You and the Internet: An Awesome Combination
The internet has created many opportunities for you to earn an extra income working at home.
You might be a single mom, a college student, a retiree or simply someone who wants to get out of the 9 to 5 rat race, a soul sucking job (JOB = Just Over Broke) and become your own boss.
You might simply be sick and tired of the awful commute to and from work in grid-locked traffic. Or any other reason at all. There are internet based businesses that you can run for total personal satisfaction and a nice income.
One of the easiest and quickest ways of earning an online income is affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is essentially referral marketing with a commission. When you refer a new customer to a business that has an affiliate program, you get paid. For example, if you're an Amazon affiliate and you recommend a high-end digital camera or espresso coffee maker, and people buy that item through your affiliate link, Amazon will pay you a percentage of the sale.
There are many things to like about affiliate marketing.
Most affiliate programs are free to join, so compared to a business in the high street, there are no startup costs. Most affiliate programs are also fast to join. They will have a simple sign-up form and then you can start posting links and ads within a few minutes. Others might have more stringent acceptance into their programs.
There are no inventory, supplies or other carrying costs for you to worry about. The affiliate company takes care of providing the service or product to the customer that you have promoted to.
No product creation or service providing. No shipping or hassling with returns. The company takes care of everything, including any returns or complaints. Your responsibility ends with finding a prospective customer.
To get all your questions about affiliate marketing answered, find out more at Affiliate Marketing: Your Questions Answered.
You do need a website. More about this further on in this article. If you've never created a website before, don't be concerned. We have ways of making it easy.
And the affiliate company provides everything you need to promote their product and refer customers so that you get paid your commission. Typically, they will provide you with images and text that you place on your website (it's easy) so that when a visitor clicks and then buys the product, you automatically get credited with the commission.
Like any online business, you can make money 24/7 while you sleep or play.
No special license or training is required, but it helps to know how to market and the best ways to promote affiliate programs. We will cover these aspects in this article.
Becoming an Amazon Affiliate
If you are going to be an affiliate marketer, you need to become an Amazon affiliate.
There are any number of affiliate programs (and we'll talk about them later) that pay better affiliate commissions than Amazon. In some cases, much, much better.
But no one else has the trust factor enjoyed by Amazon. Nowhere else will people search for, say, the latest model Nikon DSLR and buy it for $3,000 on their credit card with total confidence that the exact product they've ordered will arrive when they expect it to.
One of the best things you can do to make an extra income working at home is to become an Amazon affiliate.
But before you can become an Amazon affiliate, you need to have a website that you can submit with your application. This is where a lot of prospective affiliate marketers get hung up.
But you don't need to.
I'm going to introduce you to the best program there is to teach you how to become a super affiliate. It's called Wealthy Affiliate. Although it has a Premium membership option, you can actually join for free and as a free member, follow the training to build two websites and have them hosted at no charge. No one else offers you anything approaching this deal and I urge you to explore it and sign up now.
To apply to become an Amazon affiliate, first go to https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/ and click Join Now. You will be invited to log in using your normal Amazon account credentials (or create an account if you don't have one) and then enter or confirm your address and payment information.
You then need to enter your website's address. Amazon will not approve you unless you have a reasonable looking website that will be suitable for Amazon affiliate links.
I will cover finding suitable Amazon products to promote and inserting the affiliate links on your website in a subsequent article.
Selecting a Niche
As you will learn from your free membership at Wealthy Affiliate, the very first step in becoming an affiliate marketer is selecting a niche.
What is a niche?
A niche is simply a clearly defined area of interest, such as makeup, photography, coffee machines or skin care products.
There will usually be sub-niches as well. For example in photography, we could have cameras, lenses, other equipment and even drones for taking the ultimate selfie. Then under cameras, you've got digital SLRs, compact cameras, mirrorless cameras and so on.
Sub-niches are useful as you can target them with more specific buying keywords and rank high with them in the search engines. You can learn all about them in the Wealthy Affiliate program.
It's useful if you are interested in, and know something about your niche as you will be writing articles about it. Some of those articles will contain affiliate links to related products. You don't have to be knowledgeable about your niche though. Internet research will turn up a ton of information that you can curate into articles.
Other Affiliate Programs
There are tons of affiliate programs out there.
Some that we will examine in detail in future articles are:
- Warrior Plus
- Commission Junction
But as well as these general-purpose established affiliate platforms, there are individual companies targeting specific niches.
To find them, just search for <niche-name> + affiliate
For example, I have a niche website where I promote one particular product from a single company with its own affiliate program.
The product costs $69. It's a high quality product that I'm happy to recommend.
If I send them a customer who then buys the product, they pay me a commission of $120.
This is a classic win-win situation. I get a high commission so have a compelling incentive to refer customers to them.
From their point of view, although they are out of pocket on that initial sale, it's a replenishable product so if they do their marketing and follow-up right, they have a customer who will make many more purchases from them.
Your Own Personal Cash Machine?
You will find plenty of programs on the internet that suggest affiliate marketing is a set-it-and-forget-it system. If only you buy their product, it will turn the Internet into your own personal cash machine.
They are all scams.
To make extra income working at home using affiliate marketing, you must have a plan. Just like any other business, affiliate marketing working from home requires research and a plan. It can be done part-time but it's not automatic. For this home business idea to succeed, you have to know and understand your target market and continue to do things to reach them so they can click on your affiliate links. Click the button below to get the best possible start in this lucrative business at zero cost.