Admit it … selling something online, from the comfort of your own home office, would be great. More specifically, selling something from your own home office that you don’t have to stock, that you don't have to ship, and where you don't have to deal with customers would be great. This sounds like the perfect job, doesn't it?
But what if you have nothing to sell? Let’s say you’re not an author, and you are not a professor, nor do you manufacture anything. Can you still make money by selling things part time from home?
Yes, and it's called Affiliate Marketing. And it works something like this:
A person registers with some company's (merchant's) affiliate program (retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Vonage, etc). This person then “drives" or “refers" Internet traffic to these merchants. When a referred visitor purchases some product, say a book or piece of software, the person who referred the visitor is paid a commission for generating the sale.
The person or company that owns the product will be responsible for stocking it, getting it to the customer and dealing with any customer service issues. You, as the affiliate, have nothing more to do with the transaction except cashing your check.
What a job!
You’re first step is to decide what to market.
Deciding what to market has been made a lot easier by the emergence of Affiliate Networks. Affiliate Networks are also know as “Pay for Performance Networks" or “Marketing Solutions Providers". They all provide basically the same service, which is to allow affiliates to search for and market the products of the companies ("merchants") in their network.
The process works basically like this:
1. A person who wishes to sell something signs up with an Affiliate Network. They now become an “affiliate".
2. The affiliate searches or browses the Affiliate Network for products that they think they might be able to sell.
3. When the affiliate finds a product they want to sell, they are given their own “affiliate link" to the website where a customer can purchase the product. This link is encoded with the affiliate's uniquely identifying number.
4. The affiliate sends or “drives" potential customers to the company's website via their affiliate link.
5. If a customer purchases the product then the affiliate gets credit for that sale and earns a commission.
6. At the end of the pay period (defined by the Affiliate Network) a single paycheck consolidating all commissions for all products sold is issued to the affiliate.
"Driving" customers to the company's website is where the real fun resides. There are two main methods for driving online traffic to these companies:
It takes more time to build a website with all of the affiliate links. However, you can use your website to “pre-sell" the company and/or products that you are promoting. In addition, you can capture the email addresses of your visitors. These can be used later to offer more products and generate even more sales. Luckily, there are software programs available that can make building a website a breeze.
Affiliate Networks are free to join.
They make their money by charging the merchants a percentage of their sales. Some networks will allow just about anyone to join, while others are more particular . . . maybe requiring that you own a website that receives a certain number of visitors each month.
Some of the most popular Affiliate Networks are:
ClickBank is one of the easy ones to join. They offer mostly downloadable products (i. e. ; ebooks, software, etc. ). They also allow you to browse their product directory before you signup. In addition, affiliates are not required to even own a website to join. That makes this a perfect starting point.
You can do affiliate marketing full or part time
One great aspect of this business is that you can put as little or as much time into it as your schedule allows. Many people start by just doing a few hours a week after work or on weekends. Just have fun with it and the money will come!
Much, much more…
This has just been a very basic overview of affiliate marketing. For those people who want to grow this into a full-time “at-home” business there is much more they can learn to do. Topics such as ad placement, search engine optimization, link building, auto-responders and others are very important, but beyond the scope of this article.
For more information or resources pertaining to this article, please visit WorldWideReviews Work at Home Archive at http://www.worldwidereviews.com/blog/Archive.htm
Copyright © by John Lester
John Lester is owner and publisher of the acclaimed
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