An easy way to begin
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get into business on the Internet.
What it means is that you affiliate yourself with a company and market their products or services. You don't have to worry about developing your own product or service, about shipping, billing or credit card clearance, or after-sales service. You don't even have to explain much about the product…and you should not sell. Leave that part up to the company. All you do is provide a recommendation.
When the person to whom you have made the recommendation visit's the company's website, this is where you expect them to receive a thorough and informative sales presentation. If you try to sell, and the company also sells, the result would be overkill and will turn off many potential customers.
Is support there?
And if, in your opinion, the company's website does not do a good enough job of providing the information necessary to get sales, walk away. Look for a company that will fully support your sales efforts.
To be a successful affiliate marketer, you must develop a list of people who have visited your website, preferably often, and in whom you have fostered trust. People will accept advice from someone they trust, but their defenses are up when it comes to advertisers.
This is one reason companies need affiliates. If you are trusted and you recommend a particular product, it is far easier for the company to make a sale. The potential customer you have recommended comes to them predisposed to buy.
But how do you build trust when the stay of the average visitor on a website is counted in seconds, and sometimes milliseconds? Simple: provide interesting, stimulating content on your site, and keep providing new content frequently, several pages a month. If it's interesting enough, they will read every word.
Don't make the mistake of asking people to bookmark your page. They will forget to come back, perhaps permanently. How many of your bookmarked pages do you visit regularly, if at all?
Start a newsletter
Instead, start a monthly newsletter. Tell people very briefly about the new content on your website. Give them just enough information for them to determine if your new material is of interest to them. Provide links to your web pages for those stories that are of interest to them. Give people the right content, and let them know about it through your newsletter, and they will come back.
The more often they come back, the more they will start to trust you and what you tell them. But be careful not to fill your site with affiliate recommendations.
Provide only the information that you think will be helpful to your visitor. Forget about making sales; they will come if you do everything else right. Let them come to understand over time that you are on their side. Isn't this what you would want in their position?
Your website should be about building friendly relationships with your potential customers. A successful site will be one that puts relationships before sales, others before self. This is not a get-rich-quick proposition. Building trust, online or off, takes time. This is why the get-rich-quick schemes and those who are drawn to them fail.
Remember this, and you will be on your way to building a successful on-line business you can run from the comfort of your own home.