Now that you started to build the foundation of your website, it’s time to learn how to actually make money from it. Finally, the money part!!
There are several ways you can make money from your website, but we’ll be focusing on affiliate marketing for this training. Affiliate marketing is a good way to get started making money online because you don’t need to have any of your own products. You will refer people to products that are sold by companies with an affiliate program. If the person you refer buys something from that company, you’ll get a percentage of the sale.
Finding Products to Promote
The first thing you need to determine is what products you want to promote. A little brainstorming and an Internet search is all you need.
Let’s say that your website/blog is about weight loss products. What kind of products could you market that are related to your niche?
The obvious answers are exercise equipment, weight loss supplements, exercise DVD’s, and books. But there are things like e-books, services, and weight loss/exercise programs online that you can market as well.
The products you promote on your website should be specific products that you can provide useful information about. Instead of trying to market “exercise DVD’s,” you should focus on a specific product, like the popular P90x exercise DVDs.
The next step is finding a company with an affiliate program that sells that product.
How Do I Find Companies With Affiliate Marketing Programs?
There are 4 general ways you can search for companies with an affiliate program.
- Search Engine Research
- Go to a Company’s Website
- Affiliate Marketing Networks
- Amazon Affiliate Program
Search Engine Research
You can find affiliate programs with a simple search on the Internet. I use Google.com to do most of my searches.
The first thing you need to do is to find the company that makes or sells the product you want to market. Using the P90x exercise DVDs as an example, I did a Google search and found out that Beachbody.com is the company that makes and sells those DVDs.
I would then see if Beachbody.com has an affiliate program.
Just type in the name of the company plus the words “affiliate program.” So I would type in “Beachbody.com affiliate program.” If they do offer an affiliate program, you’ll see it in the search results. You can then click on the link and follow their instructions on how to apply.
NOTE: Any affiliate program that you sign-up for should be FREE. NEVER PAY to join an affiliate program.
Going Directly to a Company’s Website
If you already know the company you want to market products for, you can go directly to their website. If they have a search bar on their homepage, you can type in “affiliate program” and see if it brings back any results.
Or you can check their homepage for any links to an affiliate program. If they do have an affiliate program, the link can usually be found at the bottom of the page.
Affiliate Marketing Networks
Many companies go through a 3rd party provider to handle their affiliate program. This is good news for affiliate marketers, because it means that we can sign-up with one affiliate network and have access to thousands of companies and products.
All you need to do is sign-up with these affiliate networks and you can search for companies on their website.
The top affiliate marketing providers are:
- CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction)
- Rakuten Affiliate Marketing (formerly Link Share)
- ClickBank (for e-books, and online memberships)
In our example, Beachbody.com has an affiliate program, but it’s offered through the CJ Affiliate by Conversant Network (www.cj.com). When you sign-up for the CJ affiliate network, you can join the Beachbody affiliate program via the CJ website.
NOTE: An important thing to keep in mind is that most companies require you to apply to their affiliate program. This means that they will take a look at your website to see if it’s a good fit with their company’s image and products. If your website is not related to their products at all, your application will most likely be declined.
Some companies also take a look at how much traffic you have. If you are just starting out and don’t get much traffic, they may turn you down. So it’s important to build the foundation of your website before applying to affiliate programs. This means keep building up your website with great content. Remember content is king! Keep on writing!
Amazon.com– You Want It, They Probably Have It
If you are looking for a specific product to sell, there is a very good chance that Amazon.com sells it. Luckily for us, Amazon.com has an affiliate program.
Most of the products on their website can be sold through their affiliate program. If you refer someone to Amazon.com to buy a book, but they end up buying a TV and computer too, you will get a percentage of their total applicable sales.
The only drawbacks of the Amazon affiliate program is that it is not available in some areas. Check out the Amazon Affiliate page for more details.
It also pays a small commission compared to other companies. Amazon.com pays a 4% commission when you start out (increases as you sell more products). You might be able to get a 5, 10, or 15% commission for the same product if apply directly to that product’s company or via an affiliate network. However, the vast number of products offered on Amazon makes it a very worthwhile program to join.
Video – Understanding the Basics of Affiliate Marketing
- Find 5 products that you would like to promote on your website.
- Search to find out where you this product can be purchased.
- Find out if the company that sells it has an affiliate program.
- Sign-up to any of the 4 affiliate marketing networks listed above if a company you want to promote is listed there.
Okay, that’s it for this lesson! In the next lesson, we’ll learn how to use these affiliate programs to make money and how to use affiliate links on our website.
Step 9- How to Use Affiliate Links on Your Website to Make Money (coming soon)!
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