Affiliate marketing is where you recommend other people’s products and in return the owner of the product pays you a commission if one of the people you have referred buys the product or service.
You can develop your own product or service and be very successful with it, but if you are just entering the world of internet business ideas, affiliate marketing simplifies the process, while giving you the opportunity to gain hands-on experience without having to deal with the multiple tasks and responsibilities associated with being the developer or merchant.
For example, if you develop your own product as a merchant, you are responsible for all customer support inquiries and requests, and you need to spend time updating your product, working on keeping it consistently fresh and current based on market demand. It’s your job to satisfy customers, to handle refund requests, and to consistently work to get the best conversion rates.
As an affiliate marketer, however, you never have to spend any time on the product development, delivery or support issues.
You do have to do some work though! As with any business, if you are looking for internet business ideas and you choose affiliate marketing, you do have to drive website traffic to the merchant’s website pages so that people will buy the product.
Affiliate marketing, as internet business ideas go, is very attractive because it is easy to get started. As mentioned, there’s no need to create or source products of your own to sell – all you have to do is get people to click on your affiliate link and buy the product, and thus there’s little upfront investment cost and no time consuming products to create.
How much can you expect to earn with affiliate marketing?
Commissions vary widely from affiliate scheme to affiliate scheme. The most common idea is to pay the affiliate commission as a percentage of the total sale price. This can be as little as 1% and as much as 100%.
When you advertise or promote a product as an affiliate marketer you will be given a unique affiliate link. This is basically a link to the merchant’s website which the potential customer clicks on to visit the merchant’s website. The link is tracked by cookies (small files which are stored on a user’s computer) and the affiliate commission is paid to you when the customer buys something from that website after they have clicked on your link.
To find products to promote for your internet business ideas, you can go to ClickBank, probably the most well-know affiliate network of digital goods including geBooks, reports, courses, digital membership sites etc). They have products available for just about every market for internet business ideas.
PayDotCom is another of the big affiliate networks who specialise in digital products and of course there is the Amazon affiliate programme if you’re interested in promoting physical products.