Why Do People Choose to Do Affiliate Marketing?

August 4, 2010 by  
Filed under XsitePro

Affiliate marketing is one of the hot home businesses right now. No inventory, no investment in product, a wide range of ways to choose to market your business, a quick road to riches. Why wouldn’t you choose affiliate marketing?
Guess that ends the article. Bye!
Just kidding. So much of what people hear about affiliate marketing is the fantasy, not the reality, so today we’re going to get into the reality.
Affiliate marketing does have a lot going for it when you’re looking for a home business. The flexibility is delightful. You don’t have monthly minimum purchases. No inventory. No delivery. You don’t have to answer (many) customer questions… although you can improve your sales by being available to answer questions. Even if you don’t plan on answering questions, people will find ways to get into contact with you if they’re desperate for information.
Affiliate marketing is a lot of work too. You might be surprised at how much. Very, very few people get started and make the big bucks right off. It’s also getting more and more challenging to get started as more and more people who know what they are doing get established.
I’m not knocking affiliate marketing. I think it’s FUN!
One of the best reasons to choose affiliate marketing is that you can choose just about any topic to get started. There are all kinds of ways to choose a topic. You can do keyword research to find profitable topics. You can focus on discounts. You can go by your interests.
Yes, you can go with just about any interest you have and find products to sell. Love crafts? There are programs out there where you can sell scrapbooking supplies, sewing supplies, knitting supplies and quite a bit more. It’s wonderful to be able to use knowledge you already have to earn money.
It is a good idea to learn how to handle the website development and marketing sides of your affiliate marketing business, and that means you need to be ready to learn.
Fortunately, there are many tools to make your life simpler in this area. You don’t have to learn HTML to create a website if you absolutely don’t want to… although I do recommend building a basic knowledge at the very least over time. You can sign up with SBI or buy XSitePro or Dreamweaver to handle much of the work for you. Which tool is right for you depends on your skill level and needs.
You don’t have to have a website to be an affiliate, but it simplifies matters tremendously. Many programs want to see your website before they let you sign up.
You also gain many advantages. You get access to your customers, and can encourage them to sign up for a newsletter, so that you can have many chances to sell to them. You get the chance to present your opinion on the company or products you are representing. You get the chance to get free traffic from the search engines.
As you can see, affiliate marketing can cost some money. Website hosting, website development (tools or paying someone to do it for you), marketing… even though you don’t absolutely have to buy the products you plan on representing there are a lot of expenses to deal with. Fortunately, the recurring ones aren’t too big, and the one time fees are just that.
No, you will NOT get rich quickly. No, you will NOT spend your days on the beach… unless you own a laptop and can get a wireless connection, and spend your days working at the beach. Becoming a successful affiliate takes a great deal of time.
There’s still much more to being an affiliate, but this should give you a reasonable overview of why people choose to be an affiliate. No matter which tactics you choose, affiliate marketing has a lot to offer. However, you need to be sensible about what you are getting into. I could go on for much, much longer on this topic and still barely scratch the surface.

Stephanie Foster runs http://www.aspectsofhomebusiness.com/ and gives advice on getting your home business going. Subscribe to her home business newsletter for more information on running your home business.
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