The Income Streams In Affiliate Marketing – Before you actually start creating your website,
you need to decide what income streams you would like to take advantage of.
What is an income stream? It is simply a way of generating money.
And when it comes to websites, there is no limit to the number of income streams you can have.
In fact, the more income streams you can make available on your site the better.
For this reason this chapter will present for you an extensive list of the most
popular income streams used by the Internet gurus. As you read through this
list take note of the income streams that interest you. Then when you are ready;
move to Chapter Two, where you can learn how to create a website advertising
your selected income streams.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when you promote another company’s website in return
for a commission. This commission can be generated in a number of ways,
though the most common is when a sale or lead is actually made from your advertising methods.
Less popular ways of getting commission could be based on if a company’s URL
has received a click, or if their ads received impressions,
(which are simply the number of times an ad has been viewed).
Either way, promotional methods would be the same regardless of how commission
is generated. This means you would either advertise the URL directly or use the URL within a banner.
In both cases the URL would contain special coding that would trace back to your affiliate account.
This is done so you can be properly credited if your visitors take the actions that a company desires.
Most of the major companies on the Internet are using affiliate marketing.
However, they do not necessarily advertise their affiliate opportunities blatantly.
Most of the time you’ll have to scroll down to the bottom of the site,
where you’ll find in smaller font ‘Affiliate Program,’ ‘Affiliates’ or similar wording.
For example, take a look at the screenshot below of the bottom portion of the site
Can you see where the circle is? This is where you would go to find information about BestBuy.
com’s affiliate program. If you were to click on this link, you would be taken to a signup page.
On this page you would have to enter in general information such as your name, address,
telephone number and site information. Once this info is submitted, you’ll have to
wait a few days to see if your site is approved. Indeed, this process is the same for
virtually all types of affiliate programs whether it’s BestBuy.com’s or another website.
If you’re not interested in signing up for affiliate programs through an individual company’s website,
you can consider joining an affiliate network. With an affiliate network, you can apply for more
than one company at the same time. But first, you must get approval from the network itself.
You do this by offering the same information as you would if you were applying to an individual affiliate
program. This would be your name, address, telephone number and site information.
You may also need to fill out a Form 1099, depending on the affiliate network.
Once you get approved, you’ll get access to an account manager where you can start
applying for the affiliate programs of specific companies.
One of the most popular affiliate networks around is Clickbank.
All you really need to get approved with them is to fill out a quick form,
After you provide this information, they’ll let you decide what companies you want to work for.
When you are ready for this step, everything will be conveniently laid out for you categorically.
The screenshot below provides a visual of some of the many categories Clickbank
allows you to choose from for your affiliate programs.
Another widely-used affiliate network is Commission Junction. Signing up with Cj is a little bit more harder than signing up with Clickbank, since a URL is required and the approval process is done after they go through your application. However, Commission Junction is a lot more extensive then Clickbank. All you are able to sell through them are e-books and software. Yet, the network has over 10,000 of these products, giving you great latitude for what you should promote.
Pay-per-click advertisements show a list of ads on your site. If one of these ads are clicked on by your visitors, you receive a commission. This commission can range from as low as .01 to as high as $66, though most of the time you will earn just a few cents. Still, if you can get a lot of legitimate clicks to these ads, (with legitimate being clicks from genuine visitors and not from yourself or ‘bots), you can easily make hundreds, maybe even thousands with pay-per-clicks. Take a look at the screenshot below to get an idea of what you would be making your money from if you decide to use pay-per-click.
The sections circled in red are what typical pay-per-click ads look like. In this example, the ads are indicative of Google Adsense. Ads from other companies would generally look the same, with the only difference being who’s listed as the sponsor. However, keep in mind that depending on the contract of the pay-per-click network you decide to work with, you might only be limited to showing just their advertisements. Of course, this is just when it comes to the pay-per-click arena. You would still be free to show as many advertisements from other income streams as you want, provided that your site offers worthwhile content for the visitor.
In terms of the approval process for pay-per-clicks, it’s similar to affiliate marketing, though usually these networks are not as strict. As long as your site is not promoting hate or excessive violence, more than likely it will get approved.
3. CPA Ads
Ads that are Cost Per Action, (or CPA), are similar in appearance to pay-per-click ads. Like pay-per-click ads, they show themselves in the form of small text advertisements on the top, bottom, left or right sides of the website. Yet, unlike pay-per-click ads, they pay when an action occurs. This action could be a visitor making a sale or signing themselves up as a lead, but that’s the extent of it. Clicks in and of themselves are not considered valid actions.
Of the CPA Ad networks used by Internet marketers, Azoogle is the most well-known. Although many webmasters see it as an ‘alternative’ to pay-per-clicks, it can still be a useful income stream. However, the downside is that Azoogle is more strict when it comes to who they will accept into their network. So, you may want to hold off applying for them until you get some quality traffic for your website.
4. Selling E-Books
E-books are the same as ‘regular’ books only they are in electronic form. They can be read on computers, PDAs, special e-book readers or smart phones. In terms of topics, e-books can be fiction, non-fiction or informative self-help books. However, in the world of Internet marketing, most e-books that are distributed tend to be of an informative nature. In fact, do you remember reading about Clickbank earlier? If you want to see examples of the types of e-books that webmasters are more likely to sell, simply look through Clickbank’s product listings. Alternatively, you can also do a search on E-Bay for e-books that are available for auction.
