Ever wondered how musicians you've never heard of or electronics you've ever seen before appeared to be Amazon's hottest selling items? Well, this is due in part to the magic of Affiliate Marketing. Every day, people like you and me, are mass-marketing these products in chat rooms, on forums, in articles, and on search engines. They all do it for one purpose, one goal: responsibilities. Although affiliate marketing takes a bit of trial and error at first, it can be very lucrative and a great way for college students to make money.
How do you get started?
Well, first you need to find something that is currently popular; a product or a topic people are really into. Try MySpace, FaceBook, or your favorite forum to gauge what people need or have questions about. Check out current events in the media or in the sporting world. Find out what is hot on Ebay, Amazon, or even Google. Google Labs has a great tool that gives their top ten most searched items. Think the obvious: college campuses. These are great places to find out what people are into. Once you have a general idea of what people in the world want, you will have a better understanding of what to sell.
Next, you will need to find some good keywords that relate to your idea. Choosing the right keyword is essential, because it will determine the success of your product campaign. Keyword search tools, such as Google Keywords & Overture, are great utilities to give you a head start on finding the right keywords for your campaign. Make sure to look for long tail keywords (3-5 words in length) which are high in searches but low in competition.
How to find the right product?
Once you've found your topic and keyword, the next step is to locate a product. The key in finding successful products to advertise is to make sure it is something you believe will help solve a problem and is relevant to your chosen audience. If you are looking to help someone lose weight before a wedding, it is important not to try to sell money making products. Make sure the product connects with your chosen audience.
How to sign up for an affiliate program?
Most often, every product will have some type of affiliate program associated with it. Probably, the best place to find affiliate programs for physical products is Amazon. They have a great commission program. Amazon definitely caters to their affiliates and offers endless assistance to get you started. If you plan to sell an e-product, ClickBank is the best by far. Although, I've found a few bad apples on this site. Overall, their affiliate programs are unmatched – usually 50-75% responsibilities.
Article Marketing vs. Pay-Per-Click?
Once you have the topic, the keywords, the product, and the affiliate program, you will need to find the method. If you are starting out, article marketing is the way to go. Simply, create a relevant Squidoo lens or landing site, and submit some articles relevant to your product. This affiliate marketing method can be slow and time-consuming, but is free and is definitely worth it, if you are starting out.
If you think you are a bit more advanced than the rest, you can try Pay-Per-Click advertising from sites such as Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, or MSN AdCenter. If you set up your campaigns correctly, you can achieve rewards much quicker. However, the risk is much greater and can be very cost if you do not know what you are doing.
Where to learn more about Affiliate Marketing?
Whether it be via article marketing or pay-per-click advertising, affiliate marketing can be a very rewarding experience, if done correctly. The best way to make any money in affiliate marketing is to find sites that will teach you the business behind it. Sites such as Wealthy Affiliate or Bum Marketing Methods are great resources, if you want to learn the in's and out's of the business. So, whether you are a college student or someone looking to make some extra cash, Affiliate Marketing is definitely a business to find more information on.