Affiliate marketing is a business model in which the affiliate sells other people’s products online and earns commissions based on those sales.
Most affiliate marketers use digital technology including autoresponders, website building programs, landing page software and digital marketing platforms to build their businesses. These technologies are in fact “autopilot money making software”, of a sort.
Marketers usually build email lists and they start doing so by advertising to suitable customers who they find on the various advertising platforms. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, for example all offer paid marketing platforms to affiliate marketers who use them to find their target audience.
They then direct their advertising to specific landing pages where they can collect subscriber’s information in exchange for some legitimate bribe. This is usually in the form of a digital downloadable product, or some video or digital content.
From there, the subscriber receives a series of automated emails which usually offer information, value and of course promote digital or physical products to those subscribers.
All of these processes are automated of course and the affiliate marketer uses them to first test and measure their marketing to see if they can make a profit. Over time, and with considerable testing and measuring, marketers learn which strategies give them the largest profit. Once they get to this point (and if they do), they can cut back on those adverts which are underperforming, and scale up those which are working.
With a marketing strategy which has a huge audience, and providing your products are available globally, you can start increasing sales just by ‘turning up’ the advertising given this situation.
Digital products are particularly good for this because they don’t require physically posting once someone buys them. Digital products can be accessed directly over the internet. Software products and membership products are two examples of digital products which affiliate marketers can sell online. They don’t need to personally own a product because they can promote and sell any product online which has an affiliate program attached to it.
The largest affiliate ‘store’ online is Amazon. Most people are comfortable with purchasing from Amazon by now. So this can be a good place to start. However, Amazon products are mostly physical products which pay out much less in commissions than digital products do.
Since digital products carry much less costs in terms of postage, storage and manufacturing, they can pay affiliate marketers much larger commissions. Physical products on Amazon tend to pay between 3% and 10% commissions. Compare this with digital products which pay out 40% – 50% commissions on a sale.
So you can see why digital products are a good way to go if you want to build an autopilot money making system. So how much of such a system is actually auto-pilot and how much work is involved?
With an online business there is still a lot of work involved, besides the automation which can help your build and scale it. First, you need to generate an income in order to scale up your business. Although an online affiliate business is scalable, many affiliate fail and give up without even building an email list to 1000 subscribers.
This can be for a number of reasons. For one, affiliate marketing is an open market; so anyone can ‘give it a go’. The barriers to entry are pretty low for an internet business. There’s fewer costs compared to a ‘bricks and mortar’ type of business. All you really need is a laptop and an internet connection. You don’t need premises or staff to run your business and you can sell anything anywhere globally.
But the smaller barriers to entry also means that many people try it and give up. It’s certainly not an easy business to get started in. But if you are patient and have a strong enough desire, anyone can take advantage of the online business systems and strategies available online to sell other people’s products.
For the people who stick at affiliate marketing long enough to see a good return, there are large rewards. Ultimately it’s a business model which can provide a full time income. You can also grow this income to surpass your current income, whatever it is you’re doing.
But don’t have any illusions that an online business is a ‘quick riches’ type of business. It certainly isn’t that! You still need to put the hours in and ‘learn your trade’ like any other business. The dream of working from home is a pretty strong pull to many people. But ultimately the discipline needed and the competition for attention online can stand in the way of online success for many.