I've often had the thought that advertising agencies shouldn't ask a celebrity to endorse a product, but rather ask celebrities what products they use and love so much that they would recommend anyway - then make a deal with that company for the celebrity endorsement.
Clever, right? Well you can do it too - and you get to be the celebrity. You can make a list of products or services that you already know, like and trust and there's a good chance that you can earn money by encouraging others to use them.
For example, let's say you prefer to shop for your pet medication at TotalPetSupply.com. If this is a website you could recommend to other pet owners you know, then you can join their "affiliate program" and get paid for anyone you send there. Here's how it works...
Step One: Search Google for the company's affiliate program.
In this case, we would search google using the phrase: total pet supply affiliate program. And by visiting a few of the links that show up in Google, we would learn that Total Pet Supply's affiliate program is managed by Linkshare.com.
Step Two: Apply to be an affiliate.
Now that we know Total Pet Supply runs their affiliate program through Linkshare, we need to apply for a free account at Linkshare.com and then apply specifically to be in the Total Pet Supply affiliate program.
One thing to note is that most of these companies assume you will be promoting them through a website, so you might want to grab a free website on blogger.com and setup a quick blog about the types of products you'll be recommending. Only take this step if you must.
Step Three: Get your affiliate link.
One you apply and are accepted to an affiliate program, you will be given one or more "affiliate links" to put on your website. But you don't need a website. At this point, you want to try to find the best, most direct link you could give to a friend. So if you are recommending Frontline Plus flea collars, don't get the link that goes to Total Pet Supply's home page, get the link that goes directly to the product. We want to make this very easy on the person who is going to buy what you recommend.
By the way, some of the larger affiliate networks will give you "extra" html code for your link and you don't need most of it. Just grab the part that seems to be the URL. In this case, for the Frontline Plus collars, linkshare gives us this code:
Save 80% on Frontline Plus
But we only need this link from the above code:
Just make sure you copy and paste your link into a browser to make sure it works.
Step Four: Disguise your affiliate link.
Chances are that the affiliate link you get from the company will be long, ugly and hard to remember. But you can use a free service like tinyurl.com to turn a long, ugly link into a short, friendly one. You can also buy your own domain and redirect it through your affiliate link - a quick search on google can tell you how to do this. Here is an example of using a tiny url for our long, ugly link above:
Step Five: Give out your affiliate link to others.
Now that you have a short, easy website address to give out, when people go there, it will redirect through your affiliate link and you will earn a commission on the things that they buy.
In summary, you can identify the products and services you love, join their affiliate programs, make short, easy links and share those links with people you talk with.
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