I still remember thinking that promoting Affiliate Programs was a waste of time. Until I started making a small fortune.
At the end of 2004, I started some time exploring the concept of promoting affiliate programs through pay-per-click search engines. I knew of some Internet Marketing gurus who were claiming you could make thousands of dollars every month. But I was skeptical. I remember thinking, "I know what these guys are about. They just want to sell more books."
But I decided that at least it was worth a look. The concept is quite simple. Choose a product - and one that has an affiliate program, of course. Set up an advertising campaign at a PPC search engine like Google and choose how much you want to pay per click. Write a three line advertisement and add your affiliate link. Whenever anyone clicks through your ad and buys the product, you earn a commission.
So I looked. And thought about it. And looked some more. I was still very uncertain about the whole concept, but I finally decided to test for myself whether it could really work. And since I knew I'd be spending quite a bit of money on advertising clicks, I felt it was well worth investing in a book so I could learn from more experienced marketers how to maximize the profitability of my campaigns.
As my business grew over several weeks I purchased and read several ebooks. By far the best I read was Chris Carpenter's Google Cash ( http://tinyurl.com/6gdaq ). His approach is genuine, down-to-earth, and he explains very clearly how to build your own affiliate marketing business. And importantly, he makes a fortune doing what he explains in the book.
I started by testing 20-30 campaigns on various products. Most of them were unsuccessful, but I expected that from what I had been reading. I would test a product, and if it didn't work, I would drop it quickly. The key with this business is identifying the affiliate products and campaigns that are successful. Once you find one that works, the money starts rolling in.
By February of 2005 I had identified several campaigns that were turning a profit. With one of these I was spending $0.08 per click to promote an affiliate product that pays me $18 commission on each sale. Approximately 1 visitor in 100 buys the product, so I make around $10 profit for every 100 visitors that I send.
What a formula! For every 1,000 visitors, that's $180 in commissions. That might not seem like all that much, but remember once you have a successful campaign it keeps going all day, every day. If you send just 1,000 visitors to a program like this every day, then by the end of the month you will have earned $5,400 in commissions, of which $3,000 is profit.
Does it seem too simple? Well, if it was so easy everyone from your Aunt Mabel to the mailman would be doing it. In fact, while the concept is simple, getting your campaigns to run profitably does take some work. Since I can't possibly teach you all you need to know in one article, I'll give you a few tips here and recommend Google Cash for a detailed explanation:
- Choose Your Product Wisely. The program should pay a commission of $15 or more, otherwise it won't be worth paying for your clicks. And if the commission is very high, be careful. Some products like web hosting and satellite dish installations may pay commissions of $100, but you face intense competition from other affiliates, so the price you need to pay to get ad exposure and clicks will probably also be very high. Sometimes it is better to identify a niche product with less competition from other affiliates.
- Track Your Campaigns Carefully. If you're paying around 7 or 8 cents per click for a program that pays close to $20 commission, you need to make at least one sale for every 250 visitors. If you send 300 to 400 visitors with no sale, consider dropping it.
- Days Of The Week Do Matter. When testing campaigns keep in mind the day of the week and even the time of day. Some products sell better on Mondays through Fridays, during business hours. Others, like entertainment products, sell better in the evenings and on weekends.
Getting back to my own experience, after identifying several campaigns that 'worked', I spent some time fine-tuning them using techniques I read about in Google Cash. By the end of February I had earned $27,817 in commissions for the month, all on products I had never even heard of at the end of 2004. My profit was a neat $10,795.
It's incredible really. I made this money without a web site. From home. Working an average of just an hour or two a day.
I'm finally making the amount of money online that I dreamed about.
How about you? Would you also like to build an affiliate marketing business? Could you use some additional income? I encourage you to proceed, but be smart about it. There are risks involved and you should be aware of them. You should read Chris Carpenter's book. That way you'll be on a fast track to more profitable campaigns. And his book will save you hundreds of dollars, easily, as you avoid some common mistakes and pitfalls.
About The Author
John McLaren has worked for many years selling IT consulting services. Now he works from home, just a few hours each day, building his highly successful affiliate marketing business. For more professional advice, he recommends the book, Google Cash, available at: http://tinyurl.com/6gdaq.