I need to start out this article by giving you a bit of my background. I have a long history and interest in self-improvement, personal growth and focusing in on environmental issues. I have a passion for reading and studying on these topics and have become more and more focused on sharing my knowledge with others in their own journey of growth and personal development.

Just about a year ago I decided to set up a business, which I called Spiritual Growth Tools. I wanted to also establish a website, which I did through a professional company since I did not feel I had the technical skills necessary for this large of a project. However, I did decide to write the content for my own website, which you can read and review if you are interested- details below.

Along with information on the site I wanted to be able to provide readers and interested individuals with some products that I found to be helpful. I chose only those that I had personally used and found to be just what they advertised themselves to be.

The first step that I took after thinking about the products I wanted on the site was to contact the people that made, created or marketed the items. My first question was if they had an affiliate marketing program. From their answer I was able to find out if I could list their products, typically this started with completing a simple online application and being accepted.

The companies know how they want their products marketed and they provide all the technical support you need to list the items. These may include banners or pictures as well as product descriptions all written in HTML for ease of placement on your website. One of the first rules of affiliate marketing, is once you have put links onto your website, be sure to test each one.

Why Sell Affiliate Products?

Selling affiliate products has a wide range of advantages. You are not responsible for inventory and stock since you will not actually complete the sale. This means you will not have to buy the items to sell on your website, which can be a huge financial and management burden for a start-up company.

Even if you do not have your website up and running you can post links on your blog or email customers and friends about offers that the company you are working with is offering. Regardless of how the customers get to their site you will receive a percentage of the purchase that they make. This percentage is established with the company at the time of setting up the affiliate agreement.

Once the link to the company is placed on your website there is absolutely nothing further that you need to do. Of course the more individual and dynamic your entire website is the more traffic you attract. More traffic means more sales and more money in your pocket. If you choose not to do much marketing, then your returns will be slender.

Are There Any Drawbacks?

Basically affiliate sales are the same as any type of online sales program. If you are one of many different websites selling the same product it may be much more difficult to be unique and original. This can be made more difficult if you are selling products that are very close in price to the competition or that are common to a lot of websites. If you have any way to make your website different than the competition these issues will typically be much less of an issue.

One aspect of affiliate marketing to consider is that once your viewer clicks on the affiliate marketing link they are no longer on your website. Therefore, you have to constantly think about what your website needs to have to make the reader come back to you once they have bought the other companies products. Informative articles, inspirational messages, 'How To' information, opinions, blogs and resources on your site can help to entice the customer back to you. Having meaningful content rather than just pages and pages of links to other websites is critical.

Notifying the reader that the link connects to another website can also help the viewer decide if they want to click or not. Many readers want to finish browsing your site before leaving, so this simple notification is both polite as well as considerate. The more relevant your content is to the product links the more satisfied the reader will be that your website provided valuable information and products. This satisfaction will lead to repeat customers and your site will be recommended to others.

Find products that you really love and are congruent with your website. This way you can happily answer any questions that may arise because you have experience of the product. If you sell lots of products that you have no knowledge of, make sure that the company you sell for will be able to answer any questions that come your way quickly.

Auto Responder Services

AWeber is another service that I highly recommend. This auto responder service will help in getting your message, information and products out to your existing and potential new customer base. The constant flow of information provides your customers with relevant subject matter and keeps your website at the top of their bookmark list. This helps to develop a long term relationship with your clientele that is essential in developing a business and growing over time.

The many features of AWeber auto responder service include tutorials and how to videos that allows you to use the program with ease. You do not have to feel intimidated or overwhelmed even if this is your first website. The customer service team for A Weber is outstanding, which is one of the reasons I recommend it so highly.

Social media sites can be a perfect spot to share information on your affiliate marketing programs. These sites allow you to be in contact with literally hundreds or even thousands of potential new costumers with each post. Facebook and Twitter are the two most common social networking sites. Facebook provides you the opportunity to share more information and set up a Fan or Business page while Twitter is great for sharing smaller bits of information.

Blogs and articles on sites such as HubPages and EzineArticles are a perfect spot to show your expertise in your area of focus. The writing on these sites is intended to be interesting, informative, inspiration or motivating, a perfect combination for my area of business. I find that writing on these sites has helped by brand become known to a larger audience than my website would have on its own. A blog is a wonderful way to share information on your affiliate marketing products or to write reviews. If you are writing reviews keep them positive and informative and share them with everyone you know to spread the word about the product.

Getting started with affiliate marketing is certainly not a daunting or stressful task. Just be sure to carefully evaluate the products you are listing and learn about the company you are doing business with. Many companies will also promote your website, which can be another source of traffic and possible sales.

Written by Caroline Nettle.

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Author's Bio: 

Caroline Nettle is passionate about helping others to improve their life. She has discovered a method to improve your MLM home business and affiliate marketing enterprise by learning how to generate leads for it online. Her website MLM Internet Maverick
offers you some world class training and a step by step guide to succeeding in your MLM business. All you need to do is sign up to receive all the free training and learn from the experts how to achieve the financial freedom you are looking for.