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Affiliate Marketing
How to Make Money Promoting Other People's Products

Whether you sell products or services, you should consider affiliate marketing as a way to add extra income streams to your business.

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to build a business on the Internet. But it can also be a great way to expand your existing product line while you are growing through those early years.

How do affiliate programs work?

Basically as an affiliate, (also called associates, referrals or bounty programs) you are partnering with a merchant to promote their products. You earn a commission that can vary from 1 or 2% to as much as 100 %. Some are one-time payments while others can provide recurring income.

Some mercants pay for sales or leads. And some sweeten the deal after you make a significant amount of referrals., which calls its affiliates, "associates" has the best known program of this kind.

When starting out in affiliate marketing, make sure that anything you promote relates closely to your business and your customer base. You should only promote products you have tried and on which you are willing to stake your reputation.

Take the time to learn about affiliate marketing. The best place to start is to learn from  "super affiliates," who have already made six-figure incomes selling other people's products online.

Here are some of the tools I used to get started with affiliated marketing.

Affiliate Marketing: Super Affiliate HandbookRosalind Gardner is author of The Super Affiliates Handbook, How I Made $436,797 in one year selling other people's stuff online. She also publishers the popular blog, "Net Profits Today."

The other source I found useful is Anik Singal's Affiliate Classroom, an online magazine about building an affiliate business.

There's a flip side to affiliate marketing. If you offer products of your own, you can promote them to a wider audience using affiliate marketing. Not only can you increase your sales, but it also means you have all those affiliates sending traffic to your website. I call that a win-win situation.

There are several affiliate networks that will help you create an affiliate program for your products. Affiliate networks function as brokers between merchants and affiliates. Commission Junction, Linkshare and Performics are the major affiliate networks. Clickbank specializes in digital products and has its own built-in affiliate network┬╣.

As an affiliate marketer, you will open an account with one or all of these networks, to select products they represent. In some cases, merchants manage their affiliate programs through shopping cart services. In those situations, you will deal directly through them.

What do you need to succeed as an affiliate marketer?

In the past, it was possible to succeed as an affiliate without a website by purchasing pay per click adds carrying your affiliate ID that linked straight to a merchant's landing page.

That is changing and many merchants prefer to deal with affiliates that have their own websites. Yahoo's Search engine requires affiliates to drive traffic to a website other than the merchant's site.

One of the best ways to succeed in affiliate marketing is by promoting merchant products to your email list in a newsletter or blog. Some of the most successful super affilates have been those with large email lists. That's why you hear the expression, "The money's in the list."

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to get started on the Internet, but it is not "get rich quick." Expect to put in time to learn, and time after that to manage your business. 

┬╣Gardner, Rosalind, The Super Affiliates Handbook, p. 100.

Get one of my favorite resources -- a copy of Affiliate Classroom Magazine. This issue features everything you should know about using email marketing to promote your affilate programs. Grab your copy of Affiliate Classroom Magazine now.

Marcia Ming


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