Affiliate marketing has been around for a long time — essentially, since the beginning of e-commerce.
But this “old school” method of making money online is still going strong because of all the benefits it offers to small-scale, solo internet entrepreneurs. And it’s an especially powerful business model to those without much experience doing business online. Many successful online business owners make their first dollar online with affiliate marketing.
Here are just a few of the many reasons why affiliate marketing is such a popular online business model:
- Low-Cost: With affiliate marketing, you don’t need much — if any — startup capital.
- No Inventory: You don’t need to create products or rent or buy warehouse space to store them. There’s no need for you to invest in “stock” that may or may not sell, in other words.
- Zero Hassles: Perhaps best of all, you won’t process orders or ship products… or handle returns, phone calls, or anything on the customer service side.
Affiliate marketing is hassle-free — allowing you to focus on marketing, sales, and making money. It’s perfect for beginners. And, because the money-making potential only increases with the more experience you gain, expert-level internet entrepreneurs stay in this game too.
So how does affiliate marketing work?
At a basic level, affiliate marketing is a pretty simple business model.
- You promote another company’s products in your own marketing efforts, like social media, your website, your email list, your blog, or any other marketing channels you use.
- When a customer clicks on a link to order a product, they are taken to your affiliate partner’s shopping cart to complete the transaction.
- The link is assigned to you specifically and tracked so that you get credit for any customer you send to your affiliate partner.
- If the prospect buys, you get a commission, usually between 5 percent to 25 percent, sometimes, even more, depending on the product. In the cases of very high commissions (some up to 100 percent), the company is often hoping to later upsell the customer on a higher-ticket item. So they’re using you to help generate leads, essentially.
Getting just a percentage of a sale may not seem like a good way to make money but when you start sending hundreds of customers each week or even sell just a few big ticket items, it quickly adds up to a tidy income. It’s especially sweet when you consider that your startup and operating costs are so low.
As with any online business, success and a steady, high income is possible with affiliate marketing. But it’s not going to happen overnight. It takes consistent work, especially when you’re getting started. But soon, you could have a viable money-making business.
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