6 Great Reasons to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business
There are lots of myths out there surrounding affiliate marketing, and these can frequently cause brands/businesses to pass on these kinds of programs. It’s important you understand some of these myths so you can make the correct decisions for the future growth of your business.
Whether you’re the brand manager at a Fortune 100 brand or the marketing director/everything else at a startup, setting up a solid affiliate program can open a revenue avenue without much of the hassle usually associated with setting up new marketing initiatives.
An affiliate marketing program is a lot of work, and in most situations there’s a lot of competition so you’re not going to be bringing in money immediately. Business owners and entrepreneurs suppose that all you need do is setup a site and choose an affiliate to associate with and then just let it run its course
The affiliate marketing business relies on fostering relationships. You foster these relationships by:
*****Bringing the right partners into your program
*****Seeking out better and more efficient partnerships
*****Updating your content regularly to keep things new and fresh
You need to work in a very popular and lucrative niche to make affiliate marketing work for your business.
A lot of companies do not even bother trying an affiliate marketing program because they think their market is too little. Some companies will try and break into bigger niches even if they don’t have any interest in the market niche.
It is true that popular niches do better with affiliate marketing, but that doesn’t mean you do not have a chance at success. Stay in line with the goals and mission statement of your company and find affiliates who understand the relevance of working in a market where you are comfortable.
Affiliate marketing is a strategy of yesterday
You might come across a couple of link problems with Google if you are not managing your program, but for the most part the entire notion of affiliate marketing still makes sense to Google –it offers another relevant and related resource to consumers.
You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.
You’re happy because you earned a commission,
The company is happy because they have a new sale from a customer that they might not have normally been able to reach,
And the customer is happy because they learned about a product from you that will hopefully fulfill a need or desire.
THE BEAUTY OF AFFILIATE MARKETING IS THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO INVEST THE TIME AND EFFORT TO CREATE A PRODUCT TO SELL. YOU CAN BEGIN SELLING SOMETHING AS AN AFFILIATE AS SOON AS YOU HAVE A PLATFORM TO SELL IT ON
1.Start up costs are super low. To start a regular business where you rent retail space and stock inventory could easily set you back tens of thousands of dollars. As an affiliate, you can get started for the cost of a burger and fries.
2 You don’t need staff. No more office politics, and no messy payroll handling. When you get started as an affiliate you can do it all yourself, and when the time comes to grow your business it’s easy to outsource.
3 You don’t even need a product you simply have to promote products which are already for sale. Whether it’s an eBook about dog training your or a weight loss supplement – there is a product out there that you can sell as an affiliate.
4 You don’t need any expert knowledge on a subject to sell affiliate products either. If you want to be an affiliate for weight loss products, then you don’t need a PhD in nutrition or exercise. All you need is an eager-to-learn mindset and the ability to market the right affiliate products to the right people.
5 Earn passive income. It’s a bit like the money you earn if you buy a house and then rent it out – for as long as you own that house and are renting it out, you earn money. In a normal job you only get paid once for the work that you do, but as an affiliate you can keep making money from the same work day in, day out.
6 The opportunity to work your own hours. I’m not saying that you’ll be sitting on a beach drinking Pina Coladas and only working an hour a day after your first month as an affiliate. However, you do have the power to work when it suits you and have a more flexible life. You become your own boss – how cool is that!
Like any real business it all depends on how much effort you put in and how seriously you take it. For example if you only work an hour a day, or you spend most of your time checking emails as opposed to doing the work, then you might not make much money at all.
But if you are really dedicated and treat your affiliate marketing like a real business, and you put 100% in every time you sit down in from of your computer, then you can DEFINITELY make a full time income.
A Guide On How To Start Your E-Commerce Business
There are many factors to consider when building the best shopping cart for your online store, and many of these will be the physical look and design of the website itself.
One important choice is the ecommerce template you choose to build your online store. Make sure you make a choice which is easily customizable. You want to be able to update your store with ease, including giving it a fresh look when you want a change. The options to change buttons and banners, even as simple changes as the color or text they present can be invaluable when it comes to completing A/B testing to check the effectiveness of variables in your store.
Whatever template you choose, keep the look and feel of your site consistent. This includes any third party solutions you are employing, including payment gateways, shipping solutions and even third party reviews. Integrate them where possible. When a customer sees the look of the website change suddenly, or are taken to a third party website, this can cause them to feel suspicious, negatively affecting page conversions. Try and aim for a seamless feel throughout.
