The Internet has completely changed the way companies deal with advertisers. In traditional advertising, corporation pays an advertising agency for promotional and marketing campaigns it makes, regardless of whether the campaign flopped or succeeded. In web marketing, however, companies only pay the owners of website for successful leads and sales.
If you think that such deals, usually called business affiliate programs, are not lucrative, you have to think again. According to figures from Internet World Stats, as of December 1, 2006 there are over 231 million Internet users in North America alone, about 113.7% rise from a year ago.
Affiliate marketing is a numbers game. Even when only 1% of the total number of users in North America shops online, that is already over 23 million potential customers. That is why many people have attested to becoming rich with the help of business affiliate programs. If you want to cash in on the huge potential of this online marketing scheme, you first need to know the basics of affiliate marketing.
Overview of business affiliate programs
When you open a website, you will surely see advertisements, either on the header or on the rightmost side of the webpage. When you click the ads, you will be drawn to the website of a company selling goods or services that are related to the website that you have just viewed. Most of the time, website owners are not being paid advertising fees for displaying links of other online stores or websites. Web owners only get paid when a visitor clicked the ad, or secured a lead or sale from affiliates.
Basically, as an affiliate you advertise or sell the goods and services of the manufacturer or company that you are allied with. In return, you get commissions from potential leads or successful sales.
Steps to take if you are interested in business affiliate program
Step 1. You need to ascertain if you are serious and committed in joining a business affiliate program. Such endeavors require a considerable amount of time and effort; thus, if you are unsure of yourself, do not go ahead with your plan. You will not succeed in this business, if you don’t put your heart into it.
Step 2. You need a website to start a business affiliate program. You don’t need to buy a domain name if you are just starting out. You can already earn a substantial sum of money even if you only use a free website or even a blog for affiliate marketing. Although some people become successful in affiliate marketing even when they do not have a website, it is still strongly recommended to have one because many affiliate programs are only available for people or companies that have websites.
If you are not familiar with making websites, do not worry. You don’t need to be a computer programmer or an HTML expert to make your own website or blogs. There are now many platforms, even free ones, that make creating web pages as easy as 123. Domain names and website maintenance has also become more affordable, so if you decide to buy a domain name, you are sure that you won’t hurt your purse.
Step 3. Try to figure out what your website or blog would be about. For best results, you need to target a specific niche when creating a blog or website. Instead of making a web page dedicated for booklovers you could probably narrow down the topic to lovers of science fiction and fantasy novels created for young adults. If you feel that this is still too broad, you can make a website about a particular book or about an author.
Once you have determined what your blog or website will be about, you can now think of the different products or services that your readers or visitors might need or require, in relation to the main theme of your webpage.
Step 4. After you have established a website, you are now ready to join affiliate programs that accommodate the needs and interests of your target market. If your website is about science fiction and fantasy books for young adults, you could probably join affiliate programs that sell books, action figures and toys based on the characters of the novels you are discussing, or even other collectibles related to your topic.
Step 5. In order to drive traffic to your website, you need to provide your visitors with interesting articles, trivia, or even games (depending on your niche market). Make sure that the materials that you put in your website are addressed or focused on the people who are searching for the products or services that your affiliates are trying to sell or offer.