.

Once you find your product, or 'niche', then you get the domain name and site. Most all of the 'good' affiliate programs have training and marketing tools to help you learn your new trade. If you follow their methods, you should have no problem learning the ropes of marketing. If you can write good articles, then you have a good weapon right off the bat. You can write a review of your product and put it on your site. Then you can submit it to other sites, and to directories, and to forums. Articles are excellent ways to build traffic and back-links to your site.

In building a business, you want whatever customers you manage to get, to be 'repeat' customers. This will only happen if they learn to trust what you say. Building trust is a must for success. Besides giving good information, always try to give away something for free. Bonuses go over well with your readers and new customers. It's like running a special down at the clothing store - half off certain items and a free gift just for stopping by. This is good business, and brings in customers.

Once you find that you've learned how to be effective at affiliate marketing, and you can make money at home, you're going to love the freedom that comes with it. It's really comforting to know that you can generate an income whenever you want, and you can control all the aspects of it that affect your life. Don't underestimate the power of 'networking'. Social networks are excellent ways to find like-minded people who are willing to share information and send prospects your way. Affiliate marketing really brings you some control over your life. If you can stick it out, you'll be glad you did.

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