Photo by rogercarrThese days, chances are that if you’re a store owner, you also have a website to sell online. However, chances are also that it’s not as successful as you thought it might be – unless you’re spending a lot of time, or money, promoting it.
What if you could harness the power of hundreds of websites to market and sell your products? It sounds impossible, but in fact it’s far easier than you might imagine! The secret is affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you recruit other webmasters to advertise your products. The great thing about affiliate marketing is that you only pay on success. It’s like having an army of commission-only salesmen.
If you were to pay for advertising on other websites, you’d have to shell out hundreds of dollars upfront in advertising fees. With affiliate marketing, your advertisements appear on your affiliates’ sites, but you don’t pay a cent until someone buys something. Even better, good affiliates are eager to earn commission on your products, so they won’t simply post your banner on their blog or website and sit back: they will go out and promote your products all over the internet, and in the real world as well.
Photo by PanARMENIAN_PhotoTo give you an example, I’m an affiliate for Lisa Howells, a well-known dance physiotherapist. You’ll see a page promoting her Perfect Pointe Book on my pointe shoe website. Click around and you’ll see there’s also an attractive banner of a ballet dancer, advertising the Perfect Pointe Book, in the sidebar – but it doesn’t stop there. Here’s an article I wrote on pointework. In that article I have links to my own ballet site, but I also have a link direct to Lisa’s website. I write similar articles in other dance magazines and blogs, all over the internet. That’s typical of the kind of effort an affiliate would make to promote your product, if you’re offering a decent commission.
There are two ways to set up an affiliate scheme – run it yourself, or set one up through an affiliate network. Be aware that some affiliates will be nervous of a scheme you’re running yourself – there’s no independent third party to ensure you’re being honest about the sales they’ve made! You may also find you don’t quite have the skills to set up the necessary software on your site. Unfortunately, the cost of some affiliate networks is prohibitive for some merchants – which is why I recommend e-Junkie.com. It costs only $5 a month and even has a free trial period, so it can hardly be called expensive!