Courtesy of Ed Yourdon

Affiliate marketing is a ground-floor opportunity for those who want to start their own business without investing any money up front.

Anyone can begin selling online products as an affiliate marketer. The only thing required to start this type of business is information about various methods of online marketing.

Experience

To begin affiliate marketing doesn’t require much experience in sales, and it doesn’t require much knowledge about the technical aspects of links and coding. The only thing that an affiliate is required to understand is how online marketing works and what will drive customers to the links and tempt them to click on them to reach the company’s website to make a purchase.

An affiliate should understand how pay-per-click ads work and in what cases these ads are effective for making sales. And perhaps more importantly, how to get customers to find affiliate links. If an affiliate has no understanding of online marketing techniques, taking time to study various ways to promote products online will increase the affiliates effectiveness. Wasting time on ineffective techniques cuts into profits and leaves less time for exploring effective ones.

Search Engine Marketing

While pay-per-click ads are a popular way to promote affiliate links, they aren’t necessary. For affiliates who don’t want to invest money in their marketing, there are other promotional methods. Using search engine marketing techniques are a must for creating copy that customers will be able to find when they conduct an Internet search. A big part of this marketing is to use the right words when marketing the products you’re selling as an affiliate. Using keywords that pertain to the products, but not using them often enough to turn the copy into spam, is a method that takes practice to perfect.

Before beginning marketing, affiliates should study the latest information about search engine marketing. The accepted methods of SE marketing change over time as search engine algorithms change. Reading some of the top marketing blogs regularly can give you ideas about the latest trends and search engine changes.

Where to Place Links

There is no one place to put affiliate links that will be effective in every case. Affiliate marketing involves a lot of experimentation to find the best places to place specific links. There are many third-party sites that allow people to post marketing articles but that don’t allow affiliate links. Many marketers prefer to have their own site to place links on. By owning the site, you are in charge of how many links you can use and what types of products you can promote.

Owning a site requires purchasing a domain name and finding a Web host to host the site. Depending on what services you want form your host, hosting services can cost as little as a few dollars a month, and domain names are typically around $10 a year. Your own site can be as simple or complex as you want it. A popular way to create a customizable site structure quickly is to install WordPress on the site, choose a theme and to use the template to create your site.

Blogs are one of the most popular places to put affiliate links. With a blog, you can build up a steady readership that trusts your word. Then, review products that pertain to the blog’s topic and place affiliate links to allow readers to click and buy. You can create a blog on your own domain or use one of the many free blogging sites, such as Blogger.com, to quickly create a blog for your links. By posting regularly with well-written, informative posts, you can build an unlimited readership that will see your links.