Today’s post is a special one. We bring you a guest post from Jorge Enrique Aguayo, an internet marketing master. Make sure to check out his website and work.
Affiliate marketing is a way to make money on a blog by earning commissions. In short, you help a company to sell their products or services, and in exchange they give you a percentage of the sale. It is a system that pays much better than advertising, and it may even allow you to live from the Internet in the long run.
Working in affiliate marketing is not easy, however. It depends a lot on the products you are promoting. If you choose products that pay much but are really hard to sell, you make not make enough money from all the effort you put into that business. Same applies if you choose a product that is fairly easy to sell but does not give you enough commission. You may sell a bunch of products a month for little profit.
Finding affiliate programs that are worth your time and effort is crucial if you want to get paid for your time. This is why I prepared this article to provide some tips on how to buy just the best ones.
First, let’s ask ourselves a few questions:
- Do we want to promote products that easy to sell?
- Do we want to promote products that pay high commissions, or can we get away with cheap products that we can sell many times?
- Do we want to promote products that are already being promoted by hundreds of other affiliate marketers?
- How long will we be able to get the commission, once the potential client has left our website? (in other words, how long will the commission cookie last on their computers, so the seller will know we recommended that specific client to them?)
- Will we still get a commission if the client does not buy the product we are promoting, but another one?
- If he or she comes some time later and buys again, will we be paid again?
- Most importantly… is it a good product somebody would buy?
Taking some time to evaluate our wishes and options will help us get the best out of any affiliate program we get into. There are literally thousands of affiliate programs out there, and most of them sell themselves well (because they want affiliates to help them get sales).
I strongly suggest you to take some time to figure out what kind of products you want to promote, so you can get the offers that suit you best. The best products are those you have some background of because you either used them or are knowledgeable about the topic.
Once you have done that, time has come to look for appropriate offers. There are usually two ways to do this: you can either go into an affiliate marketplace, or you can find products to promote all by yourself. Let’s explore the marketplaces first.
Affiliate Marketing Marketplaces
When you work in affiliate marketing, there are two issues you need to think about. On the one side, you need to effectively sell products, so you can make commissions out of it; and, more importantly, you need to be able to cash the money you make from your efforts! There are thousands of affiliate programs out there, and some merchants will not be very good payers, so, to both ease people’s lives and to prevent working for nothing, affiliate marketing marketplaces offer some help:
- They screen merchants (to a point) and provide you with valuable feedback other affiliates have given after working with them for a while; and,
- They charge the money from them on your behalf, to ensure you are going to get paid the commission offer they made.
They do make profit by taking a chunk of your earnings, but still it is a good way to get started in the business.
There are many marketplaces available these days, but most marketers will agree that the most popular (in alphabetical order) are:
You may want to start with any of them, as they have been years in the market, they are considered reliable, and they have plenty of information both for new and veteran affiliate marketers alike.
Of course, you do not have to join an affiliate marketplace to be able to get commissions. There are thousands of sellers that do not use marketplaces and just go for their own affiliate marketing programs. Spotting them may be slightly harder, but there may be nice surprises down that road.
In my opinion, the best way to discover independent affiliate programs is using Google Alerts. First you go to the site and create an alert for the term “affiliate program” and, optionally, your desired line of business, for example, cellphones. Once you do that, you will get a daily e-mail or an RSS feed with all new results Google finds about affiliate marketing programs. All you will have to do is to visit those pages and check if you are interested in selling their products.
I have found a few interesting products with this method. One of them is PitBullTax, which sells a software that is tailored for CPAs and tax attorneys in the United States, and pays between 30 and 300 USD per sale. Not bad at all! It is specific, it pays well, and it does not appear to have many affiliates competing to bring them sales… just what the doctor prescribed!
Conclusion: Becoming Successful At Internet Marketing
To be successful in affiliate marketing, you need to take three things into account:
- You only have one live to live, so you need affiliate programs that will bring you decent money with as little effort as possible.
- Marketplaces are slightly safer but there are thousands of independent affiliate programs and offers that pay well as well. Broaden your options. It may be useful.
- Don’t place all your eggs in one basket, yet don’t spread yourself too thin either. Remember the first point of this list, and get to work.
Many people live from affiliate commissions alone, so you can do it too. Just be careful and don’t believe in snake oil or miracles. Affiliate marketing can be a lot of work, especially in the beginning, but can give you good results once the snowball has grown enough.
About the author
Jorge Enrique Aguayo (a.k.a. Tedel) is a writer, teacher and Internet marketing specialist. He currently works in Peru offering Internet marketing consulting to small businesses.