Many internet marketers have gotten their start through affiliate marketing.  Affiliate marketing allows you to start making money right away without having to first create a product, deal with support problems, or even create a website.  

To sum it up affiliate marketing is simply bringing buyers to sellers.  When they buy, you are compensated and get paid a commission.  So if a prospect buys a $100 product that pays a 50% commission – you would receive a $50 commission.  You are like a commission-only salesperson.  The good thing is that you don’t have to do much selling at all.  You don’t have to worry about taking orders or meeting prospects in person.  What you do have to do is simply introduce interested people online to the product.

You can advertise online with very little cost to you.  Often times you can find free advertising which makes this a great place to start or expand your online business and income.

Finding Buyers

When it comes down to it, finding buyers is what affiliate marketing is all about.  Generally speaking, there are two types of buyers that will buy no matter how the economy is.  The first group is called “desperate buyers.”  These are people who are desperately needing a solution.  For example, they may be facing a financial disaster (like a foreclosure), or it may be that they are in pain.  They are looking for a quick solution and have a credit card in their hands searching intensely for a solution.

The second group is called “passionate buyers.”  You may be one or know someone who is a passionate buyer.  These are the people that buy anything they can on a specific topic.  Maybe it’s tennis or gardening or even dog grooming.  These can also be people who will buy anything that a specific manufacturer puts on the market.

The first thing you need to do is start keeping your eyes and ears open and tuned into what people are talking about.  What are your friends and relatives saying they can’t live without?  What’s Oprah talking about?  What is trending online?

A good way to find hot buyers is to look at what are hot sellers.  This kills two birds with one stone – not only can you find hot markets, but you can also find the products that are popular with buyers.   Almost all marketplaces like eBay, Clickbank, and Amazon, etc. will provide a list of hot products. 


How to Find Products

Amazon and eBay both have affiliate programs, but Clickbank is a favorite with internet marketers.  Clickbank products are digital products that make them ideal for impulse buys.  Buyers can get immediate satisfaction from their purchase since they can download it right away and start using it.

Another option to make money that is very similar to affiliate marketing is through CPA or “cost per action” offers.  This means you actually get paid for bringing prospects to interested parties even if they don’t purchase anything.  Those parties know how much they will make off of every person they convert into a buyer – and they know how many prospects they can convert into buyers.  Because of that, they then know how much they can pay you to simply find and bring prospects to them.  Some will pay you if the person signs up for their offer or even if they just receive the prospect’s zip code.

A popular CPA offer you’ve probably seen is Video Professor.  The offers you see for ringtones.

Becoming an Affiliate

You can sign up for Clickbank as an affiliate, here.

After you become an affiliate with Clickbank you can promote any of the offers listed in their marketplace.  (Refer to previous Clickbank link provided) To see how much you would make when you sold a product click on the “pitch page”.

We previously mentioned Amazon and eBay having affiliate programs as well.  However, there are a number of other companies as well such as e-junkie and PayDotCom.  You may want to stay away from smaller affiliate companies as their payouts may not be reliable.  You can keep up with the different affiliate company and their reputation through Allan Gardyne’s Associate Programs website.

The website gives you information on what each companies requirements are to become an affiliate. “Open” affiliate programs are available to everyone.  “Closed” affiliate programs are restricted to only certain people they allow to promote their products.  Be sure to read the restrictions on how you promote their programs and any violations will get you kicked out of their affiliate program.  An example of a violation would be sending out SPAM.  See our previous post, 7 Common Pitfalls Made in Affiliate Marketing, for more information on the dos and don’ts of the trade.

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