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    Posted June 12, 2014 by
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    Affiliate marketing secrets: The best ways to make money by referring big-ticket products and services online


    Back in December 2006, this writer found it pretty astounding that I was able to make hundreds of dollars in one month from Amazon by recommending products to my blog’s readers who would click through special links that the retailer provides their referral program participants. If the customers bought products within a certain time period, Amazon rewarded me with a portion of the sales – typically anywhere from 4% to 15% of the customer’s shopping total.


    Even though I’ve earned approximately $37,000 from the retailing giant through their product referral program alone over the years, it wasn’t easy – and plenty of online pundits agree that the Amazon Associates program is not the gold mine it once was.


    "You’re not going to make millions with Amazon or ClickBank," advises Campbell McPherson, an Internet expert who teaches entrepreneurs how to start an online business. "The commissions [per sale] are just so low, you’ll have to make thousands of conversions to get anywhere, which means you will have to have serious amounts of low-cost traffic coming in. Like, 10,000+ visitors a day. That’s not easy these days."


    Indeed. I concur with McPherson, because a recent check of my Amazon account shows only $224.42 earned in commissions thus far in 2014, a somewhat paltry amount considering that earning time period spans more than five months – coupled with the knowledge that I’ve got my personal Amazon Associates links peppered all over the online world. But this isn’t 2006. Affiliate marketing has grown up and gotten smarter, along with the hackers who know how to redirect referral links away from others. You’ve got to stay several steps ahead in the game if you want to survive and thrive.


    The secrets to referral marketing in 2014


    Affiliate marketing is still one of the best ways to start an online business, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily need to delve into it by creating your own product that no one ends up buying.


    The first step in getting your feet wet in referral marketing is to recommend products that are already in existence – expensive ones at that – whose price tags come in at more than $1,000 in order to make a dent in your commission. It’s much better to earn 10% on every $10,000 watch you sell to others rather than 10% on each $50 purse you hawk. Digital information and training products are even better, because the commissions often exceed 40% for referrers.


    After you gather the steps to successful online marketing from a guru who has actually done it – and the good ones will teach you how to get traffic to your website, plus how to sell via an online newsletter and social media – then you can move into the big leagues, and use all that revenue you earned from recommending other products to launch your own.


    Referral marketing has been around for eons. It only changes forms based on what’s hot and happening at the time. With the lightning-fast pace of the World Wide Web, it appears that those who stay atop the latest trends in the shifting world of online affiliates are positioning themselves to come out on top.

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