One way to earn money online, is to work as an affiliate for another company. This is one way Amazon gets word out about their products. It’s become a big way anything anyone wants visible, can get it out via word of mouth. Companies have sprung up to facilitate easier joining and managing of affiliate programs such as JVZoo, Clickbank, and others. These companies don’t merely act as liquidation centres for companies offering affiliate programs, they also offer affiliate ranks and with those, pay structures that reward active affiliates. However, there’s just one small problem with earning funds as an affiliate. If you are not good at sales, chances are it is a dead-end proposition.

In the early days of affiliate programs, people would try to build entire webpages built from nothing but affiliate banners and advertisements in the hopes people would find their pages and click on their banners. The Google search engine discovered 1000’s of these pages being created, and clamped down on what they felt was not very useful content. Suddenly these pages of nothing but ads and banners weren’t getting traffic anymore. The answer? Writing blog posts that contained so many links to affiliate program content that again, Google got upset and changed the rules.

Ever since then, bloggers who wish to create content that sells a product via an affiliate link needs to do two things:
1) They need to ensure that each affiliate link is surrounded by honestly useful information that fits the flow of the article. If the blog article is too “preachy”, it is seen as evangelizing the product and visibility is reduced or wiped out in the search engine.
2) Bloggers need to have a disclaimer stating that some links may go to affiliate content where the blogger will be paid for your visit if you choose to buy. Bloggers that make a living testing or reviewing products are the ones most likely to have such a disclaimer.

For myself, I’ve tried to join various affiliate programs, but have largely failed at all of them up until now. I actually have had the odd sale grant me commissions over at Amazon, a few sales over at JVZoo, but nothing contributing to monthly earning potential. What I have noticed however, is that companies are starting to take an approach that looks incredibly reminiscent to the Multi-level marketing before the Internet really took off. Examples of MLM’s today include DoTerra Oils, Amway, Mary Kay Cosmetics, etc. Generally-speaking, working for one of these companies labels you a consultant and for good reason. You have to study your product and really know it inside out to help your clients get the best use and bang for their buck. If you don’t have any value to add to their lives, you’ve probably joined a pyramid scheme instead. You’ll see these all over the place now with slogans such as “Send just $5 to your upline and encourage your downline to do the same! Imagine, $5 every day in your inbox for life!”

I’ve recently come across a company that calls everyone affiliates, but runs more like an MLM company. This company has been around since the late ’90’s, and therefore has a ton of information to read through and digest before sales even begin! Talk about “learn while you earn”! They have several ways to earn an income, affiliate propagation being one of them thankfully. The other two major methods are via sales from their online department store, and earning a portion of their executive pool, also known as leveraged income.

The online department store could best be called an online bazaar similar to Etsy or another free site I used to be part of where you could buy or use points to get things. In fact, the entire store is populated by goods from literally around the world! E-commerce Associates sell anything from books and USB sticks to organic teas and cosmetics to garden hoses and automotive toolkits! Some sellers offer free shipping, others only ship to certain countries. Canada for example has 87 resident online sellers. Canadian prices aren’t that bad either, considering what other online stores charge around the country. So if you’re looking for a cross between Amazon and Etsy with a dash of backyard garage sale thrown in, you’ll want to check out Tripleclicks.com. The garage sale part comes in where members such as myself can list stuff we want to get rid of and sell it on the site. As a result, Tripleclicks has a banner ad billing itself as the largest garage sale online! You might see this in the sidebar here.

So I’m trying this out now. While I did have to sign up as an affiliate, the process did not cost me anything other than time. The parent company has built their system so that you can do as much as you can for free before putting any money out. This means anyone out there in my financial situation can begin the process of earning money without putting it out first! I don’t know about anyone else, but constantly seeing work-from-home opportunities that require you to put out money first are not only frustrating, but insulting. Frustrating because the money just isn’t there. Insulting because many people out there honestly can’t believe that someone might actually be literally, truly, honest-to-God stone broke or worse, be in debt so bad that money disappears into the hole before they can even buy gas or groceries. Therefore, coming across an opportunity that I can begin working when funds are short, is a real God-send.

Life has gotten financially tighter since moving last November. Prior to that move, funds were tight, but somehow workable. In years prior, I had learned enough about how to live on less than a shoestring budget that I’d actually written a course on the subject. I just might figure out how to offer that course on Tripleclicks in coming months. If you read this blog, you’ll read about some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way, and you’ll also discover last year’s beginnings of our foraging journey. Foraging has helped stretch what comes in even further, at times making sure salads are on the table without the funds required to otherwise buy the ingredients at the store. These lessons are invaluable and I’ll continue to write about them going forward. However, now I will also be writing about my journey getting started with Tripleclicks.com. Don’t worry, I’m not going to attempt talking you into joining as an affiliate under me. I learned a long time ago that I am not a salesman. Instead, I will encourage you from time to time to check out something I found on the site that is a great value, or a great find, or supports a great business, etc.

Already I am finding sellers of Bibles, Christian books, jewelry, even Bible cases and handbags with Scripture verses on them. Considering sellers are already offering well over 1000 books on the site, this will be another great outlet for authors to check out to sell their books around the world. When I was looking at clothing the other night, you can buy clothes from Japan, South Korea, India, Brazil, as well as North America, the UK, etc.

The site encourages members to transfer the shopping they’d normally do downtown, to the Tripleclicks website. We do so little shopping that such a thing might not be as close a reality for us as it might be for others, but we’ll see. The trick is getting into the habit of checking the site before the next shopping trip to see if someone on Tripleclicks is selling that item. If you like visiting markets and bazaars, you’ll enjoy visiting Tripleclicks. International markets and bazaars normally only occur in places like Vancouver, Toronto, NYC, etc. But at Tripleclicks, the international bazaar is right there at a click of the mouse or a tap on the screen.

So the introductory exploration stage has begun. Let’s see where this takes us, eh? (couldn’t resist, I’m Canadian)