How To Take Advantage Of Affiliate Marketing Offers Without Putting Your Social Security Number At Risk

Tempted by affiliate marketing opportunities but afraid to do something about it? Have they left you with big questions and bigger concerns? I used to be worried too, but I think I have found some answers to my questions:

Question no. # 1: Are those offers real?

Well sure many of them are. (However, always do your research and especially check the products.) Clearly, there are quite a few people who are making serious money from some very legitimate affiliate programs. Why shouldn’t you be one of them? Perhaps you have already found a site that you would like to promote. Just a little problem …

Question # 2: How can I do this safely? Or can I?

That was exactly the question I was asking myself when I came across some VERY tempting affiliate offers. I was all excited and ready to sign up. In fact, I started to register. And then I got to the part where they wanted my … (drum roll!) … social security number!

My what? They had to be kidding. Who in their right mind would give a stranger on the internet their social security number? I thought. On the other hand, it makes sense. If they pay me money and want to remain legitimate, they would need my social media, right? After all, they will have to send me my tax form at the end of the year.

But what about identity theft? Giving them my SSN means that I am practically presenting my line of credit to them on a silver platter. I could also mail them my credit cards along with my birth certificate. Damned! I thought. First I did nothing. But I came across another one of those agreements, and another, and so on. In the meantime, I’d done enough research to know that yes, affiliate offers are definitely real. And then I came across the deal that was too tempting to ignore. To do?

So I asked someone I trusted, someone who played a big part in my ability to build my first website. And it helped me: it gave me the solution to the dilemma:

Three letters: EIN

Question # 3: What the heck is an EIN?

EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. But you have no interest in employing anyone, you say? It is not a problem.

This is simply an identification number that the IRS provides for your business use. It allows you to separate your personal finances from your business information, which is a good idea anyway. And it allows you to get money without revealing your social security number, while still being legal and allowing affiliate merchants who send you money to remain legal as well.

Question # 4: So how can I get one?

That is easy. I could hardly believe it. It took me half an hour online, and that’s with reading all the instructions. Here is the IRS website where you can apply:

http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=102767,00.html

Just click “apply online”.

If you want more information, they have a link for that too.

That’s. You will be ready to go. Now you can give a legitimate identification number that does not jeopardize your personal finances. Isn’t it cool?

So get your EIN and start pocketing your share of the affiliate marketing pie.