With affiliate programs, it really pays to work well with others. Also known as referral programs, affiliate programs are normally commission based sales. You will recommend a product or service to your visitors and then pick up a percentage of any purchases that those visitors make. You will benefit from the commission and the merchant benefits from the sales.
Does this make you a salesman? In a sense, yes. But do not let that term concern you; it is not something that needs to be perceived as a negative thing. I have heard the excuse, I mean reason, from a lot of people in my internet marketing history of not joining a program because they said “I’m not a salesman!” What people do not understand is that they have been a salesman all their life. Mostly, they have been selling themselves. Even if you think you are not a salesman, being an affiliate marketer is a little different and in the context of affiliate marketing, something that anyone can do. Instead of selling them a product, you simply send them to a partner then take a cut of the profits. In effect, you are promoting a product or service via the internet.
If you already have a website set up, you can run an affiliate program from it, or you can simply build a website to promote a particular product or service. As long as it brings in more cash than it takes to build or run it, you will be fine. Of course the plan should be to earn more than just breaking even.
With any marketing program, you will need to be careful what and how you select an affiliate program. Although it may seem tempting to go for programs with the highest commissions, those programs will not pay you anything if your visitors do not buy them.
Below, you will find some tips to help you select an affiliate program that is right for you:
1. Do not accept any less than 25% with commission. You can find many programs with great payment structures and high percentages of pay in just about any field.
2. Look for programs that include statistical data so you can track the number of click-throughs, sales, and earnings. You need to see how your promotions are performing so you can make changes as necessary.
3. Always look for programs that offer a wide variety of tools to put on your website to include banners, text links and graphics. If you are going to be using email marketing as part of your promotions, look for pre-written ad copy about the product or service.
4. Find out how often you will be paid and be sure that the payment schedule meets with your own expectations. You can expect to find programs that pay daily, weekly, monthly or some that pay quarterly.
5. Be sure that top level support is included. If they cannot answer your questions in a quick and timely manner, you do not want to work with them. You are promoting their products or services. If they are serious about their affiliate program, that support will be there.
Once you learn what you are doing with affiliate programs, the potential to make a lot of money is achievable. If you are just starting out, you should always use common sense and not rush into anything. As you learn more and become more familiar with how things work best, you will be well on your way to earning a steady income.
More to follow.