Learn to Make Money in 2011

“Show Me the Money”

I know, there are lots of things that are so much more important than money, but that discussion is for another day. Yesterday I promised to help you (and me) squeeze out a little extra time by planning meals. I will have the first weeks menus ready in a couple of days.

So now that we have a little extra time, how can we use it to bring in the cash. I personally have spent a lot of time reading, listening to podcasts, watching webinars and more. One of the things that I keep learning more about is affiliate marketing.

Oh I know, there are a lot of scammers out there that promise millions but just take your money and leave you with empty promises. That was my initial thought too. But then I looked more closely. Over a year ago, my daughter added a link for a book she recommended for her clients on her professional website. It was an affiliate link to Amazon.

Now, if one of her customers clicked on that link and bought the book, she earned a small commission. Pretty cool, she simply made it easy for her client to purchase the book, and she earned a little commission from Amazon. It gets even better though, if that client clicks on her link to look at the book she recommends and then does other shopping while they are there without leaving the website, she earns a commission on the entire sale when they check out! Wow.

My daughter does not consider herself a salesperson, however when she mentioned that she had signed up with Amazon, I used her link to connect to Amazon and do all my Christmas shopping. She was pleasantly surprised when she saw her PayPal account the next month.Needless to say, in 2010, she made a point to share her link with family and friends who would be shopping on Amazon anyway. They did not pay a penny more to shop, Amazon simply shared some of their profit for the referral.

Our school has various fund raising programs (yes, cinnamon roll sales are one).  They sell SCRIPT cards also. Those are cards offered by the local and national retailers that are sold by the school. For example I buy a SCRIPT card for my favorite grocery store for $100. I use it to purchase $100 worth of groceries. I do not pay any extra for those groceries, but that store pays the school a commission for referring a customer to them.

Those examples are both great examples of affiliate marketing. It is what in the good old days was called “word of mouth” advertising. It used to be more localized, but the internet has changed all that. Now, you can recommend a product you really love and believe in  to others through social media,twitter_icon13 revisitedblogs, websites etc, provide a clickable link  with your affiliate id. When they click the link, it takes them to a page with information about a product. They can decide yeah or nay, with no sales pressure.

If they purchase, they will pay no more for the product, the merchant pays the commission. Sometimes those affiliate links can even make the purchase cheaper because sometimes the merchant will provide their affiliates with a special code that gives the customer a discount.

Now I never have had a great love of selling. When I had my catering company I had to learn how to do sales and marketing. It was never my favorite part of the business. I liked the baking the best, but as I got to know my customers, I learned to love interacting with them and learning what they needed that I could help them with.

As I learn more about affiliate marketing, I can see how I can “shop” for good deals on products and services, and when I find something I personally love, I can recommend it to my friends. Even if you hate to sell, once you understand the concept of affiliate marketing, I believe anyone can do it.

I have found some people I have really gained a lot of respect for in the affiliate marketing world. Recently, one of them told me about an online conference they are having to teach affiliate marketing at all levels. I am attending, so I wanted to tell you about it too. You can go and check it out for yourself. If it sounds like something you are interested in, I even have a code to get you a discount. It is: UnderTheWire.

Check it out for yourself. you can get  the information here If you decide that is something you are interested in maybe we can chat there. You have to hurry though because the conference is 1/14-16/11. By the way, that link is my affiliate link and if you choose to use it you will be a blessing to my family, but if this is not a good fit for you, no worries.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave comments and we can chat about it. By  the way, don’t forget to check back for the menu for next week and we will all start the new year out right.

Creative Commons License photo credit: marek.sotak

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