Intro to Affiliate Marketing

Today I’m beginning a new series, an introduction to all things related to Affiliate Marketing. As subscribers know, I promote affiliate marketing programs that I find to be useful, well designed, and produced by reputable developers and designers.

But it seems that some don’t know what Affiliate Marketing is. Thus this series. Over the next several weeks (at least) I’ll publish blog articles on the ins and outs of this profitable business. Your comments, as always, are welcome.


Who doesn’t dream of being his own boss? (His, her, its, them, zee, zir, hesh… For sake of readability and preserving the English language I’ve come to know and love, I use “his” as a general, neutral pronoun. Deal with it or click away.) The lure of a respectable income and flexible work hours and location naturally draws many people. Start-up capital, the risk of failure, and the incredible amount of work involved in starting a business poses more resistance to the dream than most people can overcome.

Enter stage left: the part-time, home-based business. The truth is you can start your home business with no money at all. Do you have a spare room or even a few available square feet in a corner of your house or apartment? Do you have a computer with an internet connection? Do you have a phone? If you have these three things you have the essentials of an office and a lucrative business.

One of the business ideas I strongly suggest is affiliate marketing. As a home-based business requiring no startup capital (assuming you already have the computer and internet connection) this is one of easiest risk-free businesses you can operate. Affiliate marketing will provide you with the opportunity to sell either a product or a service that someone else has created and will support.

For purposes of our discussion here, we’re not talking about drop-shipping businesses, which are technically also affiliate marketing. These require you to market a product that another vendor sells. There are sites where you can find products that are specifically designed for drop shippers. You advertise the product, someone makes a purchase from you (you’ll have to set up a payment processor), then you purchase the product from the vendor and have the product shipped to your buyer by the vendor. Some make a good income from this, but it’s a daily job. You have to be there to accept orders and make the purchases from the vendor. Do you want to take a vacation? You’ll have to hire someone to take over for you in your absence.

You can also set up an Amazon store or work with a similar online business. Now you’re out of the loop on product ordering; you advertise the product with your affiliate link to Amazon. When your prospect clicks on your link, he is directed to Amazon who registers the traffic as coming from you. If your prospect buys the product, you’re then paid a small commission, normally around five percent. The advantage is your customer deals only with Amazon. The disadvantage is that the commission is very small. You need to sell a lot of $19.95 products with a five percent commission to show any real money in your bank account.

For our purposes, marketing software or training programs, normally targeted at businesses who market on the Internet is the more profitable affiliate marketing model.

Normally, a software developer will have a suite of products and services that are available in graduated levels of functionality. The basic product might sell for $19.95, with add-ons that gradually increase the product’s functionality and have gradually increasing price levels. It’s not uncommon for the affiliate marketer to get 50% to 100% of the price of the initial product, or even several products in the suite that the customer purchases.

The marketing process is simple, but it’s not easy. You’ll have a lot to learn, but is any business any different? You’ll need to learn:

  • how to be found by the major Internet search engines,
  • the ins and outs of Search Engine Optimization,
  • how to make the most of every social media site available to you,
  • Google Adsense and Analytics, two tools that will help you generate more income and know exactly what is producing that income,
  • patience—Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is an affiliate marketing business.

The time is now to get started. As they say, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to dig your well. No matter how secure you feel your job is, things change and they can change quickly. Another well-known proverb is, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” If you don’t have more than one source of income, you’re treading on thin ice. If you don’t have at least six months’ worth of expense money in readily-available cash, you’re courting disaster. (And hardly anyone in America has that.)

What’s holding you back from starting a part-time home business?

  • It’s not capital—affiliate marketing doesn’t need it.
  • It’s not time—affiliate marketing doesn’t require any more than you can spare, if you’re honest with yourself.

If you’re thinking, “But I don’t have the knowledge I need to get started. I feel lost,” you’re not alone. That’s why I initially recommend these programs. They do virtually everything for you. You learn from the best and earn money while you develop your knowledge and expertise.

Click on the links and check ’em out. You won’t be disappointed with either or both. (I wasn’t.)

If you’re tired of your job and really want to work for yourself then stop making excuses and get to it. Through affiliate marketing you’ll find that having your own business is easier than you thought. All it takes is a little time and a commitment to start, follow through, and succeed. By taking advantage of the countless affiliate marketing programs available, you can vastly improve your financial situation and possibly make enough to make a full time income from part-time work.

Time waits for no man (or woman or any other gender).

Here’s to your success,


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