By: Dr. Gwen Smith

There are a few different methods to selling products online using internet marketing: developing your own digital products and marketing them online, creating online advertising for digital or other products for an offline business, and marketing digital or other products that are developed by others. The latter is called affiliate marketing, and we will discuss this form of internet marketing today. You receive a commission on the sale of the products with the advantage of not handling the products, collecting payments or handling returns.

Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to start generating online income even while you are developing a digital product of your own. The products you choose should be related to your interests or passion and also to what others are searching for on the internet. It is not as easy as some will say, especially if you do not have the knowledge of what to do. It is, however, very simple and extremely lucrative if you have the right tools and training. There are some key techniques to use in order to be successful at internet marketing. Those will be discussed in future blogs, and for now let’s focus on ways you can get started in affiliate marketing and how it works.

Affiliate marketing involves marketing another merchant’s products on your own site, or creating different forms of ads on your site or on others’ to drive traffic to a product. There are various forms of traffic that will help your product to convert to a sale but this is a for a later article. When customers click on your link or ad and make a purchase, you get a percentage of the sale. In earlier blogs we discussed ways of finding your passion and beginning to monetize on that area. Affiliate marketing is a great way to do this. By focusing on an area, for example dog training, or travel, etc. you are able to also develop a brand around what you are marketing, and to bring more focus to your blog topics or related activities. Do not make the mistake of marketing everything. It is best to have a niche for especially developing your marketing.

To build your own credibility in the internet marketing space, it is critical to offer quality products. To ensure that this is so, you should be a customer of the product you are offering. In other words, use the product so you can give a fair review. Your buyers, and you in the long run, will be happy that you did. To find products that would most likely sell, do a keyword search using Google AdWords to help you. You can search for popular interests that people are looking for and then do a search for products related to those topics that you can market.

Another very important detail is to pick credible companies and to become familiar with their agreements. Be sure their agreements do not limit you to marketing their products alone. It is important to be able to diversify. Picking the right company is half of the battle. Check reviews online. There are companies such as Amazon, Clickbank and JV Zoo. These companies have many products that you can offer, and you can go online to sign up. You can find other companies by doing a Google search in the area of interest and adding “+affiliate” at the end. For example, if you are interested in health topics, you could do a search for “Health + Affiliate” in Google and work through the results.
Be sure to also check on the compensation structure. These are great questions to know the answers for: What percentage of the sale will be yours? Is there a recurring commission based upon recurring payments? How often do you get paid?

In summary, if you are considering affiliate marketing as a way to earn income online, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Do your research on what people are searching for online and connect it with your interest or passion.
2. Find companies that are reputable and that are paying the sizeable commissions per sale, and possibly recurring commissions.
3. Sample the products yourself and offer only quality products, not just products that pay high commissions.
4. Create a website or blog and offer reviews about the product or service that you are promoting and embed your link in the blog.
5. Drive traffic to your website or blog by doing niche advertising. We will discuss some of these methods later.

Paying attention to these will start you on the road to success.


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