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Your web venture may already have enough potential to generate a reasonable income on its own, but it doesn’t have to stop there. There are plenty of income generation schemes on the internet which you may be able to explore independently or as an add-on to your existing website. Let’s look at the varied opportunities available to make more profit online.

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As long as the internet evolves there will be someone trying to profit from it. And providing the money-making schemes are legal, authentic and aren’t in any way destructive, demeaning or at odds with the spirit of the internet’s world wide community, then making a profit online should be encouraged.

My own web development aside, I’ve been fortunate to know and work with a number of people who have and still are profiting from internet-based opportunities. Over the years I’ve witnessed a number of potential opportunities come and go, and I have certainly tried out a few, but there are several that have evolved and offer potential for income generation.

The following suggestions have been tried with varying degrees of success by people I know and are certainly worth exploring. As always though, proceed with care. Do your own independent research on any opportunities you decide to explore. What has worked for one doesn’t automatically work for another; but, as ever, with the right approach, you could generate additional income over the short or long term.

Start an affiliate marketing business

Many people decide to start an online affiliate marketing business because it’s quick, easy and profitable. Take a look at the benefits.

  • You don’t have to create a product.
  • You don’t have to worry about providing customer support.
  • You don’t deal with the shipping, returns or any other hassles that come with running a standard sales business.
  • Affiliate programmes are usually free to join, so you don’t have any start-up costs.
  • You make good profits on sales!

Sound fantastic! And it can be, with the right approach.

You can promote affiliate products using your own website or the merchant’s website. You can even use both options because both methods work; they just work differently for different people. Some affiliates find it easier to have their own website to promote from. Others feel creating a website is too much work, and they find it easier to simply advertise the affiliate products, and let the merchant’s website do the selling.

Let’s look at the options.

Promoting affiliate products without website

This can often be the fastest way to start money with affiliate programmes, but it requires skill, persistence, patience and money. Generally, you would have to pay for advertising to promote affiliate products. You might use a pay-per-click service such as Google AdWords, and create ads which promote a specific affiliate product. You place the affiliate link with your affiliate code in the ad, and when somebody clicks the ad, the visitor is sent direct to the merchant’s website. If the visitor choose to buy the product, you will be credited with the sale and earn a commission.

Affiliate who use these direct promotional methods to earn money from affiliate products spend their time researching keywords for the most beneficial placement of their ads, and are constantly writing or refining tend to have multiple campaigns going at once. And some of those might make great money while others fail miserably. With time, attention patience, experience and a reasonable marketing budget, this can turn out to be a lucrative way to make money.

Promoting affiliate products with a website

Here are four popular ways to create affiliate websites.

1. One-page sales letter, or pre-sell. This is fairly easy to create, but it helps if you’ve actually the product you intend to promote. By creating just one single page for your website, you keep visitors focused on talking just one action: buying this product. The purpose of a one-page site is to make sure your visitor doesn’t become distracted with other ads or content. You want them to buy what you’re promoting.

This type of site usually has a detailed product review, or a pre-sell. In general a pre-sell is much like a detailed review. It tends to be 1,000 words or longer, and it explains what you like about a given product. This kind of affiliate marketing site works very well, but it doesn’t gain much in the way of organic search engine traffic so most affiliate use pay-per-click advertising or article marketing to send traffic to it.

2. One-page multi product site. This is similar to the above, but the main difference is you’re comparing multiple products. Generally you should have three to five products on the page, though some affiliate marketers do well comparing as many as ten. It’s probably best to keep each page at just three products, so that it doesn’t overwhelm your visitors.

With this type of affiliate site you want to create brief product reviews and recommendations. You also want to compare similar products, so the visitors is not pulled in too many directions at once. You also don’t want them to be distracted by other elements, so you wouldn’t put article content on the site. Just place three to five products with affiliate links for each.

3. A shopping style e-commerce site. Many new affiliate don’t know you can do this, but it’s actually fairly easy to create a fully-fledged e-commerce style shopping site with affiliate products. Some sites have just ten or 20 products on them, but some have 10,000 or more. These types of sites are usually created using affiliate data-feed and specialised software.

