If you’re trying to earn money from home on the internet, one of the things you are probably going to hear about again and again is affiliate marketing. Here's just one of over 561 million results on Google for the phrase “affiliate marketing.”
But what is affiliate marketing? What are the pros and cons? And how can you get started with this opportunity if you decide it's right for you?
Are you wondering if affiliate marketing is:
- hard or easy?
- legitimate or not?
- part-time or full-time?
- a suitable opportunity if you want to start building your own online business?
- a realistic opportunity to make income from home?
This article can provide you a good introduction and some ideas to carry forward.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Before we talk about the pros and cons of affiliate marketing, let's cover what it is. In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is when you create various forms of content such as blog posts, articles, videos, audio recordings, or paid advertisements to promote and sell other people’s or companies' products or services.
When you make a sale or have someone perform an action such as signing up to receive additional information about a product, you earn a commission.
So, you join an affiliate program, promote the merchant's product or service and receive commissions – it is as simple as that.
Or is it?
The Pros of Affiliate Marketing
Some of the many pros of running your own affiliate marketing business are:
- Low Starting Costs: You can actually get started with affiliate marketing for very little money. Technically, you can actually get started for free. There are very few businesses out there that you can create with such a low initial investment.
- Easy to join: Most affiliate programs are quite easy to join. You simply have to fill out a form with the required information. Some have some basic requirements for your site, but generally, they are not too hard to fulfill.
- No Hassle Dealing with Products: Since you are selling someone else's products, you don't have to deal with packaging, shipping, inventory, customer support, or any of the like. Those aspects are dealt with by the person or company selling the product or service. All you need to do is entice people to buy it through your site.
- Can be Done from Anywhere and Anytime: With an affiliate marketing business, all you need is your computer (or another such device) and an internet connection to keep up with your daily work. This gives you the freedom to work from home while the kids are at school, napping or doing their homework, or in the park while you are waiting for them to finish baseball practice.
- Part-time or Full-time: Affiliate marketing is something that can be done for as few or many hours as you like, depending on your situation and goals. Since you're the boss, you're in control. Whether you want to earn enough for a full income or just be able to earn a bit while spending more time with your kids, affiliate marketing can help you do it.
- High Income Potential: When it comes to affiliate marketing, the amount of money you can earn is virtually limitless. It all depends on how much traffic you are able to generate and how many people you are able to convince to try the offers you are promoting. While it does take some time to develop a successful affiliate marketing business, if you’re willing to put the time in, the rewards can truly be life-changing.
- The Ability to Help Others: One of the reasons that I enjoy affiliate marketing is that I’m able to help others by providing solutions to their problems. When your readers or viewers are searching for the most suitable products to meet their needs, you can be right there in front of them, providing them with a solution and earning a little bit of money while doing it. That's a win-win!
The Cons of Affiliate Marketing
There are some pitfalls associated with affiliate marketing as well. These include:
- There Are Many Scams: If you do a Google for guidelines on how to get started with affiliate marketing, you will find a lot of scams designed to separate you from your money while promising you impossible results. This can be the case whether you are looking for affiliate marketing training or affiliate programs to join.
- Can Be Overwhelming: When you’re first trying to get started learning how to set up your own affiliate marketing business, there’s a lot of information out there (remember those 561 million results I mentioned above?!). Without a solid plan of action, you can find yourself struggling to get from point A to point B, and ultimately never get going.
- Challenging Aspect of Finding a Niche: It can be hard to find a niche that is suitable for you – one that you know enough about to be able to help people, profitable, and with reliable affiliate programs already developed for you to step into.
- Not as Simple as it Seems: Join, promote, sell, earn! It sounds so easy. If you have someone to show you what to join, how to promote, and all the details in between, it can be easy – eventually. But there is a learning curve and you need the right guidance and support to get you there. It takes work, no matter what anyone tells you!
If you just want to know about the pros and cons, you can stop here. If you're interested in pursuing affiliate marketing, then read on….
How Do You Avoid The Cons While Pursuing The Pros?
A lot of newcomers to the world of internet marketing ask this very same question. Honestly, it’s a lot simpler than you may have previously thought.
In order to avoid the scams that exist on the internet, it is important for you to find a quality training program that will teach you how to get off and running the right way, right out of the gate.
Aquality program will be organized so you must complete tasks in order. This way, you are able to see results from your hard work.
Finally, in order to be successful, you will want to surround yourself with other like-minded individuals. For that reason, it is important for you to find a group of people that you can network and communicate with who are pursuing similar goals.
Try to find people who have a little bit more experience than you do so that you can ask them for advice and help when you need it.
Where to Go from Here?
There are many different training programs on the internet that will help you learn how to get started. One such program that I recommend is Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Why is this?
The course is budget-friendly at $197 for a one-time payment and $210 in two monthly installments. This will allow you to test the waters to see if affiliate marketing is right for you without breaking the bank.
In return, you'll get over 30 lessons, a workbook, and a private mastermind – in addition to some great bonuses that include group coaching sessions.
Third, this course provides you with an online community of like-minded individuals who are more than willing to reach out, say hello and help you out. This will enable you to forge relationships that can benefit both your personal life, as well as your business future.
Instructor and course creator Michelle Schroeder-Gardner runs the award-winning personal finance blog, Making Sense of Cents. She started blogging as a hobby, and now earns over $100,000 a month blogging, with around $50,000 a month of that coming from affiliate marketing.
Her writing and advice have been featured on sites such as Huffington Post, Forbes, Yahoo, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Zillow, US News, Nasdaq, MSN, and more.
So, if you're thinking of giving affiliate marketing, then you should head on over and check out Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, so you can, you know, make sense of affiliate marketing!