Why your Business NEEDS Affiliate Marketing

One of the most stressful, but important, things you need to do for your business is market it effectively. Not only will this make the day to day running of it easier as new customers will have an idea of what you offer, but it will also kick-start development and growth.

You might ask yourself what affiliate marketing is and how it’s different to the usual marketing you might use. Its simple: in the technological age you can use your most effective asset – The internet.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

The idea behind affiliate marketing really couldn’t be simpler. Your business will use their website to link your customers to another website, such as a retail store, and for every complete order made you receive a commission. The best part? Sometimes affiliate marketing can have a mutual advantage where the retail store will also redirect traffic to your site to do the exact same thing meaning you also get increased traffic.

The most common type of affiliate marketing scheme, however, is often not like this. Your work from home company would more often than not seek an affiliate marketing scheme with a more established business connected to what you sell.

The benefit of this is because you are connecting to a more established company with an established name, your customers are more likely to click through to their website.  It also means that your clients are more likely to make a purchase with this established name and then you will get a commission.

How to Join an Affiliate Marketing Scheme

An affiliate marketing scheme is not a ‘get rich quick’ schemes but instead offers you an income on the side of your provisional business. Of course, the income is not always the main point but rather the advertising and connections you make through such a scheme.

So how does your business join an affiliate marketing scheme? There are many companies these days that offer affiliate marketing schemes. Why? Because they’re a proven effective business strategy.

If you look on any major retail site, there will often be a link to their affiliate program which will describe how to become an affiliate marketer with the company. Many offer easy to understand and set up schemes because the more affiliates selling their products, the more money they make and of course your business gets rewarded as well.

When applying for affiliate marketing schemes, there are always certain things you should pay attention to. Communicating with the company with which you are setting up the marketing scheme will often stop any headaches you might have further down the line. If you clearly state what you want out of the scheme and both understand the commission you’ll be getting, then this can do wonders for the business relationship and get the scheme off to a good start.

You also need to consider which companies you are contacting to become an affiliate marketer. If your business sells sports related keyboards and mice, a lingerie boutique is unlikely to set up a scheme with you. The business that you run must directly correlate with the business you are applying for to up your chances of being accepted and increase the chance of some nice commissions.

Making an income from blogging

Another popular way to earn an income from home is blogging.

Basically, you can start a blog easily using a program like WordPress.  You can then blog regularly about a topic of interest to you and others.  If you can build up an audience, there are many different ways to earn money.

Ways to Monetize a Blog

Advertising

A popular way to monetize a blog is through displaying advertisements, either through programs like Google AdSense or selling space directly to advertisers or writing product reviews.  This is how SJ, the blogger behind Chasing the Donkey, A local’s guide to Croatia, earns money.  She sells advertising directly to sponsors.  She also reviews accommodation and travel experiences in Croatia in return for doing these activities for free.

Affiliate Sales

Other bloggers earn money from affiliate commissions, such as Amazon.  They might write a review of a product and then encourage people to buy it through an affiliate link.  There are many affiliate opportunities so it is not hard to find products that you can sell for a commission.

Produce and Sell Products

Many other bloggers produce products, such as eBooks and sell these on their blogs.  Others build and sell software that fulfill a need that readers of their blog have.

Launch a new career or company

A blog can also be used to launch a new career or company.  Many bloggers use their blog as a platform to launch things such as a freelance writing career. Other career paths may be as a life coach, social media expert or to launch a public speaking career.  Some bloggers have even started tour companies from their blog.  I have launched this blog in the hope of using it to launch my own product range and coaching some day.

There are a large variety of ways that different bloggers have managed to make an income from their blogs.  It just takes a bit of creativity.

Why an eBay Business might be the Next Career Move for you

As with everything, there will be someone out there who will try to sell you some phony advice and eBay selling is no different. There are people out there who are making incredible amount of money, but they’re more often then not the people selling the get rich quick eBay guide eBooks.

While being a successful eBay seller is harder than these people will tell you, there are legitimate businesses that thrive using eBay as a base for their operations. You won’t be able to jump into a $40,000 a year job straight of the bat, but with work, savvy planning and determination you can make a successful eBay business.

What is the Advantage of using eBay over Starting my own eCommerce Business?

It has recently been estimated that in the UK, £7bil (almost $12bil) is spent on the internet by customers. Unlike a conventional business, an eBay buying business can sell to millions of customers worldwide. While a conventional business that sells things like books or socks might otherwise thrive, think about a company selling a niche product like 2nd century Japanese artwork. With an online store on eBay, this company can get out to a much larger client base.

Of course, taking your business online is the best move you can make, but the question becomes why use eBay? A site like this can facilitate your company and nurture it in its infancy. Its also much less work and costs much less than setting up and running your own website – with the added bonus of a reliable and trusted name that people are already drawn to. The marketing is all done for you.

How do I Use eBay for a Successful Business?

