Affiliate Marketing 101

Affiliate marketing programs are a great way to earn income and a great introduction to e-commerce.  The more people that drop by your website or read your advertising, the greater your chance will be at creating an excellent income.

Affiliate marketing programs are w

here a company, business or person offers to pay you a set amount for either a click through from your web site or one to their web site. It could also be a set amount for visitors signing up, or even a percentage of a purchase made by visitors as a result of being referred from your web site or advertising efforts.

Even if visitors do not make a purchase immediately from your web site, almost all programs offer cookie duration, normally consisting of 30 – 90 days.  What this means is cookies allow for potential referrals to be tagged with your ID.  So if the visitor does make a purchase later, you will get the credit for the sale.  The durations for the cookies will vary from merchant to merchant.  Some last as short as a single session, while others can last for years.  If the visitor flushes their cookies on a regular basis, has cookie blocking software, or the program from the merchant is not operating properly, there really is nothing you can do.

The biggest amount of time in maintaining your site or planning your advertising will be searching and implementing affiliations with various companies, products or services.  Even though there is the potential for a lot of money to be made in affiliate marketing, you still have to take the time to search for the best programs.

One thing that may cause you a little anxiety is the idea of other company’s banners littering your web site.  If you use too many banners or links on any web page, it can confuse and possibly irritate your visitors.  More than one animated element on a web page can be very distracting as well.

Affiliate tracking can also be a problem.  Once you have applied to become an affiliate for a company or program, they will usually supply you with a personalized link or code.  It is very important that you implement this code into your page correctly, or you may be sending visitors to the company without receiving any profit.  A majority of snippets in the code will contain a unique user ID, which the company uses to distinguish which site is responsible for the traffic or sale. 

If you have joined an affiliate program through a network that processes payments of products on behalf of merchants, it is not uncommon for merchants to offer several methods of payment.  While this is great for customers, it can be bad for affiliates.

Before you begin to advertise any products or services as an affiliate of a network, always check the merchant site carefully.  If you have any doubt, contact the merchant before you proceed any further. 

Even the most honest of merchants will have problems with their affiliate software at some point in time so you have to monitor your arrangements.  Therefore, it is important to regularly check links, cookies and merchant sites for any changes that may affect your pay. 

More to follow.

While you are waiting, sign up as a free member of my Affiliate Marketing Team!

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