The BIG QUESTION on everyone's mind is...
Can you make money on-line through affiliate programs?
The Answer is YES and YES and YES!
It is totally possible to make money on-line, there are all kinds of articles and stories about people who have been successful making money through affiliate programs. A great example is Affiliate Super Star Rosalind Gardner who makes over $ 400,000 a year. You can read a review of Rosalind's successes at http://www.bestaffiliateproducts.com/rosalind-gardner.html
There are also lots of "little guys" doing well selling affiliate products.
It has nothing to do with getting in on ground floor in a particular program. It has nothing to do with having loads of money to market your program. Yes, you do need to have to have a marketing budget, but that is just cost of doing business.
What it boils down to is knowing what to look for in an Affiliate Program.
More specifically, you look at programs which provide:
1. Products/Services that are in demand. This is pretty obvious, right? If you don't have a market for your products/services then you aren't going to make any money. Now, you did your research already and found that your niche idea does have a demand...so what you are doing is looking for products/services to weave into your niche site.
The best product or service to weave in, of course, is one that you have used personally. Nothing works better than giving a personal recommendation. If you can, weave in testimonials from others who have used same product or service. That way, there is more than one voice and that goes a long way to helping a customer make a well informed buying decision.
2. Look at Commission Structure. The BEST commission structure is one that pays you on a recurring basis. Monthly income is best way to go but, depending on your niche, might not always be an option for you. If that's case then do a little investigative work and check out competitor commission structures, and then, go for one that pays you most for a one time sale.
3. Promote more than one product/service. Now this can get a little dicey for you because you don't want to confuse your customer but, you also want to have a few options available for making a sale. Let me explain this a little better for you, by explaining what I would do using Golf example I referred to earlier in this course.
The niche site that I suggested I would build around "golf" niche was 'used golf equipment'. I said that I would have had some sort of a membership board where people could post their buy/sell items. That membership site would, of course, be my own product, so that means I would get 100% of money generated by it.
I also said I could incorporate some form of comparison chart for buying used versus new golf equipment. That way if, say a specific club was selling at $150 used and maybe $185 new, then customer would be able to decide... new versus old. I would still make commission on new item. See where I am going with that???
Ok, now...in addition to golf products, I would also want to have posted some good content on my web site, as to what to look for when buying used equipment etc. I would post articles that related specifically to my niche. I would then go and apply to Google Adsense Program and would post little ads on article pages. If a customer came and decided to clickoff into some other site, then at least I would see a commission from click. I may then even decide to join Amazon.com or some other online book club and pick a few good golf books to recommend.
So...one niche site and I have created 4 income streams for myself. That is what I mean by promoting more than one product or service. Essentially what you are doing is giving yourself a good well-rounded product mix.
You can specialize if you want to. For example, I know of someone who is going to build a niche site around a specific coffee machine that they feel is going to take off. The machine is made from one specific company, which is ok. So they build a site around that machine, then they go a step further and weave in coffee that you need to buy in order to use machine. No other company's product/service is involved, just one specific one.