Affiliate Marketing — Is it a Good Money-making System?

In the last decade, the Internet has skyrocketed from a niche product used by a few techie types to a popular tool used by just about everyone. The World Wide Web, once used simply as another promotional device by institutions looking to market, has become a mainstream force in conducting business. There are now more than a billion Web sites and many of them exist simply to conduct business, offering products directly to the public without the necessity of a conventional storefront. The market for all products on the Internet has become very competitive, however, and corporations are always looking for extra ways to help make more sales. A system to do just that has become rather popular recently, as it offers money making opportunities even for Website owners who do not have retail sites. That method of making money is called affiliate marketing.

In the Internet sense, affiliate marketing is a method where a business pay owners of other Web sites, or “affiliates” if they direct customers to the business that results in a sale for that business. Affiliate programs may work in a variety of ways, but a popular and simple system consists of a small text link on Website A  that may have a bit of relevance to Website A’s content that connects to the retail Website B. If a customer on Website A sees the link, clicks on it and makes a purchase from Web site B, the owner of that site pays the affiliate a small fee. The system works well for both parties. The affiliate gets paid for doing comparatively little work; making a text link takes just several minutes and need only be done once. The business advantages, as it only has to pay affiliates for genuine sales, as opposed to advertising through other media in hopes of bringing in customers.

One popular method of affiliate marketing is Google’s Adsense program. Web sites offer advertising space on their Website, which search engine giant Google fills with ads that are related to that site’s content. If a visitor clicks on one of the ads, the Wwebsite showing the ad collects a small amount of money. This method is working so well that Google now employs hundreds of thousands of affiliates.

Can you earn a living with affiliate marketing? It is possible, and thousands of marketers claim to be doing just that. Most, though, simply supplement their income with the added sales from affiliate programs. The opportunities are practically unlimited, as is the sheer scope of the selection of products that one can offer. A popular product is software programs or electronic book downloads; there are a lot of Web sites dedicated solely to the sale of both types of products. The ideal way to go about it is to do a little research and see what sorts of products are available through affiliate intermediary companies, such as Commission Junction or Clickbank. If you can find products that go along well with your site’s content, you can soon be earning extra money through a few simple mouse clicks.

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