What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does it Work?
Affiliate marketing isn’t really an eBay business at all, at least not directly (though in a moment I’ll explain what this is doing on a site about eBay – stay turned to the end) though the two are related to each other in that both involve largely passive earning of income. A brief explanation is in order: If you were to start an eBay business, then you would be able to earn your income from simply selling stuff online, especially if your eBay business involved just selling things that you are purchasing from a drop shipper.
In the case of affiliate marketing, it refers more to someone who owns a web site which already draws some traffic, for example, a blog or some other service that people come by and visit regularly. What you would do is to simply make arrangements with other sites to offer links on your site to their materials for sale and you would reap a percentage of the money that comes in with each sale.
Sounds simple right? You collect money for doing nothing but setting up links. However, as with all things in life, there is a catch. Affiliate marketing means actually having something of value on your own site which people would want to look at. It used to be that back in the early days of the Internet, you could simply plop down a page with your affiliate marketing links and people would beat a path to your door. It was simple and easy and early adopters could rake in the bucks.
The days when affiliate marketing was easy are however long since gone. It is estimated that there are about 3 web sites and around 40 web pages for every man, woman and child on the planet. That’s a mind boggling number to think about and when we consider that that numbers of sites were collected in a matter of under 15 years, we can only imagine what it will be like when the web is 50 years old instead of 15.
So what can you do in order to make affiliate marketing work for you? Provide good content – it really is that simple. For example, you’ve sat here reading this entire article from start to finish because it promised to offer you valuable information that you could use. If you are able to provide such useful content on your own site, people will be more likely to visit and more likely to use your links to make purchases of products through your affiliate marketing program.
Now here’s the real kicker which I promised you at the start: eBay has there own affiliate program. In essence, you can sign up for the eBay affiliate program and start sending people to eBay related sites, especially to eBay auctions. So for example, if you were to write an article on collecting ancient coins, you could then direct people to a listing on eBay for ancient coins for sale (yes, they really are available and are not even very expensive) and you would get paid for doing no selling at all – all you had to do was to arrange for an eBay affiliate link on your web site. Of course it all goes back to that same principle: provide good content. Make your web site a place that people will visit and they will then click your affiliate link to eBay and you’ll get paid.