If you have been involved in the Internet marketing world for any length of time, chances are you would have heard of, or even had a stab at affiliate marketing.
Created by the founder of Amazon, affiliate marketing is a concept that has taken the internet by storm and undoubtedly created much wealth for dedicated affiliate marketers. The idea is a remarkably simple one, involving webmasters promoting a special version of the webmaster’s website URL in which the affiliate’s ID has been imbedded.
If a sale is made or a lead generated, through the affiliate’s special link, the site owner then shares the proceeds of that sale with the affiliate as previously agreed. Affiliate programs are offered for all types of products and services, but it is with digitally downloadable information products such as e-books that the idea has really come into its own. In fact, Clickbank, the largest affiliate bank online, promote nothing other than digital downloads, with e-books making up a large portion of their inventory.
For those with little capital, looking at the possibility of entering the potentially lucrative world of internet marketing, signing up as an affiliate is an obvious place to begin.
Low start up costs, not having to spend time and resources developing their own products or having to deal with customers afterwards, all combine to make affiliate marketing the simplest way to get started making money online.
Make no mistake; fortunes have indeed been made through affiliate marketing. For the webmaster also, affiliate marketing has obvious advantages. This is particularly true in the case of virtual products like e-books. Since these products do not need to be physically produced and shipped to the customer, most of the cost associated with the product is spent on the initial stages of creation.
As a result a webmaster selling an e-book for $ 67 for instance, can afford to pay his affiliates as much as 75% of the sale price and still make great profits. Indeed many webmasters promoting such products actively go out in search of would be affiliates. According to Clickbank, about 50% of all the sales made through their network came about as a result of an affiliate’s efforts.
But is affiliate marketing right for everyone at all times?
Well no. Not if you have a brilliant idea for the next great traffic generation strategy, which you can’t wait to present to the world, or have spent a fortune developing a great membership website or have a vast collection of PLR content you are keen to get online and sell. There are times when it pays to develop your own product.
Another disadvantage of affiliate marketing is that all the customers and opt in leads that you generate through your affiliate URL will be the webmaster’s and not yours.
In other words it will be the site owner who will in future promote his products to these people. Some affiliates get around this problem by directing their customers to the webmasters site through their own mini site or squeeze page.
Here, not only will they have the opportunity to sell the product even further, but to also capture the name and email of the perspective buyer.This however is not a strategy for new and inexperienced affiliates, as preparing and uploading the mini site is not without cost and may require technical expertise. Needless to say if you were on the other side of the curtain so to speak, as a webmaster and not an affiliate, the situation would be reversed.
It would then be you seeking out affiliates and holding on to leads captured. In conclusion affiliate marketing is a great way of entering internet marketing. But once established you should seek to develop your own product, either alone or in collaboration with a fellow marketer. But why not try both? Even the world’s elite marketers still promote the products of their colleagues as affiliates.
After all, the bottom line in internet marketing, as with any other business is Dollars in the bank. If you can generate revenue through developing your own content as well as through affiliate marketing, wouldn’t it be foolish not to do so?