While I am personally a HUGE fan of all the different methods of Internet Marketing and working from home, such as Network Marketing, Direct Sales and Multi-level Marketing (MLM), my personal favorite from as far back as I can remember being “online” is basic affiliate marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is simply earning a commission by promoting products that you do not personally own or create, either individually, through your business, or being employed by any company. Basically, you find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a commission for each sale that you make.
*In more recent years, many MLM type companies have blurred the lines a bit by also referring to their independent representatives as affiliates. While that does not really bother me all that much, it can cause a bit of confusion for someone new to making money online. For this particular article, I am not talking about being affiliated with, or a representative of any company.
There are several ways to get started with affiliate marketing. Obviously, as a blogger, I always recommend to get started with blogging and offering products on your blog related to what you blog about. For example, if you are blogging about fishing, you would want to offer products related to fishing.
Where do you find affiliate marketing products?
Finding affiliate marketing products is the simple part. For nearly any possible product you would want to sell, there is likely several different options, including going directly to the product owner. There are also several great affiliate platforms, such as CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction), Clickbank, JVZoo and of course Amazon. There are several others, however, those listed are the platforms that I use personally and feel comfortable recommending.
I am also a registered affiliate through several different individual companies that have affiliate programs for their products and services. The majority of those are personal development and/or internet marketing training related. The way I choose which individual companies and products to work with, is quite simply based on products and companies that I use myself. When I purchase a great product that I love and want to talk about, I usually check to see if they offer an affiliate program for the product and sign up. When I blog about it, talk about it on social media, or even talk about it personally to friends and family, I share my affiliate link. Read a great book? Recommend it on your blog or social media using your amazon affiliate link.
For me, affiliate marketing has always been the easiest and most hassle free way to make money online. Most platforms and even individual affiliate programs do not have any requirements to own or use the products if you choose not to. There are also usually not many fees associated or required, other than sometimes a transfer fee from payment processors to your bank, so you can get started as an affiliate marketer for very little cost, if any at all. Of course always be sure to fully read all of each individual platform and program terms of service so you know for certain the cost and requirements. For the most part though, you place or share a link on your website, blog or social media and collect commissions when someone makes a purchase from your link. Simple, right?
Is there a downside to affiliate marketing?
There are indeed some downsides to affiliate marketing. The first being as with all things in life, there are not any guarantees. Even if you are the top traffic and SEO guru in town, there is still no guarantee anyone will buy the products you promote. Like all sales, it is a numbers game and while more traffic does bring more numbers, if that traffic is not quality traffic, your sales may not be enough to pay the rent.
Speaking of traffic and SEO, if you currently have no idea what either of those words mean where the internet is concerned that is a definite downside. Traffic is visitors to your site, blog or any other platform where you are placing your links. SEO, is search engine optimization which is a key factor in driving traffic/visitors to your site, especially organic traffic (that you have not paid for, such as through the various types of paid internet advertising).
Another possible downside for some, is that affiliate marketing typically does not offer many opportunities for significant residual income. There is an exception that has become quite a bit more popular and that exception is finding membership sites and programs which continue to pay their affiliates a commission for each month the customer they brought in remains a member. A great example of a membership site with a residual affiliate program that I participate in is the Freedom-Preneur Academy. This one is my favorite, because the membership itself is a very reasonable $47 per month and when you join their affiliate program, you earn 50% commissions on anyone you share the program with, each month they remain a member. The best part about it is, the membership itself includes complete, comprehensive and constantly updated training on exactly what everyone needs to succeed online regardless of what type of business or products they are promoting. When you are a member of the Freedom-Preneur Academy, you seriously don’t need any other training. There is even a place to ask questions, get answers and get additional help as needed. There are several other great membership and training programs out there with affiliate programs as well, but as I said, The Freedom-Preneur Academy is my favorite. The quality and value of the actual training, along with not having to be constantly bombarded with additional up-sells every-time you turn around is absolutely unmatched with any other, with or without an affiliate program attached.
If you want to get started in affiliate marketing now, without knowing all that technical mumbo-jumbo I have been talking about so far in this article, are you just out of luck??
That is a tricky question! 😉 Most people would probably say yes, you are quite out of luck, but I am here to say maybe not.
Chances are, you have probably heard the term, “the riches are in the niches.” This is especially true of affiliate marketing. Even on this blog, for example, while I do cover more than one main topic, such as blogging and personal development, those topics are for the most part centered around the work from home niche. I use my blog to make money from home and talk about the many different ways, products and companies I use I do that. Personal development ties into that as well because personal growth is an important key to being successful in life and business and is also something I am extremely passionate about.
In addition to this blog, I also have other blogs where I talk about subjects in other niches, such as homesteading, animal rescue, etc. Many top affiliate marketers own hundreds of blogs and websites withing many different niches and micro-niches. A example of a micro-niche would be dog training within the dog niche. As you could imagine, the problem with having hundreds of blogs and websites within different niches and micro-niches is TIME. One blog can be time consuming. When you start bringing more into the mix you can indeed make more money, but you also give up more of your time. Building and updating each blog or site is important but massively time consuming. Most of us who work from home do so not only for additional income but also for additional time with family, travel and other passions. Most people don’t want to spend 22 hours a day building and updating all of their blogs. I sure don’t and I doubt you do either.
This is why I am always looking for and researching tools and ways to scale up my affiliate marketing, adding in new niches and micro-niches. Through that research, I recently found InstaNiche, which is a product that is currently being offered as an affiliate product in JVZoo. So far, I believe this product is both an excellent product to promote and also to use.
With InstaNiche, you can create niche and micro-niche sites with only a few clicks of your mouse. These sites automatically hook up to your amazon affiliate account and are loaded with pre-written content that is unique to your site. Once you choose an article to publish, that article is removed from the system, solving the problem with using similar systems in the past that cause SEO issues regarding duplicate content (a big SEO no-no). InstaNiche is also very reasonable on the pocketbook for newbies, which is another a huge problem with similar systems I have looked into.
On top of what the platform itself does, there is also a massive amount of really good training and additional services that are niche and micro-niche affiliate marketing specific. Those training’s are upgrades to the platform, but so far I can say they are worth the extra investment. I am currently testing out and experimenting with the InstaNiche platform and did get all of the upgrades, with the exception of the commercial license, which allows you to turn around and sell the actual niche/micro-niche site you set up after you get it up and running into a profitable money generating affiliate site. With that license, you are free to sell your site for how ever much you choose. I have seen many of the cash generating websites for sale on Flippa be sold for $40K and up. I get too emotionally attached to my sites to sell them, so the commercial license was pointless for me, but I do think it is an awesome option for anyone who is interested in that side of affiliate websites.
Once I’ve had a chance to fully test out the entire system, along with all of the additional bells and whistles, and actually get some real data and numbers using it, I will do a full review. So far, I love it. If for any reason that changes, I will come back here and update that info and also take them up on their money back guarantees! =) I don’t anticipate that happening, but I do always appreciate products that include that option. After all, not every product or system is the right fit for every person.
If you are already using InstaNiche or decide to try it out now, I would love to hear your experience with it.
Quick Tip for InstaNiche users even before my big full InstaNiche review:
You can save $$ on domain names by shopping around and bringing your own vs. buying domain names within the platform. I purchased all of my domain names for my new micro-niche sites from my regular vendor. Changing the nameservers for your domain to work with the InstaNiche platform is super simple.
Have fun with your new affiliate sites and feel free to private message me on facebook if you need any help.
Love and blessings,