4. An informational, publication style website. This type of site usually tends to grow quite large, and it’s filled with information. Commonly you’ll see sites built with articles on specific topics, and the whole purpose of creating these types of sites is to help bring in natural organic search engine traffic, and gain links from other websites that will send free traffic.

By drawing in targeted traffic to the articles, reports and related content, the webmaster is obtaining visitors on specific topics. They then either recommend certain online merchants and stores, or they list those merchants and stores as related links. With either format the links are of course affiliate links.

Finding good affiliate programmes

When you decide to become an affiliate marketer, the first choice you have to make is what products you’ll promote. Hopefully you’ve already researched and found a lucrative market to target, so now you just need to choose good affiliate products, programmes, and merchants that fit into your overall niche.

It can be difficult trial and error process for a while, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are several key points to consider when looking at affiliate programmes to promote.

1. What’s the commission you’ll be paid? This tend to be the first thing new affiliates look at, because they want to know how much money they can make with each sale. And most people choose to promote products that offer very high commission rates.

2. The next important factor to consider is conversion ratio. If you send 100 targeted visitors to an affiliate sales page, how many of those visitors will actually pull out their credit card and buy?

In this instance, percentage count a lot. if 1% of people buy, that’s a 1% conversion ratio. That means one person out of 100 will buy on average. If however, a product has a 10% conversion ratio, then people out of 100 will buy.

If you combine conversion ratios with commission rates, you can gain further insight on which product might be the best to promote. Let’s say the 50% commission products has a 5% conversion ratio, and the 20% product has a 2% conversion ratio, which product is now the best one to promote? In this case the 50% product is best: from 100 visitors you will earn $62.50 ($12.50 x 5 sales), compared with $40 ($20 x 2 sales) for the 20% products.

No matter how much money a product can earn you, it’s worthless if people won’t buy it.

3. Look at the sales page itself. This is a step many affiliate marketers miss. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. If you were a prospective customer would you buy products or services from this merchant? Is the site easy to use? is the offer compelling? Is the site is professional? Only promote if you can answer yes to all these questions.

Also avoid any merchant who promotes Google AdSense or other affiliate links on their site. Why? because the site is unfocused and you could end up sending visitors who clicks on the AdSense ads or affiliate links to their sites and make them money while leaving you out in the cold.

Another problem can sometimes crop up with the merchants who sell physical products. It’s not uncommon to find a phone number on the sales pages. Often this is a toll free number. The merchant needs to have a contact number, but if they make the number large and prominent, chances are the potential customer you sent to the page will just pick up the phone and bypass you altogether. Some merchants handle this issue well though, and they put a referral code next to their phone number, then they ask for that code when the prospective customer call (this referral number tracks back to you so that you still earn commission from the sales).

4. What are the merchant’s terms? Some merchants put sneaky exception clauses into their terms of service, and affiliates don’t realise they won’t be paid for various types of sales. Some, for instance, might say affiliate can only earn commission on X items, but not any any others. And sometimes they’ll even stay that affiliates can only earn commission on products under a certain value. So make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully.

5. What are the payout terms? Again, check the terms and conditions. Some merchants will only send commissions. And some will not pay you unless you first generate a certain amount of money, then wait a certain amount of time, the request the payment.

There are many more things to pay attention to when selecting good affiliate programmes, but these are the most important. In general though, do your research. Find out exactly how the programme works and if possible, find out how other affiliates feel about it before committing too much time or money to it yourself.

  • Start by doing a key word search to see how popular the key terms relating to your chosen subject area in the search engines.
  • If possible, draw upon existing interests or expertise. It will be easier to create a popular, informative website that people will want to visit.
  • Place your ad campaign in prominent positions on each information web page. A column on either the left or right or across the top of your web page enhances visibilty.
  • Choose suitable affiliates relating to your subject area and which have a reasonable commission rate.
  • Use a variety of marketing tactics to drive visitors to the website.


My name is Brian and I’m a Graduate of Business Administration Marketing. I work full time in Sales and Marketing. I am also the owner of Blog Engage a social network I created specifically for bloggers. Come and join us on Blog Engage

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