While these models have diminished in mature e-commerce and online advertising markets they are still prevalent in some more nascent industries. China is one example where Affiliate Marketing does not overtly resemble the same model in the West. With many affiliates being paid a flat "Cost Per Day" with some networks offering Cost Per Click or CPM.
Your niche doesn't necessarily need to be an area you're already an expert in. You can also choose a specialized area which you're enthusiastic or interested in learning more about.Think of Oprah, she doesn't market herself as an expert, but she frequently brings other experts on her show. You can do the same in your niche, by giving other experts a platform to promote themselves in exchange for content creation.
Most newbies in affiliate marketing make the mistake of registering with too many affiliate programs and try promoting everything they see. If this is the path you are treading, then it will overwhelm you and you won’t promote the products properly. Take time to understand the needs in the market and search for products that will go well with your site’s topic.
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And finally, before signing up for any type of affiliate marketer training program, ask yourself, “does this REALLY make sense?” For example, if someone is selling you an $8 e-book and that e-book is supposed to show you how to create websites that earn $10k per month on autopilot, do you really think that makes sense? If you figured out how to create “auto-pilot” websites that earn $10k per month would you give away your secrets to everyone in a measly $8 e-book? Of course not! You’d be spending your time building as many of those auto-pilot websites you could and become a billionaire!
The problem with affiliate marketing, like many other home business options, are the so-called gurus and get-rich-quick programs that suggest affiliate marketing can be done fast and with little effort. Odds are you've read claims of affiliate marketing programs that say you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month doing almost nothing ("Three clicks to rich!"). Or, they suggest you can set up your affiliate site, and then forget it, except to check your bank deposits.