Amazon and Google are far from your only options for online advertising. Rakuten Linkshare is a great place to search for other affiliates for your ads. Through their program, you can get customized ad links, email links, and banner ads for Starbucks, Walmart, iTunes, and a slew of other popular brands. With this program, you can also find smaller companies, regional or specialized brands, and more. I run a combination of Google, Amazon, and Rakuten’s programs, and my monthly income is approximately $150 from these programs. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s also not a lot of work for residual (it means recurring…since the ads are permanent…) income.
We want what we want, when we want it, isn’t that right? Isn’t that why, as a culture, we’re so impatient? Isn’t that why we have fast-food joints around every corner? Isn’t that why we demand instant service before taking our business elsewhere? Isn’t that why we complain when we don’t get our way as quickly as feasibly possible? Yes, it most certainly is. We’re simply a byproduct of our own culture and society.
I’m not sitting here and telling you it’s going to be easy though. It’s going to be downright difficult. At times, you might kick and scream in frustration, wondering when it’s ever going to happen. The difference between those that succeed with any type endeavor online and those that fail, are the ones that have cloud-nine dreams of lightning-fast internet riches. That might be because of all these supposed experts out there who tout these overnight systems, or it might just be our general desire for instant gratification.
I obviously think that a good price point and lifelong cookies are ideal, but I also think that the product has to be really valuable – really offer the person I’m sending something that they can use and will be happy with. I personally remember the people who point me to valuable products, and I trust them more for future products. It’s not just a matter of ethics (although that’s a big part of it) but it’s also a matter of future sales!
Use your personal words & experience with the product. Your own content, or photos & videos of yourself using the product are always the most effective. For example, many affiliate programs provide swipe copy to their affiliates which is pre-written emails, post material or social media posts. These can be helpful as a guide, but they often scream swipe copy, aren’t written in your voice (the one your readers know!) and if a lot of affiliates are using it, are overdone.
Don’t forget about FTC regulations! The government agency has begun cracking down on brands that don’t enforce disclosure of an incentive-driven relationship between the advertiser and the publisher. This applies to both influencers and affiliates, and in the past it has been fairly common for neither group to disclose the proper information. However, influencers seem to be even less aware of the rules than affiliates. In these situations, the advertiser, not the influencer or affiliate, incurs the wrath of the FTC in the form of penalties, fines and bad press. One need only look at the Lord & Taylor fiasco from last year to see that this can indeed be a serious issue. The FTC charged that the brand “deceived consumers by paying for native advertisements … and Instagram pictures.”
Is an affiliate program right for your business? Only you can decide. Break out the ol’ pro/con list. One of the easiest ways for you to determine whether or not it’s a good idea is by checking to see if any of your competitors have one and seeing what commission they’re offering. Simply look for a link in their website’s footer that says something like “Affiliates” or “Become an Affiliate."
If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Get samples. When you first start out as a freelance writer, it can be hard to get work without any published samples. However, it is possible to get quality samples if you are willing to do some writing for free. First, you can publish content on your own blog or website. Also, you can write guest posts for someone else’s blog. Finally, you can write blog posts for free in exchange for a byline.
Promote products at various price points. Even the little products (like Amazon ebooks) add up. If there is a truly useful product on the pricier side, it can still be worth the promotion even if only a few people buy it. If you’ve used a product of exceptional quality and it’s a good investment, or if it’s a product that’s unique, specialized or one-of-a-kind, go for it.
Okay. Okay. So enough of the red flags. Enough of the cautionary words. Let’s look at what it really takes. In this guide, I’m going to introduce you to several ways that you can really make money online. By no means is this simple. Sure you can generate a few dollars or even a few hundred dollars doing things like selling your used electronics on eBay, but that won’t get you rich. What will get you rich is when your money-making capabilities shift into autopilot.
Since you’re essentially a freelancer, you get ultimate independence in setting your own goals, redirecting your path when you feel so inclined, choosing the products that interest you, and even determining your own hours. This convenience means you can diversify your portfolio if you like or focus solely on simple and straightforward campaigns. You’ll also be free from company restrictions and regulations as well as ill-performing teams.
Is there a product or service that you are particularly enthusiastic about? If you are, you may be able to develop a website that is built around selling it. You don’t have to be the actual provider of the product or service either. There are many businesses that offer these products and will allow you to sell them on an affiliate basis. For example, you may be able to sell a product on your website for a commission of 20% or 30% of the sale price.
Most marketers track and analyze a variety of metrics when it comes to their digital marketing efforts, especially for e-commerce. Some of the metrics are largely useless, others are very interrelated, and maybe only a few are the critical KPIs. Here, we’ll examine the most important metric of them all when assessing your e-commerce website. Specific to digital marketing and e-commerce, I’ll argue that the most important (and often most misunderstood) metric is Revenue Per Visitor, or RPV.
How many email newsletters are you bombarded with every single day? There’s a reason for that. Marketing to an actively interested group of email subscribers is one of the best ways to make money online. There have even been million-dollar businesses built from simple email newsletters like TheSkimm, or Mister Spoils. Each newsletter targets a specific type of user with interesting, daily content, while also partnering with relevant companies and affiliates to bring in extra money. If this seems daunting, it’s not. Tools like MailChimp, Seva (formerly ConvertKit), AWeber, and ActiveCampaign, make it easier than ever to get started with email marketing.
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If you have a passion project, Kickstarter may be exactly what you need to get it off the ground. Celebs like Zach Braff and Melissa Joan Hart have used this site in attempts to fund their movie projects. Some crack dealers in Canada inspired a “crackstarter” campaign from Gawker for pictures of the Toronto mayor smoking crack with them. All you need is a dream, a goal, a budget, and a great pitch to convince people to come to the site and donate to your Kickstarter campaign. Panhandling isn’t dead – it’s gone digital…
One of the easiest ways to make money online is to register for paid survey websites where you can earn money for taking surveys. You can also search online for “website testing jobs” and get paid to record yourself testing websites. If you want something that pays better, become an online tutor or start an online freelance writing business. For more tips from our reviewer, like what kind of items you can sell online to make money, keep reading!
Awesome list! and great tips. Except one thing… There are a few products that Amazon won’t pay you commissions on, mostly electronics. there’s a list they have somewhere outlining them. They aren’t very many on the list but they are some of the hottest products in the market now. I think Amazon’s affiliate program gets worse every year. But luckily there are other options out there.
Cost per action/sale methods require that referred visitors do more than visit the advertiser's website before the affiliate receives a commission. The advertiser must convert that visitor first. It is in the best interest of the affiliate to send the most closely targeted traffic to the advertiser as possible to increase the chance of a conversion. The risk and loss are shared between the affiliate and the advertiser.
28. Subscription – If you think of something valuable (newsletter, online magazine, etc.) that you can consistently offer on a certain basis (weekly, monthly, etc.), you may want to offer a subscription service. This could be a fee charged each time your product is sent out or on a monthly basis. Either way, this has to be something that your customers can only get by subscribing to your website.
If you have a social media account, try out Klout. The company tracks your social media usage, determines how big and what type of audience you draw based on the subject matter of your updates and posts. Using this information, you’re qualified to receive free items, tickets, etc. Check their website often to find ways of earning free stuff by doing what you’re already doing online…boring the rest of us…
Once you have decided what type of product you are going to sell, you need to decide where to sell them. Selling merchandise on Amazon or eBay aren’t your only options. Creating your own eCommerce store is another way to promote your products and generate sales. Once you have decided what you are going to sell, whether it is white labeled products, your own designs, or other people’s merchandise, you can set up an eCommerce website to display these products.