How to make money in your sleep with affiliate marketing
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the task of bringing customers to a seller of a product. You are rewarded with a commission for every customer you convert to a sale. The types of products that you bring can be either tangible items like clothing and furniture, or they can be digital items like ebooks and mp3s.
Why you should consider affiliate marketing
The best part about affiliate marketing is that you can make money in your sleep. There really is no better feeling than waking up to new sales every morning. I get that feeling when I sell old teacher books but there is a big difference between selling your own product and being an affiliate marketer.
When you are an affiliate marketer you don't have to ship anything! As I write this there are two orders for teacher books in my cue that I need to go find in my garage, print a label and ship away. With affiliate marketing, there are no products to handle, no shipping by you, and best of all, no customer service!
Getting Started in Affiliate Marketing Step 1
Getting started in affiliate marketing can be overwhelming if you are not sure where to start. My recommendation is to think about your own interests. If you are a hub writer you already have some topics under your belt. For example if you write about home schooling that is a great topic to start with. If you write fiction, then fiction writing is a great topic.
You'll give yourself an advantage by finding topics that you already know something about. This way you can filter items by the marketing material provided. If you would buy the product, then it is likely others would buy it as well.
A super easy place to start is here.
Getting Started in Affiliate Marketing Step 2
Now that you have selected a topic, you need to find some products to sell that relate to the topic. If your product is information like "How to write and market fiction," then you are more likely to find some digital information at clickbank. If your products are more tangible like shoes or baby clothing, then you might find appropriate products at commission junction.
Clickbank and Commission Junction are the easiest ways to get started but there are many other sources you can find once you get comfortable with the process. The biggest complaint about Clickbank is that they have a 60 day return policy and so the conversions don't often stick.
Getting Started in Affiliate Marketing Step 3
Once you select a source of the product(s) you are going to market, you will need to sign up with them. When you sign up with Commission Junction you will want to sign up as a publisher. This means that you are the one promoting someone else's product. You can be located in a variety of countries, buy you must be 18 to get started.
You will need to list a website and a category where your website would fall under. (My website MyParentingCoach falls under the family category.) If you don't have your own website you can start a blog on a free platform like Wordpress.com or Blogger and list that website when you sign up.
Getting Started in Affiliate Marketing Step 4
This is the final step before you start collection your earnings! Try out different ways to use your affiliate material. You can post them onto your blog posts or related Hubpages. You can also recommend products to your Twitter followers and Facebook fans. Another way to get customers to your links is by posting them onto forum comments.
Where ever you decide to post you links, just make sure you are using items that are related to the material you are using and that you are not violating any rules. Hubpages remains a reputable site because they limit the amount of links within a hub and require them to be related to the content within the hub.
It is also very important to note that the FCC requires any blogs that promote specific products to state in the blog that if someone purchases the item the blog owner will be compensated.
Commission Junction's publisher application page lists how to get started:
"Commission Junction advertisers offer many types of links, including text links, individual product links, banners, e-mail links, search boxes, and more. Try out links, check the results through the Account Manager and find out which types and which specific links work best on your sites. "