If you’re the vendor, then you create your own product and set it up using Clickbank’s system. They then list your product in their marketplace so that tens of thousands of affiliates can see you. They handle the tracking using unique tracking links and cookies so they know exactly where the sale came from and credit the referring account accordingly.
If you’ve got a way with words and expertise in a niche, there are plenty of sites that will pay for articles and content you write. Think of the sites you read regularly. What can you contribute to them that would be interesting? Research your niche and then look for ways to pitch articles. Many sites will simply have a submission or contact link in the footer. To get started, check out my full guide to becoming a freelance writer on the side and then submit your articles to places like Instash, Listverse, A List Apart, International Living, FundsforWriters, and Textbroker.
Free traffic, such as organic search engine visitors, video marketing, or social media/forum traffic, can be a great way to get highly relevant visitors to your website without paying for each visitor. Building a platform that delivers free traffic can be a great long-term affiliate marketing strategy. However, the downsides of free traffic are that it can take a lot of time and effort before you start seeing results, and can be unreliable.
Learn then selling guidelines. Each marketplace has guidelines that define what you can and cannot sell. State and federal laws also impact what items are prohibited. In general, you cannot sell alcohol, weapons, service contracts, animals or event tickets. Also, while not always prohibited, you may find restrictions on how you can sell items in some categories, such as art, gift cards and coupons. eBay, Craigslist and Amazon publish these guidelines on their websites.
With drop shipping, you’re effectively partnering with a manufacturer or wholesaler to sell their products. This way, you don’t pay upfront costs to buy inventory, aren’t sitting on unsold items taking up expensive warehouse space, and don’t have to deal with shipping the products yourself. You simply create your site, fill it with drop shippable products, and drive in customers, with almost everything else done for you.