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  Affiliate marketing is one of the most common avenues for making money online. Affiliate marketing is, in essence, when you sign on with companies to market their products and services on your own website in return for a certain percentage of money made by people who buy things after clicking on a link on your site. Generally affiliate marketers make between thirty five and eighty percent of the profits made on a sale.

Signing up as an affiliate marketer is free and you can even market for free on a personal blog or site through something like blogger.com or WordPress. Affiliate marketing isn't a bad place to start if you want to make money online, but if you want to be well off, you'll have to know some tricks and tips.

The trick to succeeding in affiliate marketing is to build a blog or info-site built around your affiliates so that people researching what you're pushing can learn about it and then click on a link to buy whatever it is you're talking about. Many successful web entrepreneurs do this because it is free to become and affiliate and hosting your own website is highly affordable; usually just a few dollars a month. You have to become an expert in your field, which means researching and writing on a given subject that you wish to market. This information can then be used in email marketing and your website.

However, you can't only write content, you also has to push your site out there. There are a number of tools geared towards increasing traffic to your website, optimizing your site for search engines, and making places like Google rank you. After all, you won't be a successful affiliate marketer if you aren't seen, so you have to do just as much work into pushing your site as you do towards filling it.

There are entire libraries of information devoted to how to do this and the information is always changing slightly, so you're better off exploring reputable tools to help. Knowing things like Search Engine Optimization, forum marketing and email marketing are all things that take practice and training, so be prepared for some education in order to make lots of money.

Affiliate marketing is one of those making money online schemes which actually works if you put the effort into it. There are many people who can make hundreds and even thousands of dollars a month with just a few months of hard work and the rest of the time largely spent updating sites and watching the cash come in. Businesses pay very well to have their names plastered on other sites and many online businesses work entirely on the premise of being affiliate marketers.

It's a fantastic money making niche and almost entirely free to start. However, it is highly advisable to put a bit of money into a good system that will show you how to go about making the most out of affiliate marketing right from the start, so make sure to look around and then get down to making money online by helping others find what they need.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Affiliate marketing allows you to recommend products and services from other companies and be paid a commission if someone buys the product as the result of your recommendation. To track which purchases happens as a result of your recommendation(s), the merchant will provide you with a special link to use when linking to their website that contains a unique referral code assigned to you. If people click that unique link, and buy the product or service within a specified timeframe (the timeframe varies depending on the merchant), you get a commission on the sale.

Starting out as an affiliate – find your niche and reap the rewards

Have you ever thought about becoming an affiliate, either personally or as an alternative revenue source for your business? With the current global economic climate and technological advances leading to increases in entrepreneurial spirit, more and more people are looking to affiliate marketing as a source of online income. Done right, affiliate marketing can bring in some genuinely easy money, but doing it right means doing it smart.

With a lot of the competition sewn up by a minority of big players, it can be hard for the "small-time newcomer” to get started. However, the kind of growth seen in many affiliate niches in recent years will always bring with it opportunities.

Potential opportunities

Online gambling, gaming and weight-loss all lend themselves well to affiliate marketing; the high commission, CPA and the frequent lack of any physical ‘product’ combined with ever-increasing volumes of traffic mean, at its best, this type of industry can be an affiliate marketer’s dream.

Identify a niche

A great way to start is to find your niche; online gambling comes ready to be split off, with each game attracting different audiences, you’ll find this is true of many affiliate marketing niches (gaming, dating, weight loss).

Finding the right niche can reduce competition and drastically improve click-through-rates and thus, commission. So start by identifying the least competitive niche with the highest value traffic.


 

Although targeting a smaller section of the overall audience may seem counterintuitive, the lower competition and niche-specific content means that conversion rates are far higher.

As an example, "live” online casino games have much lower search volume than their regular online counterparts but convert at a higher rate, due in part to the more specific requirements, which you will hopefully be fulfilling. The same is true of terms like "weight loss pills” as opposed to "weight loss” or "online strategy games” versus "online games”. In short, visitors are further down "the funnel”.

