What is Affiliate Marketing?
Maybe you have read the term affiliate marketing somewhere but you are not quite sure what it means.
So let me tell you: Affiliate marketing is when you find a buyer for a product that someone else sells.
But why should you find customers for other businesses?
Because they pay you every time they make a sale through one of the people you sent to them.
Ok, this was the "explanation" of what affiliate marketing is, but the concept might not be 100% clear in your mind. That is why I want you to look at this example:
Many phone companies have affiliate programs. I do not want to promote any kind of phone company in this article, so I'm just going to make up a fake telephone company name: Surracall.
So, Surracall likes to get more customers (because more customers mean more money). What do they do to get more customers? They advertise, right. They put spots on TV, radio, and the put ads in magazines. Maybe they even have a sales team that goes out to companies and peoples homes and talks to them – either by phone or in person and tries to get them to switch to Surracall.
But Surracall has some clever marketing people on board. And they say: all this is good, but how about some free advertising?
Now what they do is they offer the opportunity to (basically everyone) to sell Surracall phone contracts for them. Let's say that you bring a new customers to Surracell who signs up for a 12 month contract, Surracall will pay you $ 30. If you bring two new customers, Surracall will pay you $ 60, if you bring 10 they will pay you $ 300 and so on.
Some people are bringing LOTS of new customers to Surracell every single day.
How do they do it?
Well, they DO NOT go from door to door or coldcall people.
Some very clever people set up "phone company comparison websites". Because many people go online and they want to compare rates for different phone companies. So they will type something in the search engines like "compare phone companies". If you do that, most likely you will be taken to some site that offers you to type in some data (like where you live, how many hours you spend on the phone each month, whether you mostly call on cell or home phones, etc .) Then you click a button and many different companies show up with different prices.
What do you do? You select the one that has the best offer for you – in this case it might be Surracell because you call a lot to cellphone and they have a cellphone flatrate. And you click on the image where it sais "Sign up here for Surracell". And they you can fill up an form online to sign up with Surracell, and next thing you know: you get a letter from Surracell and can use their services just like you wanted.
Now what happens is that Surracell KNOWS that you signed up because you clicked on that image on the phone company comparison website. And because that person signed up for Surracells affiliate program, Surracell will pay that person a commission. So part of the money you pay for your phone contract will actually get paid to the one who runs that phone company comparison site.
Affiliate marketing can be done in any market – and is most popular on the Internet. Many affiliate marketers are making hundreds of thousands of dollars. The good thing with affiliate marketing is that you do not need to have a product. You can just use other people's products to make money. And it is easy to get started as an affiliate marketer with very little budget.
The downside of affiliate marketing is that it is very competitive and you need a lot of marketing knowledge to become successful doing so. But just like with everything in life, if you practice and are disciplined you have the potential to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars each and every month.
On the other hand – many people think that just because they are making money online it will be easy and they can be lazy and just spend 3 hours per day and retire rich. But that's not the way it goes. Yes, there are SOME people who are lucky and got rich with very little work as affiliate marketers – but frankly, it's VERY unlikely that you'll be one of them. In fact I think that you are more likely to win the lottery than getting rich as a lazy affiliate marketer.
But if you apply yourself and put in the hours and do the right things – I'm convinced that you can make some real good money and become financially independent. I do not say it's easy – I do not say it's guaranteed – but I do say it's POSSIBLE.