Affiliate Marketing – A Good Online Revenue Source
As you blog or build content that you hope people will view on your website, to actually make money you will need to be providing people with an option to purchase things from your site. This could be courses, books or other products or content you create and sell or it could be products created by third parties that you promote on your site. This latter category of promoting 3rd party products is what I’d like to focus on here – affiliate marketing.
There are primarily two types of affiliates for whom you are likely to market products:
The first are well established corporations with large pre-existing customer bases and sophisticated distribution channels and “affiliate programs already in place. Here, you can go through a polished affiliate signup process, provide your banking information for direct deposit features, obtain trackable website/blogsite banners and adds easily copied and pasted to your site(s), and usually, some good supporting marketing and training videos and/or marketing materials that you can readily use in your own affiliate promotions, etc.
The pros to accepting this kind of affiliate relationship?
- It’s easy for you to implement and you don’t have a lot of additional work to do
- Implementing their products into your site is easy.
- The corporations you are promoting are very well known which helps to build the trust in the minds of potential buyers thus making sales easier to come by
- These corporations will take care of all shopping cart transactions, product distribution/shipping tasks, customer support questions, etc.
- All you have to do is try to bring in the buyers, after that, you just wait for your payment.
- In literally just minutes, you can be copying and pasting dozens of products to promote on your website – then you can just move onto other things.
The core disadvantage to this type of affiliate selling is that your commission shares for the products are low. Often, you are only getting in the 5-10% range of the product cost as a commission. You are in effect taking a trade-off on what you would earn as a reseller in exchange for the infrastructure and “customer trust” that has already been built for you. Companies like Amazon, Best Buy, and E-Bay by the way, are examples of entities in this category of affiliate marketing.
The second type of affiliate marketing you would be doing is with less established organizations, some may even be “Bleeding edge” types of products just starting to hit the marketplace. Here you can obtain much larger percentages of the sales amount as a commission. It’s not unheard of for some of these commission levels to go as high as 50%. But you will have to work at making these sell. For example:
- You probably won’t be just selecting and picking ads and banners you can copy and paste on your site and be assured that your customer activity will be properly tracked by the parent. You may be required to build your own product graphics and links back to the parent site to complete the sale.
- In some instance, you may have to put your own shopping cart in place and build your own system for the customer to be able to either download or receive his product – which may even mean you have to ship something to him/her.
- You may be required to provide some level of Customer Support for the product yourself.
- Their name won’t be well known and respected universally so you have additional upselling to do including putting your name and brand behind the product as an endorsement, counting on people to trust you in order to get the sale made.
There are many lucrative opportunities out there in this second category though and some good research on your part will get you in a good place with some of these products so that you can earn some very good money if you put the up- front work in and are willing to do the work to properly promote these products.
And there are any number of “3rd party product brokers” you can go through to find products if you don’t have an idea or do the hard leg work of finding 3rd party companies yourself. Companies like “Click Bank”, “Commission Junction”, “Avangate” and “JVZoo” are just a few brokers you can sign-up with to find products you might be interested in promoting. They are good at showing you your potential profitability and building reference and ratings lists for you as you are researching what products you might want to promote.
My take on this? Affiliate sales are usually a necessary component of running a profitable online business and making you a sustainable monthly income. It is my experience that you will probably find yourself marketing the products of both kinds of affiliate partners on your sites as you progress with your business. So do not overlook “Affiliate Marketing” as one of your avenues of earning revenue from your website(s) or blogsite(s) in the years to come. They will be a good revenue source for your business.