I’ve heard a lot about affiliate marketing in the past, but was never really interested. It seemed to me that you just sold products for someone else for a tiny piece of the profit. Seemed pointless, and a lot of effort for not much return.
That was until I read through a blog called Nickycakes. The title of the blog is Reformed Blackhat, which seemed interesting. I ended up at the newbie affiliate marketing section – and boy did it peak my interest. This guy has an attitude I like, gets straight to the point, and opened up a whole new way of making money online for me.
After reading through the entire guide, I decided I would give affiliate marketing a shot. Essentially what you do is create a page, or landing page, and send traffic to it. The goal of the landing page is to convince the user to sign up/buy/do whatever for your product. These can be anywhere from simple ad looking pages, to review sites, or even flogs (fake blogs). The whole idea of it seems real interesting so I started right up.
Turns out it is a lot more shady than I had expected. A lot of money is made on rebills (billing someone after the initial $2 or whatever), generally without their knowledge. Terms of Service stating the rebill is hidden at the bottom of the page or anywhere out of sight. Most of the products are sub par, and a Google search reveals them to be mostly a scam.
Now I personally wouldn’t be opposed to promoting some of the products, as it’s not like you’re stealing. Technically the terms are explained to them. It’s like the offer is an IQ test in iteself (one of the products offered). If they don’t sign up, average to above average IQ, but if they do – they fail the IQ test. Haha. But this is only one method of affiliate marketing.
One other type of affiliate marketing I’ve began to explore is local affiliate marketing. You don’t sell a product hundreds, if not thousands, of others are selling online. You sell local products/services that local businesses provide. This, in my opinion, is a lot more ethical – and even has a chance to earn a lot more money.
Simply contact businesses and setup relations to sell products for them. I am three days into my first campaign of local affiliate marketing, and experimenting with PPC advertising and some SEO advertising. Nothing interesting to report, as the 20 people total who went to my landing page so far aren’t a good display of the results I should expect. It’s fun and interesting though. The potential is there, it’s just making it work.
For more information on local affiliate marketing, check out: http://www.shoemoney.com/2008/11/04/making-money-with-local-affiliate-programs