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of rich product images, descriptions and reviews for everything on your website. Without the tangible nature of being in a physical shop, your customers need to latch onto the next best thing. Simply put, “if it’s not impressive from the photo, customers aren’t going to buy,” said Matt Winn, an online communications specialist with Volusion. Make sure to support zoom functions on your images, or even video functionality to give a 3D feel for what you are selling.
A recent study from the Neilson Company found that around 70% of consumers trusted online reviews from previous customers, so this is a great feature to support or link to from your own online store.
Top of the line security is not something you can afford to ignore. All major ecommerce vendors should be able to offer you the same level of security that multi-national corporations and even banks use to protect customer data. Andrew Minalto from ecommercemagnates.com suggests that you “select a program that has been certified compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). This ensures the software follows the best and the strictest security protocols for handling your clients’ sensitive bank account information.” If you make an error here, and encounter a breach in safety or security, you could face a fine from the PCI, or even have your ability to take card payments revoked entirely.
As complicated as this process sounds, you want your customers to find the checkout process the easiest stage in their journey. Studies have shown that multi stage shopping carts give users too much opportunity to get distracted or lose interest, or even trust. According to Volusion, single page checkout “boosts sales conversions,” “reduces abandoned shopping carts,” “enhances user-friendliness”, and “streamlines customer experience.” Consider choosing an ecommerce vendor who supports this functionality.
Making your user experience as simple and seamless as possible is in everyone’s best interests. Imagine yourself as the customer on your own website, and think about what functionality you would expect when shopping online. Believe it or not, many ecommerce vendors don’t even support search functionality on their online store. As the easiest way for a customer to find what they’re looking for, this should be a no-brainer. As well as a search bar, consider allowing layered and faceted navigation, allowing your visitors to search under subcategories and broken down options of branding, color scheme, price and sizes where appropriate. This helps your customers find exactly what they’re looking for.
When a problem arises, you want your visitors to be able to get in touch as quickly as possible. Integrating live chat into your website is an excellent idea, and with mobile functionality a given with so many ecommerce platforms, you can access this on the go to give customer support wherever you are.
Make sure to keep track of your customer data with an excellent analytics system which helps you to follow customer engagement and behaviour, so that you can work on improving usability of your entire store.
If you are launching a business purely online, you have free rein when it comes to the design of your website, and can choose freely from the various themes, colors and design features which ecommerce web builders offer. If you already sell offline in a physical store, you may want to build on your existing branding, copying colour schemes or incorporating existing logos into your online presence. Will you use your website to drive foot traffic to your store, or offer location based services to those customers in your physical vicinity? If your website is the sole place your business is found, you might want to focus more on SEO and driving traffic to your online storefront, as your success relies on page views and bumping your visibility in the search rankings. These are all extra points to consider.
Some online stores are a platform to showcase talent and design, like the portfolio website of a photographer or a designer. This is a place for your potential customers to browse what you have to offer, before getting in touch directly to place an order for a product or a service, often with custom specifications. Although these websites might have some functionality to buy directly, they are a far cry from a fully functional online store, and will need more focus put on customer service options. You might want to consider added features like a live chat embedded into the store itself. On the other end of the spectrum is the kind of ecommerce website that does not need any one to one customer service at all. With product images and prices, payment gateways and shipping options incorporated, your customers can make an order from shopping trolley to confirmation email, without ever needing to speak to you directly. These websites need more consideration and features, but do not work for all business models, especially if you are offering a customizable service or product.
Online stores are a great way to expand business outside of your local vicinity, which can be an excellent reason to build an ecommerce store, especially for those who have launched a small business selling from home. Suddenly your business can be found all around the globe. But selling internationally comes with added considerations, and more functionality to include on your website. If you are looking to sell internationally, make sure your payment options support a varied range of credit card payments, including PayPal for the most trusted name in financial transactions. Multiple currency options or languages can be supported from your store if you choose the right web builder. Shipping and handling options can be integrated easily with the right widget or add in, as long as you make sure from the outset that your website builder supports these additional features.
Once you’ve considered these important factors, you should be in a much more educated place to start choosing the right ecommerce website builder for your online store.
Choosing a Product
Evaluating Your Idea
Obtaining Your Product
Research Your Competition
Writing Your Business Plan
Registering Your Business
Naming Your Business
Creating A Logo
Understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Building Your Store