There are some simple pointers that you need to think about and take into account before you decide to start an eBay business:

  • Are you selling what people want? With my example above about the Japanese artwork, the reason that business works is assuming there is a market out there for it. Do your market research before you decide on what project you’re going to sell. If the product is too niche, then you’re unlikely to turn a profit.
  • How much are you going to charge? If you’ve found a successful niche, it’s unlikely you’re the first to discover it. Do some market research and look at your competitors and make sure you have your price right. Also think about how this will impact on your profit margin. You don’t want to over charge but you also don’t want to cut yourself off.
  • How easy is it to deliver? The advantage an online market place over a conventional store is that customers can get the product delivered to their door. The advantage for you is that there is a postal service in place to help facilitate the transfer. You need to think about how easy it will be to ship. If you’re planning on selling 2 ton graphite elephants, forget it.
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE – the last tip is the most important; you absolutely must make sure your service is impeccable. Often online customers will make a decision based on reviews by other customers. If these are bad then you might as well give up. Always strive to provide the best service – better than your competitor and better than you gave to your previous customer

With all of these tips, having a successful business means hard work and dedication. You need to be invested emotionally in your business and need to want to make it succeed.

Check out eBay for yourself.

Why your Home Business needs a Business Plan

You might think that business plans are for large and better established businesses that have more funds, overheads and a bigger client base, but this just isn’t the case. In truth, it is a small work from home business that needs a business plan the most. Here’s why…

What Is a Business Plan?

The idea of a business plan couldn’t be simpler, but also couldn’t be easier to get wrong. The concept is simple; it is a comprehensive document that outlines all of your ideas and thoughts about your business, written down in an easy to access document.

Not only does it give your business more structure, but it can also help you in future when your client base increases and the business starts to grow and develop. Of course the plan you make and the way in which you set it out isn’t set in stone. We all know that no matter how complete your business plan is there will always be some factor beyond your control, be it market changes or a natural disaster.

Even more than that, a business plan isn’t a legal document you have to adhere to indefinitely. After all, it is your business and if a few years down the road you decide to change it up a bit, your business plan should be able to accommodate it.

In simple terms, a business plan is a rough guide to how your business is going to develop as well as an outline of exactly what your business is at the moment, e.g. employees, financial predictions. Not only can it be used in the future but it is also a useful way right now of keeping track of all of the moving parts involved in a business.

Why does a Small Business need a Business Plan?

Of course, as with everything, there are a few businesses that have been able to make it big without business plans. Unfortunately for you, this is not the norm and it is now a well established business fact that a business plan will help you succeed.

As mentioned above, for a small business a business plan is near essential, it works to help guide you through the tricky unforeseeable hurdles that might loom in the future.

Outside of actual ‘planning’, a business plan is like a big flashing arrow to investors. Most likely at some point in your businesses lifetime, you will need a little boost or cash injection to help you get to the next step. This is where investors come in and where your business plan comes to the fore.

Investors can be a scary word, but it really doesn’t have to be. A bank is an investor, as is anyone who can buy a share in your business. So long as your business plan is water-tight and the business is nurtured and controlled by you, the risk for such investments should be low.

Investors work in risk and they want projects that will almost defiantly see a return on their investment. Banks, for example, won’t lend money to a company they think will fail – they make no money that way. A business plan can therefore show anyone that might be interested that not only do you have your company together but you’ve also thought about making plans for the future.

The only 6 Reasons you Need to Start Working from Home Today

Working from home might seem like a mystical ideal that will never happen. However increasingly, more and more employers are looking to the internet for new employees. The problem with a static office is that you often have a very small catchment area of skilled workers. Working from home can mean that you can work for any company you like and still be the best in your field.

 

Here are six reasons to work from home…

1. Less Stress

Obviously the first reason in favour of working from home is the advantage of less stress; all of the problems that you would normally face working in a office fade away when you start working in your home office. It’s your own space and often you can work with more freedom than when you were in your tiny grey cubicle.

2. No Need to Drive

The second reason links with the first – think of all of the road rage you’ll avoid or all of the boring traffic you won’t face by working from home. Not only will you save money and your heart, but you’ll also save money on gas.

3. More Family Time

Working from home, either for an employer or for yourself, often comes with more freedom in the work you do – more independence. With this time you can spend quality moments with your family and have the best of both worlds. Of course, working from home also gives you an excuse if you ever need it to get out of those tedious family events!

4. Environmentally Friendly

What could be more ‘green’ than working from home? Like I’ve mentioned you save on gas, but even more than that the amount of energy is significantly reduced in everything you do.

5. Friendly Environment

Working from home means you can work in your most comfortable clothes and get coffee from your own, clean, coffee machine. Unless you need to do a business call, you don’t technically need to get dressed, and even then so long as your top half looks good, who will know?

As Kevin Kurse, CEO, says in a Forbes article “You can do your job wherever and whenever you want…you can even sit in a beach chair with a cocktail in hand for all I care…as long as you get our desired results.”

6. High Productivity

Often those working from home not only complete a higher quantity of work, but it also to a higher standard. With the five reasons above taken into consideration, working from home not only makes happier workers but also, apparently, better ones.

 

Working from home is a legitimate option and it should be considered if you have skills to give and want to start taking your career into your own hands.

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