If you’ve started reading this, it’s probably because you’ve got an interest (or curiosity) in starting an online business or maybe you’re looking for legitimate ways to make money online.
So what is affiliate marketing? And who is it good for?
Affiliate marketing is in my opinion, a great option for new entrepreneurs and seasoned pros alike, but it’s an especially good start for people who are beginners because of its simplicity.
How does it work?
Affiliate marketing is about recommending products and services you like, you’re passionate about and believe in, to others who might benefit from them too.
What happens is that you get paid each time someone makes a purchase of the product or service you’ve recommended.
So, why is it good for beginners?
For a start, coming up with your own range of products and services can be a challenging, time-consuming, costly and ENORMOUS undertaking.
Affiliate marketing allows you to leverage products that already exist and are already successful in the market.
Since the production and fulfilment are handled by the manufacturer, you personally don’t have to worry about customer service and you also don’t have to stock or deliver the products yourself.
All you have to do, is promote it.
Here are 7 Reasons why, in my opinion, affiliate marketing is the greatest way to start for any aspiring entrepreneur…
1. Low start-up costs
You can get started with little budget, some affiliate programmes are even free of charge. Credible sites like Amazon offer free affiliate memberships called “associate programmes” where you can earn commissions by endorsing the products and services you’ve used.
As an example and comparison, if you were to buy into a physical franchise business, you’d easily be looking at tens of thousands in capital investment – not to mention, if it folds, you’re also liable for the losses.
Running an online business in comparison to purchasing a physical business is a MUCH less costly investment with low to almost zero funding and risk.
2. You only promote quality products you believe in
Companies with affiliate programmes usually go through a rigorous beta-testing phase and hone their product through trial-and-error at their own expense to make sure they’re of a high standard.
The hard work has been done and the best buying market for the product has been identified. All you have to do now is promote it.
Of course, having said that, it would be wise to do your homework and check out the reputation of the company you’re marketing for. And it does help if you personally believe in the products and services you’re endorsing.
3. You can do it on your own – anywhere
You can join an affiliate marketing programme and run it anywhere on your laptop or mobile device. There’s no need to hire staff or rent an office to get started. This means you’re also geographically free to run your business wherever you choose: your living room, an internet cafe or on the beach (as long there’s wifi! :)).
4. You don’t need to be an expert at online marketing
Do you know how to shop online? because that’s pretty much the basic principle you need to get started.
If you know your way around a computer, have decent internet access, together with some basic online awareness, you’re already equipped to start the ball rolling.
5. A ‘side project’ that could become something more
This is something you can do alongside your current job. And because the business is online, most of the work can be “automated”, which means you can leave your business to run while you get on with other things (work, meetings, gym, family etc).
When you start to experience successes with your affiliate business and find that your income matches, or even surpasses your current income, is the time you could consider focusing on it full time to work on growing it even more.
6. Global Audience = Global Customers
The internet enables you to target local and global audiences in a way that is unprecedented. Any individual in the world who needs the product you’re promoting is a potential customer you can reach within seconds.
7. You can become profitable much quicker than a traditional business
People who start with a traditional “bricks and mortar” business, often take years of hard work to gain momentum and may also involve serious (financial) risks.
It’s hardly surprising that many new business owners and entrepreneurs give up or go bust; approximately 91% of new businesses fail within 5 years of starting.
The time to profitability with affiliate marketing tends to be shorter than traditional businesses because there’s no “start-up” collateral or products to develop.
Your overheads will also be much lower because you won’t need premises or staff.
Tip: When assessing an affiliate programme, look for a culture of (ongoing) support.
Check if the affiliate programme provides training and support for its members. If they do? that’s even better. The ones that look after their members with a long-term vision are usually the ones that do very well.
A culture of community support and a network of expertise you can tap into, combined with high-quality products for you to promote, will increase your ability to grow your business quicker and achieve profitability sooner.
The world and how we do business is changing.
Affiliate marketing is changing the way people do business.
Many first-time self-made millionaires and multi-millionaires over the last five years have used affiliate marketing as a part of their strategy for wealth creation.
So, how do you get started?
The affiliate market has many diverse “niches” to choose from. The key is to get involved with a service or product you’re genuinely passionate about.
Shop around and do a bit of research. Focus on the industries and the topics you have an interest in, or even better, passionate about.
Are you into Health and Fitness? This industry is now estimated at $4.2 Trillion. This is a massive market with people constantly searching for high quality products, training and coaching.
Is Personal Development your thing? The positive thinking and self-development market is estimated at around $11 Billion – filled with people constantly purchasing products to help improve and enhance their well-being.
The opportunities are out there. You just need to tap into the niche that aligns with what you’re interested in.
Go through a respected site like ‘Clickbank’. That should help acquaint you with the affiliate options available on the market and also who’s offering affiliate marketing opportunities for your particular “niche”.
Best business strategy: Be genuine.
You don’t have to buy everything you promote, but trying the product or at least researching the results it’s given others before giving your opinion and endorsement gives you credibility.
It will also make you more believable – people tend to know when someone is genuinely passionate. Having personally tried something you’re recommending will help make you come across as more authentic and convincing.
However, there’s nothing wrong in promoting a product you haven’t personally tried, as long as you’re honest about it.
My advice, in that case, would be full transparency by making it clear your recommendation is based on your “opinion” of the product. Maybe share some positive testimonials & results provided by others to add credibility to your opinion.
Remember you’re not only promoting a product, but you’re also building a reputation for yourself as well.
If done right, affiliate marketing can be an exciting, personally rewarding, fulfilling, fun and highly profitable business – based on simply promoting products and services you like, you’re passionate about and you believe in.
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