If you are planning to start an online business, one of the best ways to begin with is affiliate marketing.
It is less risky, cost effective and has great potential for earnings. Once you have earned an adequate seed money, you can continue to develop your business knowing you have a good source of income
Here are some steps to help you to begin:
1. Choosing an affiliate program
You will need to join a few affiliate programs but not too many that it will make it hard and confusing which to promote first.
You can join large affiliate networks like Clickbank, Commission Junction, Amazon and JVZoo. These online stores have a wide variety of products you can choose to promote.
You can also join individual companies like MarketHealth and Moreniche. These are affiliate companies that focus on some in demand niche products such as weight loss, male enhancers, health, and beauty.
A more targeted affiliate program for the make money online niche is Clickbank which offers highly relevant products such as paid survey programs, guidelines about making money with blogs, writing articles, and making money with membership sites among others.
2. Choosing products
Choose affiliate programs that have products and services that match your audience. It will help you sell more when you pinpoint the right market.
For greater profits, try to choose niche markets. If you’re running a site about weight loss, you should look for affiliate programs related to weight loss (fat burner, diet pills, exercise for weight loss and so on).
Of course it is also important that you have some level of interest in the product and should be comfortable promoting it. If you’re a lady it might be uncomfortable for you to promote male enhancers.
3. Affiliate links
As usual you will be given a link and banners to promote. It is wise to hide or cloak your affiliate links to prevent affiliate hijacking.
Affiliate hijacking is the practice of some unethical people to replace your affiliate link with their own affiliate code. Some customers who can recognize affiliate links may just erase your affiliate code thereby bypassing you as the referrer.
There are several ways to market your sponsor’s product or service.
a. Direct marketing – Advertising on related websites and targeted publications. This involves the use of Pay-Per-Click campaigns like Google Adwords and Yahoo advertiser.
b. Search engine marketing – This involves search engine optimization(SEO) to get your site on the first page and article submission to article directories.
c. Social marketing – Joining social networks such as MySpace, Facebook, Stumbleupon, Digg, and so on. It is advisable not to directly advertise here as you would run the risk of being banned and your account being deleted. Promote yourself here. When you have gained credibility and trust, people will likely be interested to visit your affiliate site.
You can also join related forums and business networks. It is not advisable to blatantly advertise here, just post and use your email signature file, with your URL.
d. Newsletter – You can offer a free newsletter and build your opt-in list where you can then offer related products.