Something that I have noticed, especially in the Black community (if you can call it that) is people’s willingness to be walking billboards for companies that they have no stake in. These individuals in question would likely be hard-pressed to get a job even at a retailer selling these products, and almost certainly do not own a single share of their stock, yet they will go on and on about how brand X has the best items.
With the advent of social media and video sites like YouTube, we even have people making reviews, giving free advertising to companies that consider them to be pissants.
This has to stop.
One way that we can get something out of the work that we put forth advertising and praising our favorite products is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is similar to the way that many network marketing companies work in that it is performance-based, but one would likely not have to attend weekly meetings or pay start-up fees.
The downside in comparison to network marketing, is that to my knowledge, there is no way to build a pyramid or matrix and profit off of referrals that join the program. The only profits that are made are those from sales that come from our links. This is to my knowledge though, and with all of the affiliate programs out there, there may indeed by a program with such a structure. If you know about one, feel free to note it in the comment section.
Comparing network marketing or MLM with affiliate marketing, the latter is a much better choice since there are no necessary startup fees, no mandatory meetings, and rather than trying to hype up your friends and family or cold approach, you have the entire Internet as your target area!
There are hundreds if not thousands of affiliate marketing programs out there. I am not knowledgeable about all of them, nor do I have the time to find and to list them all. Instead, I am just going to briefly go over Amazon, which is the starter marketing platform for many webmasters cutting their teeth, and talk about a couple of other alternatives that might not come to mind.
A whole litany of items from all over the world is sold on Amazon. This includes books, DVDs, electronics, consumer goods, replacement parts, and much, much more. With such a wide variety of items in the marketplace, the possibilities are almost endless, particularly if you can find your niche.
Amazon’s affiliate program is free to join, and offers up to 10% of all sales made as a commission. The minimum payout is $10 by direct deposit, or in the form of an Amazon gift card, or $100 by check. Be advised that should you decide to receive payment by check, there will be a service charge of $15, so it is advisable to choose one of the two former methods of receiving your payout (the payment threshold is a lot lower too, so you’ll get your money faster). The downside is that Amazon pays sixty days after the monthly cutoff period that the minimum payout is reached, so if you make $10 or more one month, you will have to wait until two months later to see your money.
I talked about making connections in my review of Walt Goodridge’s Jamiacan in China. If you have connections with sellers, you might be able to strike direct deals with them. In my case, I am friends with a Chinese girl on QQ that works at a company that sells clothing and jewelry on Amazon. In exchange for making a few customer service calls on her behalf to U.S.-based customers, she sent out a few items as gifts to people that I needed to do Holiday shopping for. Half of my Christmas gifts were taken care of, and it only cost me a few phone calls.
Referral Rewards Programs
You probably know about rewards programs offered by grocery stores that give out coupons, sales, and money back, but did you know that some online-based companies offer rewards programs too? For example, Dollar Shave Club offers a referral program where users can give their specific link to potential customers. Any person that signs up using this link will earn $5 off of the referrer’s monthly subscription.
Starting a Site
Yes, I know that I mentioned that most affiliate programs are free. It is indeed the case that one can get started for free using social media, YouTube, or free blogging platforms such as Blogspot or WordPress.com.
If you really want to get serious, however, I would advise you to start your own site with your own URL and hosting. I would advise NameSilo for your domain name needs. They are a relatively new company, but they offer low prices and have a great discount program. I can get you started at an even lower price; just make sure to enter the code HEIREN1OFF in the coupon code text field at checkout.
Affiliate marketing has financed or contributed the the finances of many online personalities. This does not mean that we will get rich.
This does not mean that we will make our livings with it.
This does not mean that we will even make a single cent from it.
It does mean that we at least tried to get paid for being walking billboards or making those YouTube videos about how good that Valentino cologne is or how the latest Call of Duty has awesome graphics. Do not be afraid to send e-mails directly to companies, or look around for affiliate marketing opportunities. You may be surprised at the opportunities that can turn up. Let’s at least try to get a little but of change in our pockets if we are going to help others get rich!