So, how do you obtain e-books for sale? If you have a talent for writing, you can simply create one yourself. You can use Microsoft Word or special e-book software to accomplish this goal. If you don’t have a talent for writing, you can hire a ghostwriter or buy either private label content or e-books with resale rights. Private label content should be what you go after if you want to change anything within the e-book. On the other hand, if your only goal is to sell, then getting e-books with resale rights is the way to go.
Two excellent sites for finding private label content and resale e-books are Infogoround.com and Ebookwholesaler.com, respectively. In terms of finding a ghostwriter, you can use freelancing sites like Getafreelancer.com or Elance.com to hire an individual or even a company.
5. Wholesaling or Dropshipping ‘Niche’ Products
Wholesaling is when you buy inventory at a significantly lowered price then sell it to consumers. You hold all the responsibility for packaging and shipping methods. Conversely, with dropshipping you only purchase inventory when you make a sale from a customer. Once you let companies know you need a product delivered, they will take care of the shipping and packaging. Dropshipping is an extremely convenient choice for an Internet newbie, but it tends to offer fewer profit margins than wholesaling. Regardless, before you can wholesale or dropship with most companies, you will need a business license. The exception is Doba.com, which is a dropshipper that will work with individuals who have not yet gotten a business license or don’t wish to get one.
Okay… so you understand what wholesaling and dropshipping are, but what are ‘niche products,’ and why do they matter so much? Why can’t ‘regular’ products be sold through these means? Well, simply defined, niche products are those that meet the needs of a specific market, which are often neglected by mainstream businesses. For example a company selling ‘dog brushes’, (a ‘regular’ product), would be meeting the needs of a general market. However, a company selling a ‘shaggy dog brush for sensitive skin dogs,’ would be meeting a niche market. The latter company would actually be more successful because there is significantly less online advertising competition for ‘shaggy dog brush for sensitive skin dogs,’ than there is for ‘dog brushes.’
So, how do you find niche products to wholesale or dropship? The best way to do this is to use keyword analyzers. These are programs that tell you all the versions of a keyword that has been entered into a search engine. Google and Overture offer free keyword analyzers, but these are not the best to use. This is because since they are free, the keywords that are given are more likely to have already been used. For this reason consider using a paid keyword analyzer such as Word Tracker. To use it simply type in a product that you would be interested in selling. The site will return all of the keywords related to that term. Pick a keyword that gets a lot of searches but not a lot of advertisers, (Word Tracker will provide this information to you). After selecting this keyword, go to a regular search engine. Type in the keyword along with the term “dropshipper,” or “wholesaler,” making sure you includes the quotation marks. Look through these listings to see if you can find a dropshipper or wholesaler selling your desired product. If you do not have much luck doing this, you can type the term in E-bay or another auction site and see if someone is selling the product in wholesale ‘lots.’ Alternatively, if you decide to join Doba.com you can enter the term into their internal search engine, to see if they have the product available for dropshipping. And if all else fails, you can simply call various brick-and-mortar wholesalers or dropshippers and ask them if they have what you need. To find brick-and-mortar wholesalers or dropshippers to call, simply look in your local phone book or visit Yellowpages.com.
6. Selling a Niche Service
Do you have a talent for doing something? Maybe it’s crafting or word processing. Maybe it’s word-working. Maybe it’s repair work. Regardless of what it is, if you market it properly, you can use your skill as an additional income stream. And, as you might have already suspected, ‘marketing properly’ means making sure you advertise your service to a niche market. So, just as described above, use a keyword analyzer such as Word Tracker to determine what your niche markets are. Once you have discovered this niche, you can go on and start creating your website around it.
7. Selling Online Advertising Space
Once your website starts receiving traffic, you will want to consider selling advertising space to other webmasters. To do this you can either make a separate webpage dedicated to advertising or sell banner space on the top, sides or bottom of your website. Price-wise you can charge per impression, (if you’re selling banner space), or monthly. If you charge per impression you can do this on your own, provided you have the right scripts and tracking software or you can use a separate service such as Adbrite.com, (which takes care of everything for you).
Email marketing can offer you an additional way of selling online advertising space. You’ll learn the specifics about this later, but basically, how it would work is you would place the webmaster’s advertisement in your e-course or newsletter. It could be a blurb or a feature article talking about the webmaster’s site. Either way, it will get sent to all of the subscribers on your list. If things work out as the webmaster hopes, he or she will get a sale. Price-wise, you can pretty much do what you want especially if you have a very large list. Keep in mind, however, that the more you charge the less people you will get to take advantage of your offer, especially if the price is in the hundreds or more.
If you want a quick start for selling online ad space, you can consider using Classifiedads.com With Classifiedads.com you are given the chance to promote an online classified site. The advertising space you can sell comes in the form of three banners. There is also Classifiedads.com affiliate program, offering a fourth income stream. But the beauty in this program is not through these elements, but rather their email marketing mechanism. When people sign up to use your classified site, your account manager stores the email address. While you won’t be able to see it, you will be able to send an email to that subscriber through the Classifiedads.com network. You can use this email system to create newsletters or e-courses, which can feature advertisements from other webmasters.
To get a visual of what your Classifiedads.com site would look like, look at the screenshot below.