I’ve recently had some questions about affiliate marketing and for good reason. Affiliate marketing is spreading like wildfire across the Internet. Are you taking advantage of this excellent marketing and sales development tool? Or have you considered becoming an affiliate marketer for another company’s products as a side business? Both are good choices to expand your reach and develop new streams of income.
Affiliate marketing involves paying commissions to other people for selling your products, usually via a website or blog. Many large companies have affiliate opportunities including Amazon, Netflix, and Home Depot but there are an endless number of companies who will allow you to sign up as an affiliate for their company.
Once an affiliate signs up, they incorporate either graphic or text links to one of their partner’s products. If someone purchases via that link, they are rewarded with a commission. So, if your company decides to become an affiliate for a company that has an obvious association with yours, you can earn additional revenue by selling their products. I am an affiliate marketer for a few choice companies that I believe in like Aweber, which distributes my newsletter.
Of course, even better, you can offer an affiliate program of your own. There are companies who specialize in setting up affiliate programs for your business. One of the best known is Commission Junction, which is a marketplace for “advertisers” (the business offering commissions) and the “publishers” (the resellers) to find each other. They also offer the tools and management systems for you to set up your affiliate program.
ClickBank is similar but they only offer digital products, like PDF documents, to sell. Some companies on ClickBank will pay commissions as high as 75% to get their product sold, although each company sets their own rate. Since there is no additional printing costs and such, it makes sense they would pass a larger commission on to get the extra sales. So whether you are the product owner or the affiliate, it can be an option worth considering.
Why do this? You expand your reach significantly, finding untapped niche markets you could not possibly track down on your own. You get approval of the site/blog that your products will be marketed on to make sure they are reputable and a good fit for you. You have no marketing expense. Yes, you pay a commission, but you get sales AND you get to market your products and business in a broader-based way.
Affiliate marketing isn’t a good fit for every company, but if you have an e-commerce site, the odds are you can make it work for yours. Multiple streams of income always increase your odds of business success!
by Steven Schlagel