Monday, February 12, 2007

Money Making on the Web - Affiliate Marketing

Making money on the web is still very much possible, even for the hobbyist webmaster working in his or her spare time from the computer in the corner of the family room. Affiliate martketing is alive and well, albeit in a diffferent form than is was a few years before. Heck, if you've gone through all the trouble to learn ASP, you might as well try to put it to your own use!

For those of you who don't know, affiliate marketing is a method of promoting web businesses in which you are rewarded for every visitor, subscriber, customer, and/or sale you drive through your efforts. So it's sort of like traffic directing - you send the traffic, and if the custoemr completes a transaction, be it a sale or sign up, you get a cut.

Merchants like affiliate marketing because it's "pay for performance", meaning the merchant doesn't pay anything unless there are results. Some merchants run their own affiliate programs while others use third party services like Linkshare, Commission Junction, or Performics for tracking.

At it's most basic level, it works like this: You build a site about widgets becasue you collect them. You talk about them and rate them and, on your review pages, you proviode an affiliate link to a store that sells widgets. If any visitors to your website click throguh that special link and buy a widget, you get paid. Sweet.

Getting started with an affiliate program is easier than you think. Just head over to Amazon and sign up (it's called their Associates program). Then, on your blog write a review of a book you just read or a DVD movie you just watched. Amazon makes it simple to look up that product and drop in a bit of JavaScript code that will put an image of the book or movie up along with a coded link. Visitors pour into your site, read your glowing review, and hasten over to Amazon (through your link) and snap up the book. Viola! Instant Taco Bell money!

Stay tuned for more advanced money making conversations....

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