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Do you consider yourself to have a reasonable grasp of social media? Perhaps you run a blog on WordPress, or regularly contribute to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or other platforms? Do you also have an entrepreneurial spark? Have you given serious thought to how you could monetise your blog? If you can answer in the affirmative to any of these questions, you are actually a short space away from fulfilling the basic criteria for being a successful affiliate marketer.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular e-commerce trends on the Internet.  There are two players involved, a retail company (advertiser,) and an affiliate (marketer.) In order to promote their products, advertisers launch affiliate programs. These are basically lists of items for sale which can be signed-up to by marketers. Hyperlinks to the product purchase pages are then distributed to the marketer, and the onus shifts on them to promote the products on behalf of the advertiser. Each time a sale is made, the advertiser will pay commission.

It is often described as a win-win situation because the advertiser avoids having to fork out considerable sums of money on marketing budgets, and the marketer can set up an affiliate marketing program at very low cost. Another clear advantage for the marketer is they are not involved in stock control or inventory.

Can affiliate marketing really be described as a career?

Sole trading is most certainly a career choice for many digital entrepreneurs, and this is particularly the case with affiliate marketing. Exactly how much turnover you can achieve directly correlates to the amount of effort you are prepared to put into networking your online business. You can commence with signing-up to a basic affiliate program, but as your confidence grows you can consider expanding your portfolio and taking new programs on-board. You can join affiliate networks to collaborate with other traders. TopOffers mobile CPA affiliate network offers all sorts of tools as well as advice, and pointers towards market openings.

What are the basic steps involved?

Your first consideration is choosing the product itself. You can spend some time researching items that are likely to sell well. You can even become an affiliate for larger retail organizations such as Amazon. The possibilities are open-ended. But the best advice would be to choose a niche item which has a clear appeal but is yet to become so mainstream that the market will be crowded. How about something like drones? But a crucial part of affiliate marketing is your ability to write enthusiastically about your product.

If you are already blogging regularly about a certain subject then it would make sense to tie in your product with this topic. Affiliate marketing is not simply a case of pasting those hyperlinks from the advertiser onto your web pages in the hope that site visitors will somehow be inspired to click through and make purchases. It is all about nurturing an audience for the products by engaging with them. This is where social media becomes invaluable. If you are already in regular contact with a readership via your blogging, then this is your captive customer base.

It is up to you to make your products seem as enticing as possible, and this is where you can begin to use your imagination. Why not purchase the item yourself and then film yourself reviewing it positively? Post this throughout your social media. Once you start to be seen as the ‘go to' website for these particular goods, you can expect many more interested site visitors than simply posting links saying ‘please by this.'

 


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Making a career out of affiliate marketing
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