How to create that online money-spinner that works automatically, even when you sleep, is a question often asked.
One solution — rather an old one, it has to be said — is affiliate marketing. Essentially, this is signing up as an affiliate with a website selling products off its site. When anyone clicks over from your site and purchases the product, a “cookie” (a little scrap of software identifying you) registers a percentage of the price paid. This may vary from 4pc on the Amazon Associates scheme, to a bumper 50pc for selling an eproduct, like an ebook or ecourse.
Quite often you’ll find an “Affiliates” link in the footer on retail and other websites. An alternative is to use a mass afilliation scheme like Commission Junction or Tradedoubler, where you can choose from a large range of schemes from crafts to credit cards.
So long as the product or service matches the subject of your site, you should be able to make a start.
Many of the early Internet marketers started out on affiliate schemes. Some became millionaires quite quickly, by first doing well, then selling their own ebooks on how they did it.
The secret is to presell the product on your site before the client clicks through to the seller’s site. That way they are much more inclined to buy.
From there, it’s a numbers game. The more traffic your site generates, the more likely you are to get sales. That early lesson made serious affiliate marketers become experts in SEO — search-engine optimization — whereby the site figures prominently in Google and other search results for certain keywords.
An understanding of the keywords searched for for each product is also necessary to do well from this process. There are keyword aids available free on the net.
Affiliate marketing can be tough if you go about it the wrong way. But with hard work and a shrewd eye for a chance, you could do very well at it.
People make whole careers out of advising on how to get websites to feature prominently on search engines such as Google. The process is called search engine optimisation, but it doesn’t need to be complicated.
Duncan Jennings started his first website when he was 17. At 24, now owns www.econversions.com. He says :
“All websites want to appear at the top of the list when someone searches on Google. In response to a search, Google will take all the websites that are relevant and rank them according to the number and quality of other sites that have linked to them. If you can get links to your site on lots of others, you will be ranked higher and you will get more traffic. It builds from there.”