Affiliate marketing is one of the most common ways that people make money online. There are a virtually unlimited number of products and services that you can promote and earn commissions on, so whatever market or niche you're working in, chances are you can find affiliate offers.
Taking a step back for a moment, the way affiliate marketing works is you (the affiliate) recommend a product from a merchant, such as Amazon for example. If someone clicks through to buy the product using your special link, you will get credited for the sale and earn a commission.
These commissions can vary from a few cents to hundreds of dollars per sale, depending on the merchant, the cost of the product, the market you're working in and various other factors.
In many ways, it's very similar to working as a commissioned sales person for the vendor, except you can promote the products in many different ways, through whatever method is best suited for your particular situation.
And, you're a completely independent affiliate, of course, so you don't have to worry about working certain hours, showing up at an office for weekly sales meetings or anything else that would go along with a traditional "sales" job :-)
In this report, we're going to look at several strategies that you can use to earn $500 per month (or more) as an affiliate marketer. Then we're going to lay out a step-by-step action plan that you could either follow directly or tweak as you see fit.
Let's dig in…
What Can You Promote?
There are literally tens of thousands of things that you can promote as an affiliate. Anything from books and movies, to common household items right through to heavy machinery and other highly specialized products.
One of the most popular affiliate programs is Amazon.com, where you can earn a commission on virtually everything they sell. Whether you're recommending a book that you read or anything else in their massive product catalog, you can get paid for referring sales to them.
Of course, there are many other alternatives to Amazon as well. Some of these other programs, such as eBay, offer a wide range of products to promote while others are focused on specific products or services, such as website hosting.
If you already have a website, chances are you can find affiliate offers that will appeal to your audience. And if you don't already have a website and are looking for ideas for niches that you can work in, you can choose from hundreds of options.
How Much Can You Earn?
This is a question that can't be answered easily. Some products will pay just a few cents on each sale, requiring a lot of referrals to reach the $500 per month mark. Other offers might earn you that $500 with a single sale.
Rather than asking how much you can make, the better way to look at it is what you need to do to earn $500 per month.
The best way to determine this is to calculate how many of something you would need to "sell" each month in order to generate that $500. If the product you're recommending pays you a $50 commission, you would need to refer 10 sales to earn $500. If it pays 50 cents per sale, you would need to refer 1,000 sales.
Once you have some idea of how many sales you need to make every month, you can start to design a plan for reaching that goal.
Let's look at a simple example…
Let's say you have a blog where you write about woodworking. There are lots of different things you could promote that would appeal to readers in this market:
Specialty wood suppliers
Project plans and books would typically pay out up to about $1 per sale based on the relatively low prices. Tools, on the other hand, could pay out much more. If you referred a sale for a $1,000 tool, you might earn $75 to $100 in affiliate commission.
Let's say you choose to promote tools, because of the higher payout. If you earn an average of $75 per sale, you need 7 sales to reach (and slightly surpass) your goal.
That doesn't sound like many sales, but something to keep in mind is that higher priced products don't sell as easily, since there is a higher investment required on the part of the buyer. Even though you don't earn as much per sale, you might earn more by promoting a lower cost product.
We're going to look at some strategies for determining what the most profitable option is shortly.
Keep in mind that this is just one example. You can find offers related to virtually any topic - we've included a list of places to look for these offers at the end of this section.
How to Promote Affiliate Offers
There are various ways to promote affiliate offers:
Via your website
Through social media like Facebook and Twitter
Classified ads (both online and in print)
If you already have a website, you can promote affiliate offers through the site itself, through your email newsletter if you have one, via your Facebook Page and so on. In this case, you would want to go looking for affiliate offers that would appeal to your audience.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be used in conjunction with a website or they can be used completely on their own. If you have a reasonable following on either or both of them, and you've built good relationships with your followers, you can post short promotions along with your affiliate link and generate referrals from there.
In both of these cases, one of the most effective ways to promote these offers is to review products or services that would be of interest to your audience. Ideally these would be things that you've bought and used yourself so you can talk about them with some authority.
Classified ads are another effective way to promote affiliate offers, both through online ads and through traditional classified ads in print newspapers and magazines. While you can find free classified websites and sometimes even free print classifieds, this method will typically cost you something to place the ads.
There are a couple of ways you can approach this strategy.
Number one, you can simply link directly to the offer that you're promoting. This is known as "direct linking."
For example, if you were promoting a product on Amazon.com, you would simply link the ad directly to the product page on Amazon. Anyone clicking through on the ad would wind up on that page immediately.
Number two, you can link to a page on your own website where you offer the visitor a review, more information about the product or something else that adds value above and beyond the product page itself. You would then link to the product's page from within the content on your own website.
Both these methods will work, but you'll often find that sending the visitor to your own website and giving them more information about the product will be more effective. If they know what they're looking for, it's quite likely they would simply go directly to the product's website in the first place. But if you offer something else of value, they will often visit your site first to see what you have to say.
Note: Some affiliate programs do not allow direct linking - make sure you read the terms and conditions of any program you sign up for before trying this strategy.
Purpose-built websites aren't that different from promoting through your own existing website. You will still offer similar things - reviews, tips & tricks for using the products, etc. - but you do so on a website that you build specifically for this purpose.
The website will contain information that is specifically about the product(s) that you're promoting, and it will be built in such a way that everything points your visitors towards your ultimate goal - getting them to purchase the product(s) you're promoting.
We're going to look at this particular strategy in detail in the step-by-step action plan at the end of this section.
You can read the remainder of this post or download it in PDF format here.
If you find this content helpful, you can find lots more like it, that you are free to use for your own purposes, at my site: http://www.PLRContentSource.com