To continue with one of the above examples, monthly searches for "live roulette” are in the region of 2,000 whereas traffic for the term "roulette” is estimated at over 18,000. On the surface, the more valuable term to target would appear to be "roulette” but the extra competition and lower specificity of this term mean conversions will be lower (not just conversion rates but actual conversions).

Get to know your audience

As well as finding a niche that targets a specific audience, you should think about who that audience is, what motivates them and how they behave; and all of these things are affected by your choice of niche. In addition to the advantage of the extra specificity of your target audience, the value of each visitor within the different niches should also be considered.

Research needs to go beyond traffic volume and likelihood of "converting”, to include average spend per visitor as determined by the characteristics of that niche.

For instance, although live roulette has a far lower search-volume than roulette, it has over 3 times the player value due to the nature of live roulette as a game. It is considered trustworthy by more players, controlled as it is by a human dealer, unlike the computer-generated version, which leads to greater average spending. Over the course of a year, the average online roulette player is worth approximately $300 whereas the average live roulette player has a value in excess of $1,000.

As far as platforms go, audience behaviour and expectations can differ radically from one to the next. Although there is some variation across different types of niche, there is no doubt that mobile devices are increasingly playing a significant role.

Do the research, find out traffic estimates from mobile devices for multiple variants and respond accordingly. You don’t have to build a mobile version of your site to make things that little bit more amenable to the mobile user but it could improve conversions if you keep it in mind in the design of your site.

Get to know your product

Engaging with the products or service you are promoting in some way, by writing about it, for example, is a good way to stimulate interest without overtly directing your visitors to affiliate sites. In order to do this effectively, it helps if you choose a niche that you are interested in or knowledgeable about.

Take some time to consider the kinds of products and services that you know a lot about, faking an interest is not only time-consuming, it’s also fairly easy to spot and visitors to your site will be less inclined to invest if your enthusiastic endorsements ring hollow.

The overriding message here, whether you are in online gambling, gaming, weight-loss or dating, is to remain open to the opportunities. You shouldn’t be narrow-minded; remember that search volume and traffic don’t always equal cash, so choose your market carefully. Broadening your horizons will enable you to narrow your focus.

                    Best affiliate marketing companies:

  1. clickbank.com
  2. shareasale.com
  3. flexoffers.
  4. avangate.com
  5. com
  6. valuleads.com
  7. tradedoubler.com
  8. admedia.com
  9. affiliatenetwork.com
  10. affiliatefuture.com
  11. avantlink.com
  12. linkconnector.com

Tips For Affiliate Marketing Using Social Media

Be Active

Make sure your social media accounts stay active. The more active you are, the more exposure you will get and the more followers you will naturally acquire over time. Also be sure to stay active in the commenting sections. If someone replies to a tweet or an image on Facebook, be sure to respond. This helps to build a community of followers that you can interact with and build trust. As an affiliate marketer, your ultimate goal is to make money. But is it easier to sell products and services to strangers or people you talk to on a regular basis? In addition to the monetary potential, interacting with people in your niche industry helps you to get inside the minds of your target audience. You can learn what they want, what they don’t like, and what they wish already existed. The more you learn about your target audience, the better you will become at marketing to them and showing them products or services that will actually make their lives better or easier.

                                                        How to Use Social Media in Affiliate Marketing

These tips on how to use social media in affiliate marketing show that there is a brilliant middle ground between over use and under utilization where website owners create the ideal, personable persona with great views and content, but know when a tweet is a waste of time and characters and when to log out.

A small amount of time each day on social media, if managed correctly, can really help to bring content to a wider audience and spark conversation, but if you go overboard the venture is no longer productive and you risk scaring people off.

Work on your homepage, your persona and time management, target the right people with helpful posts and SEO and watch as social media suddenly works in your favor.

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