So what is affiliate marketing anyway? Simply put, affiliate marketing is where you, as an affiliate, promote a vendor's products or services to the public. When someone clicks on your link and is directed to the vendor's website and buys from them, you get a commission on the sale. From an affiliate marketers perspective there are many advantages, such as, no storing merchandise or stock, no dealing with customers and invoices and no responsibility in regard to the sale other than directing the prospective customer in the right direction.
If this sounds like something you would like to explore, it is fairly easy to get started. There are several different affiliate programs you can choose from. There are a few other options as well, you can sign up with several affiliate programs that manage vendors looking for affiliates to promote their products or you can find a private program and work with a vendor one on one. You can do a Google search for affiliate programs and have a look through the results. Several affiliate companies pay once a month using PayPal or direct deposit. This will depend on the size of the company and its location.
As soon as you have registered as an affiliate, you will need to consider what you want to promote and start doing some research. Find out the best keywords around the products you have chosen. A good device to use for this process is the free Google keywords tool. This will give you an idea as to how many times your keyword is searched and how competitive the niche is. This will give you an indication as to whether it will be worthwhile or too hard to go after that particular niche. Once you have your product names and keywords, you will need to register a domain, purchase hosting and setup your website to promote your niche. Many of the larger vendors will provide you with most of what you need to get started, such as, banners, images and your affiliate link.
Once your website is set up, you will want to start adding content. The content you write should be unique and original when promoting your product as Google will give more credibility to valuable content as opposed to regurgitated articles.
The next step is getting some backlinks to get yourself on the front page of Google. This is the best place to be to maximize traffic for your keywords. We won't get into building backlinks in this article as that is a whole other subject, but there are many free tutorials and videos on the internet to walk you through the process.
Affiliate marketing is an excellent online business. You need to remember that it is a business and needs to be treated as one. You will definitely need to put in a bit of work to get started. Don't give up if things don't happen right away. You need to be consistent and persistent. Take action every day and you will start seeing results.