Okay, so you’ve decided you want to earn a living, or at least some extra money, marketing stuff on the internet. If you’re like me, the first question yo would have is, “What do I sell?”
The broad-scope (and useless!) answer is “Anything you want”. But the scope of things you can sell can be diviided along a few different axes.
The first is, do you want to sell your own products, or do you want to make money (commissions) off of selling other people’s products?
The second is, do you want to sell physical products that have to be delivered, or digital products that can simply be downloaded?
You can make money with any of the four possible combinations of answers. But by far the easiest (and lowest risk) way to get started is as an affiliiate (commission-based) marketer of digital products.
There are several sources for digital products marketed by affiliiates. Probably the best known is a site called “Clickbank”. This site hosts literally thousands of products, all of them strictly digital, that are available to affiliiates. Publishers create their products, they are reviewed and accepted by Clickbank, and then Clickbank makes them available to affiliates. Affiliates promote them with a customized web link that encodes the specific product and offer and the affiliate’s ID, and then, when a customer clicks on that link, Clickbank tracks which affiliate gets credit for the sale. Clickbank takes care of processing the user’s credit card transaction and sending the customer to the publisher’s download page, takes a modest cut (I think about 8%) for their services, and then credits the balance to the affiliate and the publisher, in the pro-portion agreed upon. Typically, that’s in the range of 50-60% to the affiliate, and the balance to publisher – it varies by product. But it often can be as high as 75% to the affiliate.
So, for example, here is one of my links to to a product called Flight Simulator Pro. If someone reading this blog were to click on that link, they would go to the sales page for the Flight Simulator game, which has a sales price of $49.00. If they were to buy it, then Clickbank would take $5.68 (as well as I can figure out – I might be off a little), leaving $44.32 to be divided between me and the vendor. This product is one with a 75% affiliate commission (I think), so I would get paid $33.24 into my Clickbank account. Clickbank tracks these amounts, and sends out a check every week or every other week, depending on how your account is set up. It’s that simple. (Well, actually, there are some more complicated calculations, like return allowances, etc. For details, see this Clickbank help page.)
You can browse the products that are available in 23 major categories, most with numerous sub-categories underneath them.
If this sounds appealing to you, go over to Clickbank.com, browse around (click the “Marketplace” link in the top line of the page), and sign up as an affiliate. It doesn’t cost anything to sign up, or to select a product to promote. They have lots of documentation on the process, and lots of aids to making it happen.