First of all, what are affiliate programs? Affiliate programs are programs you can join through which you get a commission for promoting and selling someone else's or a company's product. The company deals with all the hassles of shipping, servicing, refunding, etc. All you do is promote the product and get people to buy it through your link.
You might wonder how you can possibly promote a product with no experience in marketing or sales or anything of the sort. But if you have an interest in the product and are willing to write and help people in topics related to that product, starting a business online can become a reality.
So if you want to start a business online, using affiliate programs is one way to go. Here are 5 steps to help you achieve that goal:
1. Choose a niche
Think of something that you are really interested it – something you could talk about for hours and would love to find out more about.
2. Develop a basic website around that niche
Now that you have thought of a topic that you have plenty to write about, use a free website builder like SiteRubix to build your site. Click here if you would like more details on the steps involved in this simple website building process.
(SiteRubix is part of an Open Education Program called Wealthy Affiliate which also has free training on how to get started building websites.)
3. Find appropriate affiliate programs
You can type “affiliate programs + your_niche” into Google to find affiliate programs related to your niche. You can also search through the products in Amazon, ClickBank or other reputed affiliate networks to see if they have the product(s) you are interested in promoting.
4. Sign up for them and add their links to your site
Sign up to the affiliate program(s) you chose. They will then provide you with your affiliate link and access to banners, links, etc. that you can paste into your site. Many of them also provide short tutorials or videos leading you through the process.
5. Continue writing content and helping people through your site
In order to make sales, you have to have traffic on your site. The best way to do this is to regularly add content in the form of posts and new pages onto your site. Also interacting with readers through inviting comments and responding to them builds trust in the readers of your site.
This may sound like too simple of a process to actually build a business online. The fact is if you are ready to put the time and effort into it, the process isn't that difficult. But it is a business and like any other business it takes time and effort to build into a profitable venture.
If you are looking for a career that you can do wherever you are and whenever you have the time to work on it, this is definitely an option. It can give real results and you are totally in control of your situation. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or dad, a traveler, a caretaker or anyone who doesn't have total control of when and where you can put time into your work, this is a career that allows that.
So what do you think? Does it sound doable? Interesting? Leave your comments or questions below and let's start a conversation!