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Affiliate marketers get paid to refer sales and leads to other businesses. Some programs even allow you to earn commissions on your own purchases, and it's a business you can operate from home. A computer and Internet connection are the only tools you need, and you can get started with little or no start-up costs.
Finding Your Place Online
Set up a blog or website to display your affiliate links. Joining a community such as Hubpages or using a publishing platform like Blogger is the easiest way to get started. These options are free and there's minimal setup required. Launching a website is more work. You'll need to select a domain name, select a web hosting service and either have your site built or design it yourself.
Select a niche or target market and develop a coherent strategy to become an authority in that area. You may, for example, want to market a certain category of products, such as organic goods or consumer electronics, or you may want to focus on a specific segment of consumers, such as commuters, entrepreneurs or students. Consider problems you want to solve within your niche and find reputable products and services to do so.
Contact individual businesses and apply to join their affiliate marketing program or join an affiliate marketing network, such as Clickbank, which makes a variety of merchants accessible. Stay focused on your niche and don't push random products just because they look cool or offer high commissions. For best results, only market products or services you've tried or thoroughly reviewed.
Prepare for the Money Honey
Select a payment option for each affiliate program you join. Some companies provide checks and make transfers in your existing bank accounts. Others require you to have online payment accounts, such as Paypal, or to sign up for gift cards or debit cards.
Make Your Site a Resource
Make you blog or site about more than selling. Provide valuable content either about the products you're marketing or topics relevant to your niche or target audience. If you don't provide useful content and update your site, readers may consider it spam and your search engine rankings could suffer. Also avoid making false claims about products or services you're marketing, or you risk damaging your reputation.
Establish an online presence and market your affiliate business. Set up social media accounts to promote your site and its content. Try to get as many backlinks as possible. Backlinks lead readers from other websites or blogs to yours, and you can get them by placing your affiliate site's link in your social media profiles, promoting your site's content in online communities, such as as Reddit or Digg, and writing guest posts with a link to your site and publishing them on other sites. Also, consider running advertisements and become an active member of forums relevant to your niche and forums where affiliate marketers exchange ideas.
Felicia Dye graduated from Anne Arundel Community College with an associate's degree in paralegal studies. She began her writing career specializing in legal writing, providing content to companies including Internet Brands and private law firms. She contributes articles to Trace 775.com.
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