Friday, April 4, 2008


Work at Home Reviews: Affiliate Marketing Home-Based Business

We are living in an amazing time in history! Technology has given us the ability to communicate, be productive, and work wherever we have internet access. But how do you get an employer to agree to let you work from home? That is tricky. Most companies are still uncomfortable allowing employees to telecommute. One big reason is that businesses who allow employees to work offsite have to make investments and be vigilant about security breaches into the company intranet. Some companies now allow for an occasional telecommute, but that barely impacts the issues driving the desire to work from a home office, such as high fuel costs, long commutes, expensive child care costs, and global warming.

Another way to make money online is to set up your own virtual business. But trying to build your company from scratch is expensive and risky. A quick internet search will present a plethora of home-based business options. So, how do you know which ones are legitimate? The answer is to look at the business model. A solid opportunity provides benefits to all parties involved. Affiliate marketing programs have attracted a lot of attention lately. This type of program is successful because companies need help getting the attention of consumers who have may have an interest in buying from them.

Businesses have long known that referrals from a friend, or another influential authority, such as a trusted business or an association are much more likely to make a purchase than those who come in arbitrarily. This recommendation breaks the initial barrier of distrust between vendor and prospective customer. However, before the internet age, companies had a hard time obtaining enough referred business to sustain their profitability goals. So, they also used expensive media ads to bring in additional customers and build their brands. With the proliferation of internet usage, businesses began shifting some money away from traditional advertising venues to website development and internet advertising. This was a successful strategy when the internet was still small. Now-a-days, there is an overload on information and advertising on the web. So, how does a business stand out to customers who are interested in what they have to sell? They first start by improving their search ranking in an effort to land on the first page of results from searches on major engines like Google and Yahoo. They can do this by optimizing keywords and paying to be listed as a sponsor when people search with pre-specified keywords. This is a necessary tactic, but any good marketer knows that relying on only one stream of leads is short-sighted and risky.

A second tactic is to partner with other websites that provide content which interests their best prospects. This alliance is called an affiliate marketing program (or performance marketing in some circles). It is designed to create a network of targeted lead generators. The concept is simple: companies advertise related products and services to the targeted audience of a website. The owner of that site is rewarded for generating business for referring business to the company. Example: I am interested in cats and build a site with cat tales. Cat food manufacturers, veterinaries, and stores who sell pet food advertise on my site. When my readers click-through to the vendor's sites or make a purchase, I receive a commission. Although there are several affiliate program models the most popular by far is revenue sharing, also known as Cost-per-sale (CPS) or Pay-per-sale (PPS). First a customer must reach the merchant site by clicking on an ad from the publisher's website. When that customer makes a purchase, the publisher of the original site receives a percentage of the sale. Another commonly used affiliate marketing program pays a set dollar amount per referral who performs a given action, such as signing up to the merchant site, subscribing to a newsletter or filling out a form. This is called Pay-per-lead (PPL), Cost-per-lead (CPL), or Cost-per-action/Cost-per-acquisition (CPA).

According to Marketing Sherpa, in 2006, affiliate programs paid out approximately $6।5 billion US dollars in commissions. If there is so much money to be made, why can't you be a part of this growing industry? Perhaps you're thinking you need to be a web designer who is adept at internet marketing strategies. Once again, technology comes to the rescue! The internet allows you to be in business for your self without having to do it by yourself. But how does it work? Where can you go for good advice? Work at Home Enterprises can provide you with in-depth guidance on how to structure an affiliate home business and run it successfully.


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