As anyone who has followed me for very long already knows, I earn most of my income through network marketing, and I do it all online. I like working online because it gives me the freedom to build my business around my life instead of building my life around my business. There are some other money-making benefits to being online as well.
This article is about affiliate marketing, I promise. Let me set the stage for you first. I got into network marketing several years go because I tried a few products from a company and I liked them, so I signed up as a distributor. As a distributor, I wanted to find a way that helped me sell the products without having to completely rearrange my life. I had a full-time job back then and didn’t want to spend all of my evenings and weekends away from my family going to meetings and other such nonsense. That’s not why I got into this. So I looked to the internet.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
The first thing you need to have to get a website online is a hosting account. That gives you space on a computer somewhere that is connected to the internet so that people can see what you have to say. Most hosting companies that I found also have affiliate programs where they will pay you a commission when you recommend someone to them and they buy. That sounded just like what I was already doing with my network marketing business. I’m recommending a set of products and I make money when someone I refer makes a purchase.
Let me be clear on one thing here before I go on. I only recommend products and services that I have at least tried and liked. I believe that is the only way to be successful in selling anything. 1) Selling something I haven’t tried or don’t like is bad karma. “I don’t like this, but here, buy it so that I can get paid.” It’s going to come back and bite you hard in the end. 2) In my network marketing business I have found that many people have questions about a product, either before they buy or after they have received it. You have to be able to answer those question, and the best way to be able to do that is if you have already used and experienced the product for yourself.
I don't take on a product unless I believe in it. I use everything that I sell. - Billy Mays Click To Tweet
As I continued to build my business online I found that there were other services that I could use to improve my business, things like email auto-responders, and those services also had affiliate programs. There have been training programs that I have used, and they had affiliate programs. They all wanted to pay you to promote their product or service.
When I first got started into network marketing I heard this analogy: When you see a good movie or you find a good restaurant you tell people about it. They call it word-of-mouth marketing. But you are an unpaid advertiser. You don’t make anything for telling people about their product, not even a discount on your next visit. What if you were to get paid for telling people about the great experience you had? That’s what network marketing is. That’s also what affiliate marketing is.
To be honest, I really don’t see much difference between the two. I pretty much run my network marketing business as anyone would an affiliate marketing business.
Anyway, since I was already building a website and using these other products and services, and becoming an affiliate for most of them is free, I signed up and put them on my website. You can see an ad for the hosting company that I use, Hostmonster, somewhere on the right-hand side of this page. They have been my hosting provider or eight years or so. They are the only one I have ever used and I’ve been very happy with them, so I feel very comfortable in recommending them to anyone who needs a hosting account.
To be honest, I don’t think I have ever had a sale with Hostmonster by someone clicking on the link here. Maybe once. Most of the time I get the commission when I’m helping another distributor in my company get set up online. It’s easier to help them when I already know what they are going to see, and the affiliate commission compensates me for some of the time I spend with them because they aren’t usually in my group.
There are so many affiliate marketing opportunities out there for online marketers. I’ve already mentioned hosting and email auto-responders. I use WordPress to create my websites and found that there are some paid plugins for WordPress that offer affiliate programs as well. The opportunities are endless.
Two More Things About Affiliate Marketing
I need to offer you a word of caution though. Don’t put so many affiliate links in your website’s sidebars that it becomes crowded and makes it difficult to find your real content. I have visited some blogs recently that have so much stuff crammed along the edges of the page, things that slide up and down, and of course the pop-ups, that it’s easier to just leave and go somewhere else. If you have that many affiliate programs, put them all on a resource page and only have two or three in your sidebars. You can always plug your affiliate links by writing reviews of the products, training posts for processes that use those products, or a post like this one. My Hostmonster link above is my affiliate link.
Now you have your website and you have a few affiliate links sprinkled around out it either in the sidebar, on a resource page, and in a few posts. What now? How do you get paid? Most of the affiliate marketing programs that I have used pay out directly to Paypal. There are a few I have come across over the years that send a check, but most go to Paypal. That’s the easiest for me. I can either move the money to my checking account or leave it in my Paypal balance and use it to pay for other services that I use in my business.
I love to pitch things that I believe in and products that I love to use. - J. B. Smoove Click To Tweet
That’s my take on affiliate marketing. For now, I only use it to supplement the income I receive through my network marketing business. When people try to recruit me into other companies I tell them that if my current business goes away then I will just do affiliate marketing. That usually stops their calls. So, what do you think about affiliate marketing? Please share your thoughts in a comment below.
Check out my previous blog post if you would like to know more about building an online presence.
Disclaimer and Disclosure
There are no guarantees that you will make any money either with network marketing or affiliate marketing. I make no claims at all about how much money you may make, or lose if you decide to try either. I am a network marketer and an affiliate marketer and that is how I generate my income. If you purchase anything through a link on this page there is a good chance that I may earn a commission from your purchase. My potential commission does not affect the price you pay.