If you have recently been introduced to the concept of Affiliate Marketing, one question that would be playing on your mind most often is how legitimate is this business? The web is full of online marketing sites that try to sell the idea to you with examples of scores of affiliates who are making thousands of dollars per month through affiliate marketing; equally rampant are the stories about people who believed in this business and got conned out of their hard-earned money. So whom should you believe and why?
What Is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work?
Affiliate marketing is a legitimate online business but you have to spend some time in studying and separating genuine businesses from the fake ones. Before taking up affiliate marketing you will have to make a detailed analysis of the business, its products, the pipeline, the marketing tools employed and the potential customers. Get in touch with other affiliates, if possible and understand the business somewhat before committing your time to it.
For the uninitiated, affiliate marketing is a type of performance based marketing. The business grants the right to market its products or services to affiliates for a certain sum of money. The affiliates then drive the customers to the site of the business; the business in turn rewards the affiliates by giving them either a commission or a part of the profit from the sale. The compensation to the affiliate could depend on the number of customers that the affiliate has referred to the business site or the number of sales that have been made through the affiliate’s link.
The arrangement of compensation varies from business to business. Suffice it to say that a business may offer higher compensation over a period of time to those affiliates who drive more sales. You would have seen advertisements where people claim that they started with a commission of a few hundred dollars and now they make thousands of dollars every month, this is the arrangement they are most probably referring to.
To work as an affiliate or a franchise in online marketing in Toronto Canada, you may want to have your own website, though it is not an absolute necessity. You need to create special links, known as affiliate links that will be tracking all the products that you will promote. These affiliate links will determine whether the customer made the purchase through your link or not which in turn will determine your commission. There are various online lessons which explain this process in detail and understanding the basics is essential to a successful affiliate business.
Why Is Affiliate Marketing So Popular?
Affiliate Marketing is considered to be one of the easiest modes to make real money online and make it fast! It is also one of those internet marketing techniques that have been really successful in gaining maximum customers in shortest period of time. Still, there are more factors that have made affiliate marketing really popular.
- Global Scale. Since you have to approach your potential customers through the internet, the world is your market. Seriously. Through online marketing, you can reach your potential customers anytime, anyplace. The scope of the operation could be as small or as large as you want it to be.
- Low Marketing Cost. The internet is one of the cheapest marketing media, so the cost of marketing is really low. Additionally, the business whose affiliate you are is responsible for all the production, marketing and distribution costs, including the advertising and publicity materials. You do not need to hire any employees for customer service nor do you need to rent a warehouse because your business is not physical at all!
- Low Start-up Cost. The business of being an affiliate requires low to no capital investment. Some businesses may charge you a small initiation fee, but in most cases there are no fees for joining as an
- You need not be an Expert. No expert knowledge is required to be an affiliate. Almost anyone can do it provided they put in enough time and effort to understand the business and learn how to market their franchise to the potential customers.
- Work from Home. Since there is no physical office that you need to report at and you only work when you want to, this is one easy to work from home option. Many affiliates start small, only working a few hours after their regular working hours and slowly grow into it. This is also a great option for stay-at-home mums, school and college graduates and retirees to earn extra income.
- Steady Income. If an affiliate gains the knowledge to run a successful affiliate business, this business will make real money even when he is not in front of his computer. Once you have created the links to the main business site, customers could be clicking the products at various times of the day and you could have a steady income flowing in even when you are sleeping.
How to Become a Successful Affiliate?
Though the idea of affiliate marketing is quite lucrative and most people assume that they will make pots of real money in the shortest possible time, it is essential to keep the expectations realistic. Yes, it is possible to make thousands of dollars per month but it takes dedication, method and some smart strategizing. There are no rules or steps to be followed which means that you have to essentially create your own steps and hold yourselves accountable. Some points to consider could be the following:
- Start with the Products you know. They could be the products that you have already used or are familiar with. If you are not aware of the product, you will not be able to market it masterfully. Study the market for these products and then decide on your marketing strategy accordingly.
- Start Small. Start with a Few Products. It should be easier to track the product pipeline and you should be able to promote them to the best of your ability. Once you gain confidence and some traction in the business, you can add more products to your portfolio and increase your chain.
- Use more Sources for Product Promotion. You may want to start small but the products that you promote should each have maximum visibility. So you need to create as many linkages to these products as possible. The more the traffic that your linkages generate, the more will be your commission. Most of the businesses have their own ad words and specific SEOs (Search Engine Optimization tools) and you can use these generously in your linkages.
- Test your Strategy. This is probably the most important part. Once you have created your linkage, it is necessary to test it so that you can straighten the kinks. Try various product promotion strategies; place the ads in more sites to improve your conversion rate.
- Check your Competition. With so many affiliates for so many products online, it may not be possible to keep track of all your competition but you can study a few affiliates who drive a lot of business to see where you can improve your strategy.
- Stay Abreast of the New Developments. Affiliate marketing is a constantly evolving discipline so it is important to keep track of the new methodologies that the others are applying to improve their business. Changing market trends will affect your franchise so stay current with any new developments.
- Work towards Building Credibility. Choose those businesses that have a good product and a good customer service so that you can build credibility with your customers. For repeat visits, the customers need to be satisfied with their earlier experience; therefore, the choice of products and their promoting company becomes extremely important.
There are plenty of tools and online lessons for setting up an affiliate marketing franchise which provide some interesting insights into becoming a successful affiliate. With a good programme and some good products, one can look forward to a legitimate and steady source of income within a short span of time. Click here to learn more!