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Yes, I said free. Though I'll be honest, that's not going to get you as far as quickly as if you invested a small amount of money, let me explain why. There are probably thousands of different types of products and services you could become an affiliate for but the real trick is getting customers to your website. You need to get a steady stream of hungry customers to your site if you want to make money.
One of the best methods for generating this traffic is by article marketing. That means you write quality, informative articles about the product you are promoting and when someone reads your article they can click on a link at the bottom of your article and be taken to your website. Not only is this method free it also has the added advantage of helping you set yourself up as a trusted expert.
The downside to this method is that many of the article directories (websites that will let you submit articles for publication) won't allow you to put an affiliate link in your article, you need your own domain name. There are some ways you can get around that such as putting up pages on sites like Hubpages and Squidoo but that's not as effective as purchasing your own domain and hosting. You can buy your own domain name for less than $11 a year and hosting can be less than $10 a month. So, while you can get involved in affiliate marketing for free, if you've got even a small amount of money it can help you get established a little more quickly.
When you're first starting out you'll probably hear a lot about Pay Per Click (PPC). This is a form of advertising that allows you to place ads using topic specific keywords. You will only have to pay for the ad when someone clicks on it and is taken to your site. The amount you have to pay will vary depending on the keyword you're targeting and is determined by a bidding process.
PPC has a lot of variables and if you're not careful you can really rack up hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Because of the steep learning curve I recommend anyone who is new to affiliate marketing start with the free marketing methods such as article marketing. They are every bit as effective as PPC but they won't cost you anything. Then, when you are making more money and have the time to learn to do PPC properly, you can expand...if you want to.
There is nothing stopping you from starting your own affiliate marketing business. The affiliate marketing cost is very low (or even free) and the potential rewards are virtually unlimited. Just remember, that even though you can start this business with little or no money, if you don't treat it like a business and learn all you can, you'll never make any money either.
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