Can I Really Make Money Online?

The fact is that 100,000’s of purchases take place online everyday. Many companies, both big & small are competing for that business and need help driving traffic to their online stores. They use offline promotions, search engine optimization, email marketing, social media and affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is great for online merchants because for only a fraction of their overall cost they can have an entire army of affiliate marketers on the web promoting their products day and night.

Major corporations, such as Discover, WalMart, Apple, Target and Dell all have affiliate programs. They understand that it’s easier to pay affiliates to reach their target audience rather than try to do this themselves. In a sea of competition, they rely on us to drive targeted traffic to their products and are willing to pay for it.

The degree at which you wish to participate in and earn commission from these e-commerce transactions is entirely up to you. There is no guarantee that you will make any money. You may make no money at all. There is no get rich angle when it comes to affiliate marketing. It takes time and patience to study your market, learn the tools, pick the right products and build out your strategy.

If you do these things well, however, then there is potential to earn money online. Some folks start earning money right away. Some people takes weeks or months to earn their first dollar and then leverage their newfound knowledge to increase their earnings on a regular basis. There are ways to improve your odds for success but no one can predict for sure how much money you will make with affiliate marketing.

Here’s something to consider …

Think about your favorite hobby for a minute. Do you think there are other people who are passionate about that same hobby? Do you think they buy products so they can enjoy or participate in that hobby? Is there a new product in that market that everyone is talking about? Could you write about that hobby and those products on a website? Do you think you could sell those people a product that reflects their interest in that hobby?

If you answered yes to those questions, then there is likely a product available to sell to these people through affiliate marketing. Later, I’ll show you how to do just that!

Do I Need to be a Expert?

Because you are promoting another company’s product, it is not necessary for you to be an expert in that industry or product. Personally, I think it’s good if you know more than the average person about these products, but you may, in fact, know nothing about the products you’re promoting.

How much you need to know about the products you promote will depend on a few circumstances.

If you’re promoting highly technical product, it’s important to at least convey in your web copy the critical information a potential buyer would need in order to make an informed decision.

For example, if you comparing two $2,500 DSLR cameras, you‘ll want to share as many specs about the competing products so the buyer can make the best choice to meet their needs. But … you don’t have to be an expert on the subject. You just need to be reasonably good at writing web copy.

Some products require a bit of information but not nearly the level of detail we see in the camera example. A t-shirt for example, is a product that could practically sell itself based on the image alone. You might need to add a couple lines of text about fabric and washing instructions, but that about it.

… and yes, there is a huge market for t-shirt affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing Field Guide

Affiliate Marketing Field Guide

A couple companies include CafePress and TeamFanShop. T-shirts are great because there is such a low barrier to entry. Everyone wants a t-shirt for something. Find out what gets you excited and find a t-shirt to promote. Like I said, they pretty much sell themselves. Easy, huh?

The other big question most new affiliates have is about technical expertise. I understand that some of you may not understand HTML, URL forwarding or some of the more technical subjects and I’m here to tell you that this will not be a problem.

Everything from building a website to embedding product links and driving traffic can be done with very little technical skill. Most of the affiliate programs understand this potential challenge and have created a wonderful set of user friendly applications and tools to make life easy as an affiliate.

What’s holding you back?

Please leave a comment below or on Twitter @steinarknutsen.