The Internet offers a lot of ways to earn money that didn’t exist ten years ago. One of the more popular ways of making a living on the World Wide Web is through affiliate marketing. This method of advertising rewards those who promote a product for a seller or manufacturer by giving them a portion of the sales price when an item sells. As an affiliate, you don’t actually make the sales; you simply advertise a product and direct the customer to the site where they can make the purchase. When they buy, you collect.
The system does have its rewards; one of them is that you can promote products around the clock with a Website without having to deal with customers directly. Customers can visit your Website, see your promotion for a product, and click on a link to buy it without any direct involvement on your part. In that sense, affiliate marketing can be “automatic”, but prospective marketers should not confuse “automatic” with “no effort.”
Many authors of books devoted to the topic of making money sell their books via affiliate marketing. Many of these authors, in order to increase sales, suggest that as an affiliate, you can make money on “autopilot”, and that doing so requires little or no effort. They often embellish this even further by suggesting that it is only necessary to work one or two hours a week to make a fortune online. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The truth about earning money through affiliate marketing is that it is, like anything else you might do, hard work. It is true that you can create a Website with information and links that customers may use to make decisions and purchases. Once you create such a Website, how will customers find it? You have to promote that Website, and doing so is hard work. The online marketplace is a competitive one, and establishing a viable Website while competing against thousands of others can quickly become a full time job. This is particularly true if you create more than one Website to promote more than one product.
Even if you get a lot of visitors to your Website you will find yourself continually making adjustments to the site’s content in order to increase the number of visitors who make a purchase. A simple “this product is good – buy it!” will not persuade many visitors to make a purchase. You’ll have to do a lot of time consuming experimentation in order to find something that works for you.
Is there money to be made in affiliate marketing? Of course. Anyone thinking that it’s “easy money” or that you can create a business in minutes that will start making money today should probably reconsider. As with any business, making money online is hard work.