As a practicing Internet Marketer for a few years already, I consider Affiliate Marketing as one of my top 10 Internet Businesses – or Internet Business Models to be precise. In fact, Affiliate Marketing is a very popular way for most people – big companies and ordinary individuals alike – to make money online.
If you’re new to marketing online, chances are you’ve probably heard about Affiliate Marketing as well. I hope to provide an expressed overview on this interesting method based on my experience with making money in the shoes of an Affiliate Marketer.
WHAT IS IT IN A NUTSHELL?
Basically, Affiliate Marketers are pretty much similar to salespeople that you see in the offline world. Affiliate Marketers get paid a certain percentage in commissions, only when they successfully help the merchant sell products.
The differences between an Affiliate Marketer and an offline salesperson are:
1. The basic job of an Affiliate Marketer is to ‘pre sell’. He doesn’t attempt to do any hard selling and convincing because this is the responsibility of the merchant. Generally, the products that are being pushed by Affiliate Marketers are digital products, though a good portion of the goods peddled online are physical products too.
2. The Affiliate Marketer helps find the prospects using the Internet as the main medium (read: refer targeted traffic). This is as opposed to the salesperson counterpart using offline advertising to their advantage.
However, a lot of similarities settle in as:
1. An Affiliate Marketer gets paid only when a sale is made.
2. An Affiliate Marketer plays the role of the ‘middle man’ or ‘referral machine’. You identify a strong demand, find the right product or solution and then introduce it to the targeted audience.
WHY IT ROCKS
Personally, I create my own products. However, I can only do so much on my own and launch only so many products at any given time. This is where Affiliate Marketing becomes handy. You don’t have to create your own products in order to start making money online.
A lot of beginning Internet Marketers are recommended to start with Affiliate Marketing as the risk is minimal, time and effort saving, and it’s also a great opportunity to test the waters in a niche before diving in and creating your own line of products there.
WHY IT DOESN’T
Most Affiliate Programs pay your commissions later, usually 14 to 30 days. You also forfeit the branding benefits to the merchant you are promoting for. Even though you save on product development, you get paid only a fraction of the product price for commissions, which you could have otherwise earned 100% of the sales if you sold your own products.
IS THIS FOR YOU?
If you never liked the idea of doing customer support, prefer your business to be more automated or are naturally good at recommending top picks to people around you, Affiliate Marketing is the way to go.
In my personal opinion (and probably many others as well), I consider Affiliate Marketing to be one of my top 10 Internet Businesses. You may want to seriously consider this Internet Business Model but take note that you can always integrate it into your existing business as well.
© 2008 by Edmund Loh