Should your business get into affiliate marketing?
For those of you who don’t know what affiliate marketing is – it is the process where a website redirects potential buyers from their website to a vendor’s in exchange for a commission or other compensation, if the prospect purchases an item.
Many website owners, especially bloggers can earn a significant income using affiliate marketing. In fact some companies get their entire income from affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is easy to set up since it only requires that you “cut and paste” a vendor’s link into an appropriate spot on your website.
We’ve all visited sites where we have been bombarded and booby-trapped by various affiliate marketing links such as pop ups and mouse-overs (mouse-overs these are little ads that appear when you run your mouse across a specific word or link)
The answer is that it depends
Certain promotional activities are frowned upon by various small businesses
For example, it would be very difficult for an attorney to become an affiliate marketer for all but a small number of products. The same could be said for a doctor or psychiatrist.
However few people would look down on a dentist who offered whitening kits or motorized toothbrushes on their website.
A bookkeeper or certified accountant, barring any restrictions in their location could offer small business clients various bookkeeping forms, templates, or software.
On the other hand if you are in the skilled trade industry, you could create a “recommended products list” for the home do-it-yourself crowd..
For example, plumbers could have links on their sites that offer books, manuals or parts for common plumbing issues.
A well-known restaurant chef could offer links to his favorite cutlery vendors or kitchenware manufacturers.
A small business consultant could offer affiliate links to various books, courses and other educational materials that they have found helpful
A massage therapist could offer affiliate links to manufactures of topical oils, rubs or ointments.
As you can see, selling affiliate products from your small business site may or may not be problematic.
However if your profession or industry has no restrictions on this type of marketing, then you should look into it since it is a great way to create an additional income stream outside of your primary business.