Affiliate Marketing Can Make You Money Online

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What is affiliate marketing anyway?

Considering the current financial crisis and rising unemployment, many have looked into ways of earning some cash online to supplement their income. Those looking for online opportunities to make a little extra green inevitably hear about affiliate marketing. It’s essentially the idea of promoting an online business, and receiving payments for each referral you send their way.

The method of compensation varies between companies, but the basic idea is to promote a service or product online, and if you succeed in referring someone to the parent company’s website, you get a commission payment. For the company this amounts to outsourcing online advertising and promotion to affiliate marketers who work as independent contractors

Does affiliate marketing work for businesses?

Whether affiliate marketing is effective or not depends on perspective. For many businesses, the idea is excellent because it operates on a pay for performance model; meaning that the business pays only when an affiliate successfully generates tangible results. A number of major online businesses, such as Amazon.com, did very well with affiliate marketing in their early years.

Similarly, since the online business can develop its ownaffiliate programs that operate under its own terms and conditions, many online businesses have chosen to set them up. On the other hand, affiliate marketing offers few benefits for businesses that operate on a local basis or whose product or service is off-line in nature. Furthermore, failure to properly restrict the activity of affiliates or monitor abuses leads to a lot of unscrupulous affiliate marketers giving a business a bad name, and bad associations with bad marketing.

Does affiliate marketing work for affiliates?

It is undeniable that at least some people have built successful careers from affiliate marketing, but at the same time, it appears that the overwhelming majority of affiliate marketers make very little money, if any at all. Because affiliate marketers are independent service providers, the industry is completely unregulated which makes it very difficult to get exact numbers on how successful the industry is for most people.

Also, it’s difficult to assess the effecicacy of affiliate marketing because a lot of people are selling information on how to effectively market as an affiliate. This means that there is an enormous amount of misleading information online about how successful affiliate marketers can be, since the promoters have a vested interested in getting people to buy their how to materials. Since affiliate marketing is an online enterprise, people can basically say whatever they want you to believe, and it’s not like there are reliable sources you can verify. Just because one affiliate marketer claims to have made $ 60,000 a month doesn’t mean it’s true, and there’s no way to find out if it’s true, which it likely isn’t.

Who is successful at affiliate marketing?

Like any industry, there are occasional flukes where people succeed by sheer luck as opposed to skill or talent; but as always, these are the exceptions. In general, most of the confirmed successful affiliate marketers are people who already had a strong background in advertising and marketing before they took up affiliate marketing. Additionally, most of the proven success stories concern people who have been involved since the beginning of the industry in the late 1990s.

There aren’t many people who jumped in and were successful right away, and those that do are implausible at best. The few who have become successful very quickly usually have had access to some new innovation, such as the development of a completely new niche, technology, or marketing strategy. Despite claims to the contrary, there is virtually no verifiable evidence that most affiliate marketers ever make significant amounts of money.

Get rich quick? Not very likely.

Since so many affiliate marketers are making their money by selling instructional affiliate marketing materials, there are many claims that affiliate marketing offers the opportunity to get rich quick. Claims tend to resonate loudly during desperate times, and the people are looking for an extra boost for their income. However, as with most “get rich quick” schemes, most often it’s a scam. Even if you have an innovative concept that might open a new niche or market and even if you have a strong background in advertising or marketing, the odds are that it will take years to turn these ideas into enough money to live on.

While creating the online infrastructure for affiliate marketing can take a couple of months, actually making money can take a lot longer. Most of the confirmed successful affiliate marketers freely admit that it took them anywhere from one to five years before they were making enough to even consider dropping their day jobs.

Is affiliate marketing the right fit for you?

If you already have a solid background in advertising or marketing or you have some brilliant new idea, you may be able to make a fortune with affiliate marketing. However, even if this is the case, dont expect to do so overnight or to be able to do it without investing a lot of time and energy. If you have no experience in the field, and you’re looking for a quick, easy way to make a little cash on the side, affiliate marketing can be a good way to make it happen.

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