That said, it’s also worth noting that no matter which approach you choose, you’ll need to put in a lot of hard work and show some real skill to turn a profit and make money with affiliate marketing.
Even under the best circumstances, you’ll need at least a year and a half to make a profit you could conceivably live on. This number isn’t set in stone, but it’s very difficult to make money with affiliate marketing before at least 1 or 2 years of hard work.
If you do decide to discover if you can make money with affiliate marketing, you’ll have a few different options for how you go about doing so. You can use the following list to give you ideas, but at the same time you shouldn’t let it limit your possibilities.
1. The Review Site
This idea lends itself very easily to make money with affiliate marketing. The professional review sites which exist for just about every sort of product tend to have a problem with neutrality: since they largely rely on ad money to keep the lights on, and since their target audience is naturally interested in the products they review, their ads and their review subjects are often one and the same. And if the advertising company should threaten to pull its ad dollars, then the review site rarely has any alternatives to publishing a review that glosses over flaws and inflates the positives.
While this sort of relationship also exists between an affiliate marketer and his or her partners, the leash is longer thanks to the different payment scheme. Since you only make money on each sale made using your links, the affiliate partner doesn’t have to worry about punishing a bad review: that’s something that will happen automatically when people avoid clicking on the links and buying anything. But taking that hit can be worth the short-term squeeze because your audience will appreciate your trustworthiness and grow accordingly. This is one of my absolute favorite ways to make money with affiliate marketing online.
For example, you can check out one of my own reviews sites at DogFoodInsider.com.
2. The Informational Site
Rather than spend most of your time reviewing products, you could make money with affiliate marketing by writing articles and providing expert opinions on topics which are directly related to your affiliate partners but which don’t spend most of their time plugging or reviewing their products. You’re still connecting a target audience with affiliate companies interested in selling them something, but you’re spending most of your time one step removed from the process.
On the positive side, this approach to making money with affiliate marketing gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to how to develop your website and what topics you can discuss or explain to your audience. But on the negative side, your audience will be less likely to click on a link when you aren’t talking directly about the product it advertises. And if you do bring it up directly, there’s a good chance that it will feel forced in and out of place, an obvious paid advertisement that one should obviously ignore.
Still, there are alternative approaches to going on an awkward tangent in an otherwise unrelated article. For instance, you could mix the review and informational approaches together, publishing reviews one week and informative articles the next. This is a particularly effective approach when the products you review don’t come out every week or every month, and so writing informational articles is a good way to keep up your search engine ranking by continuing to publish new material.
You might also be able to make money with affiliate marketing from the direct approach. You could create an informational or even an entertainment website, one whose purpose is to publish your own creative works, and then explain or otherwise make clear on the home page that the way you’re paying to keep the site alive is by running ads that pay out a commission for each purchase made. Your audience can therefore support your website by using your links to buy products they very likely would have purchased anyways.
3. The Social Media Empire
Technically speaking, you don’t have to create a website at all to distribute your affiliate links and make money with affiliate marketing, or at least you don’t have to limit yourself to a website. Instead, you can create profiles on different social media sites and build up a large number of friends, followers, and subscribers with whom you can share your links. And while that may sound like you’re setting people up for a bait-and-switch, it doesn’t have to be if you take the right approach.
Put simply, the things you can do on a website you can also do through social media. You can upload videos to YouTube that entertain, inform, or review products, and you can include relevant links in the video’s description that will lead people to the products you describe.
On Facebook, you can use a separate account for your personal contacts and connections and spend your time forwarding stories and reviews, writing a few of your own, and mixing in a few affiliate links that aren’t out of place. Twitter is harder to use as an independent platform, but an account there can give you an extra platform to forward articles from and a way to quickly respond to your audience – assuming you can do so in 140 characters or less.
Make Money With Affiliate Marketing YOUR Way
If you want to make money with affiliate marketing, you’ll need to put in plenty of hard work and spend a lot of time building up your online presence, but you can choose from several different methods to make it work for you. You can pick one, pick another, or even go with all of the above by starting up multiple websites and social media accounts which support each one. Doing so means extra work, but also extra profits.