It's really true; you can start a home based business under $100, or even as little as no money at all. The Internet is the resource that makes it all possible, and starting an affiliate business - where you sell the goods and services of existing merchants - means you can have legitimate, profitable products to sell and make money on.
The affiliate business is the perfect way to get started online with a home based business under $100. Affiliate sales are huge, making billions of dollars for its merchant members and their affiliates. It's a very simple system: You sign up to be an affiliate, or partner, to an existing merchant. The merchant gives you tools - links, graphics, and page locations - for you to use to market their products. You handle the marketing of the products and drive sales and leads to their site, receiving a percentage of each transaction you are responsible for.
Huge companies use affiliate programs to increase sales - companies such as eBay, Quicken, Eddie Bauer, J.Crew, Citibank, Lending Tree - the list goes on an on. Every time you visit a web site and see a flashing advertisement, it's very possible that is an affiliate link, and the website owner will be paid if you click and buy from the merchant's ad!
You can start a home based business under $100 as an affiliate simply by signing up with affiliate management companies such as Commission Junction or LinkShare Network, which represent hundreds of major retailers and service providers. You can sign up and get started with just an email. Although some companies want you to have a web site, it is not by any means required to begin to represent many quality products and services. Some companies will even help you by making an entire site for you - you only have to register a domain name and point it to their site! A domain name costs about $10 as of this writing - and some domain registration companies offer free web hosting and email too.
To begin finding programs to join, a good place to start is Commission Junction. You first set up an account as a "publisher", and receive your affiliate ID code. Once your account is set up, you will have access to the list of all of the retailers and service companies offering products for your to sell. Go through the list and look at programs that match items you would like to market. For example, say you want to promote chocolates. You can choose from any number of vendors who have chocolate products you can sell for them. After you select the merchants you want to promote, you click to join the program, and the companies can either approve you immediately, or review your application. Each company has different standards by which they determine who can join their programs. Some bigger copmanies might want yo u to havea nestablished web site, or other requirements, but don't be discouraged. There are still plenty of merchants that want you to represent them!
How do you market your new products once you choose a program to promote? When you join and are accepted to a program, the merchant provides graphics, links and other code that you can add to emails, web pages or online advertising. Each code snippet includes your unique ID so that sales are tracked to you. Commission Junction, as with many affiliate companies, provides manuals and information about how to market and sell your programs. There are free ways or low cost ways to market on the Web, as well as paying for advertising or other traffic generating methods. Research the materials on the site you join for action plans and more. (For more marketing ideas, see the author's link at the bottom of this article. )
Once you start making sales by marketing the products and services, your partner company will send payment by check or sometimes direct deposit. You may have to generate a certain amount of sales to trigger a check, but if you are serious about and spend time building a home based business under $100, you'll find the checks start coming as your efforts start to pay off. As you begin to see some sales, you will likely want to build a bigger affiliate presence by putting put a web site, or marketing more heavily.
There is room to expand in affiliate sales to whatever level you choose. Many affiliates do this full time, making four and five figures a month and more! By using affiliate programs, you can get started building a real online home based business with far less than $100.