Don't sit there racking your brains thinking up your first product to sell online – there’s a much easier way to start making money online. Your best bet is to sell someone else’s product. It's called Affiliate Marketing or Referral Marketing.
The simplest way to do this is join an affiliate network. This is a website or service where the Affiliate Network Company offers affiliate programs and have multiple product owners/vendors wanting affiliates to sell for them.
Sign Up With An Affiliate Network
When you sign up on an affiliate network website, you’re provided with an affiliate id. You’ll need to fill out all the normal stuff like name, address and email, and also give details of the most important bit, where the commissions you’re going to earn will be paid to.
Once you’ve signed up, you get to see all the products they have on offer on that network site. Then you can search for a product you’re interested in promoting – having done your research first. You’ll probably have to contact the vendor to sign up as their affiliate. You do this through the affiliate network site, and it’s just so the vendor can get some details of who their affiliates are and give you access to their promotional materials.
It should be a win-win relationship between you and the vendor.
It’s in their best interests to be nice to you, as you’re making them money! Most reputable vendors give you a website that has banners and text ads that link to their site. You just display these ads on your website to promote the product, and get paid whenever someone clicks on the ad and buys the product.
Use Pay-Per-Click Advertising
You'll want to drive targeted visitors to your website and the very best way to do that is to leverage the large third party pay-per-click platforms like Google Adwords (those little ads you see on the right hand side of the screen when you search on google), Microsoft Bing, and Facebook.
When you pay to advertise you'll definitely want to send those prospects to a lead capture page so they enter their email address and you'll stay in touch with them by email. You'll insert your affiliate id in your emails, and also in your blog post reviews on your the affiliate offers you're promoting.
Google and Facebook frown on driving prospects straight to a stand-alone opt-in page/lead capture page, where you ask someone for their email address in exchange for a free gift. Instead, they want businesses to advertise to a full marketing website, where one page on the site is a lead capture page.
Google and Facebook need to comply with consumer guidelines set out by The Federal Traces Commission in the US so they expect to see a ton of relevant content on a website to provide a informed experience for their users. Because a stand-alone optin page doesn't provide any content, they won't approve ads directing traffic to domains or urls where the only page on the site is a lead capture page.
So before you go down this path, do some research, and definitely read the terms and conditions of the platform you're advertising on. In fact, read them about three times, and keep reading them regularly.
Email Your Prospects
Once you have the email address of your prospect, the process to get them to click through to the product you’re promoting is really simple. The affiliate id you got when you signed up for the network is passed through to the vendor’s site. When your prospect buys the product you're promoting from the vendor’s website, the vendor knows the sale came from you and you get paid a commission on the sale.
To put it another way, you’re linking in an email to send visitors through to the vendor's site, with your affiliate id passed along in the process. What’s good for you is you don’t have to do anything after that. The vendor deals with delivering the product to the customer, collecting payment, dealing with customer queries, and paying you on a regular basis – so you can just relax.
What About Payment Disputes With Vendors?
You may be wondering what happens if you get a vendor who doesn’t pay you. Well if you’ve signed up through an affiliate network website, the affiliate network will handle all the transaction details between you and the vendor, and resolve any disputes.
One of the most popular and most trusted affiliate networks is www.clickbank.com. They’re huge and have over 12,000 digital products and more than 100,000 active affiliate marketers.
Search their products by category, where they give a weighting to which products sell the best, so you have a better idea of what’s currently hot.
The commissions on Clickbank are anything from around 30% to 75% so it’s possible to make some serious money.
But in order to make money online as with anything else, you need to put some hard work in. You also want to have a decent stream of traffic going to your site consistently, so you have a constant source of commissions.
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