Affiliate marketing. Talk about a buzz word in today’s internet scene. It’s one of those things that a lot of entrepreneurs, and everyone else trying to make a buck on the internet, want to get their hands into. Affiliate marketing, to be specific, is advertising the products or services of another company and getting paid for the results you generate.
Affiliate marketing is a sexy concept; in reality, it is not an easy thing to do. Because the barriers to entry in affiliate marketing are next to nothing, thousands of affiliate marketers are vying for the same slice of the affiliate marketing pie. Let’s take the example of the affiliate online shopping mall. You sign up for a site, it sells millions of products – how can this not resonate well with consumers? But with sites like Amazon, Buy, Overstock and Ebay dominating the market, there just isn’t a realistic way to make a cookie-cutter shopping mall or auctioning site perform well like you might have once been able to accomplish. There’s just no reason people would choose www.onsale.com over the same product at Amazon. Your prices won’t be able to go lower (or that much lower) and they have name branding, loyalty and perhaps most importantly, trust. These types of sites might sure sound like they should be fantastic because you can go to one site and find just about anything you might ever want but the problem is that the market is too diluted. There are thousands of people trying to do the same exact thing you are and your cumulative efforts will keep any single one of you from capturing the market and making a substantial profit. Things that are too good to be true typically are.
If you are even going to try and successfully run an online shopping site, for example, you need to focus on a few key items, and try and build out a good website with a lot of content. Therein lies one of the other biggest problems with online shopping sites. Sure, they are visually appealing sometimes, with just graphics and prices of all the items you might want, but that type of site layout lacks text based information (content) which sincerely hurts your ability to advertise with Google and Yahoo. You just can’t have a site that is thousands of products, all in image format that lack any text but a product name, and expect for the search engines to know what you are trying to do. It’s just too broad and covers too many bases for them to do anything with but give you a low quality score and ranking.
If you want to become a successful affiliate marketer, then you have to start thinking like one. You need to discover a niche market, or figure out a way to take something already done and do it better. The best affiliate marketers are ones that are creative because let’s face it, the definition of affiliate marketing is marketing a product or service someone else is already selling. You won’t have much success running a site that is a cookie cutter because there just isn’t anything to capture people over your competition. You need to spend time and effort to make this work. Make a great website you are proud of with lots of unique content, try your best to stand out against your competition, find creative ways to advertise, and pick a market that isn’t just trying to be an imitation of something that is very established like and all in one shop, or an auctioning site.