What About Affiliate Marketing
People are always asking what about affiliate marketing as a home business using a blog site? The other day, I read about a recent poll where readers were asked whether they had done any affiliate marketing on their blogs sites. (See my article on the 5 Reasons Why Blogging is the New Internet Marketing Tool.
The Poll showed that:
- 29% of readers regularly perform affiliate marketing
- 24% occasionally perform affiliate marketing
- 27% have never done affiliate marketing on their blogs
- 6% used to do it but don’t any more
- 14% don’t know what affiliate marketing is
These were very interesting results in that it was the last item in the poll that I wanted to consider in an attempt to answer that question.
I was astounded to see that 14% of people do not even know what affiliate marketing is !
This article is elementary for those of us in the industry, but for the 14% of those who don’t know what affiliate marketing is, I offer a short abstract.
So What is Affiliate Marketing?
Probably the easiest way to describe affiliate marketing is that it is a way of making money online where you are paid a commission for helping a business by promoting their product, service, or site.
There are a number of forms of these types of promotions but in most cases they involve you earning a commission when someone follows a link on your blog to another site where they then purchase something.
Other versions of this where you earn a fixed amount for referring a visitor who takes some kind of action, for example, when they sign up for something and enter their email address, or where they answer questions in a survey, and again leave a name and address. Any time your name and email are entered, they have become part of a list that can be advertised to.
Conversions are tracked when the client enters their information on your website by using a link with a unique embedded code that identifies you and enables the advertiser to track where conversions came from (usually with cookies). There are other ways an advertiser can achieve this, for example; a coupon code for their clients to use that helps to track conversions.
There are two main points that come out this:
- Advertisers often prefer affiliate marketing as a way to promote their products because they know they’ will only need to pay for the advertising when there’s a conversion. Most business people understand that they earn less for each sale, but that having a network of affiliates promoting it would certainly increase overall sales.
- Website Bloggers often prefer affiliate marketing because if they find a product that is relevant to their niche market their earnings can exceed any cost of a pay per click (PPC) or cost per impression (CPI) advertising campaign.
Why Affiliate Marketing Works Well on Blogs Sites
Affiliate marketing is not the only way a blog site can make money as it may not be suitable for every blog site, but there are reasons why it can be profitable in our Internet Marketing medium.
Certainly for affiliate marketing to function best is when there is a relationship of trust between the blog site and their clients who regularly use or subscribe to the blog sites is directly related to the quality of the site content.
I’ve found throughout my 30 year business career, that as the clients trust deepens, they are more likely to follow the recommendations that you offer. This is true for any type of business in any industry!
On the other hand, this can also be a huge negative in affiliate marketing, if you end up promoting the wrong product, then all the trust you built is now out the window!
Making Money With Affiliate Marketing
While affiliate marketing can be incredibly lucrative it is important to know that affiliate marketing is not easy money. Most people who try it make very little money as it relies upon numerous factors including the following:
- Traffic (high traffic helps a lot)
- Finding relevant products
- Finding quality products
- Building trust with your clients
- Having a client who buys the product
- The ability to write good sales copy as well as high quality content that has relevance
With any business, there is always a risk associated with affiliate marketing in that if you push too hard or promote low quality products you can easily alienate your clients while damaging your reputation.
Please Note: Affiliate marketing does not work for all websites. Some sites are based on topics that are not relevant to a product and therefor it is hard to find products to promote. While other sites may attract audiences who are simply not interested in buying and for other sites, it just doesn’t fit with the blogger’s style or his core business.