So you've decided to start in as an affiliate marketer, but you aren't sure how to choose a worthwhile program. Well, fortunately, it isn't all that hard to choose a program. The hard part is earning money from it.
To get started, let's avoid spending any money on your very first lessons in affiliate marketing. You'll want to buy some information later, but you can get enough information to get started without spending a fortune.
Now, I agree strongly with the advice Ken Evoy gives on starting a content based site. After all, what am I doing here? Pick something you know about. Until you are experienced, I strongly recommend avoiding Internet Marketing as your topic, as this field is highly competitive. Think about your interests and start planning a site. You don't even have to choose your affiliate programs just yet, as your site isn't live yet.
Now, you will need a host and a designer for your website. Read my advice on choosing a host, then come back when you are ready. As noted in that article, you may or may not need a website designer. If you are comfortable with HTML, even if you are using a program such as Dreamweaver, and have at least a limited amount of skill with graphics, you may not need to hire a website designer, but otherwise it may take up too much time to design your own site.
Before you get too far on your design, however, you should start selecting affiliate programs. My personal favorite affiliate programs are two-tier, as that way you get commissions on not only your own sales, but the sales of those who signed up beneath you. You won't always be able to find such programs, but they are wonderful when you get them.
Good networks to look for affiliate programs are Commission Junction, Affiliate Fuel, ClickBank, LinkShare and DarkBlue. You can also find reviews of various programs at Associate Programs and 2-tier Affiliate Programs.
One thing to watch out for in simple affiliate programs is the obvious presence of an affiliate sign up link on the sales page. This is not as bad for a two-tier program, as you will at least get the second tier affiliate commission if your signup buys from their own link, but you want to watch out otherwise. Also beware of programs offering more than two tiers, matrix payments and so forth. These have relatively high odds of being scams, so do extra research.
Now, you cannot just drop banners on a page and expect results. If you're still expecting that, go back and read The Affiliate Master's Course again. The most effective affiliate links are a part of your content, not separate, so now is the time to figure out how you will combine the two. For ebooks, reviews are a good start. In many cases, you will want to own the products you are trying to sell, just so you can sell them well. This is particularly true for electronic products. This will also allow you to go beyond whatever marketing materials the product's creator has provided to you, so you can differentiate yourself from every other affiliate offering that product.
Content websites take a great deal of time, but over time and with regular site development, you will begin to get good search engine rankings and free traffic from them. If you want faster results, you're going to have to start marketing your website. On my website design site, I have a report on the various ways to get traffic to your site. I suggest a combination of tactics to get things moving.
But isn't there a fast way? Wouldn't that be nice. Fortunately, there are a few quick ways to get commissions coming in, although until you get traffic, they won't be much. First is Google AdSense. If you're doing a content site, just sign up and put it on your site. I can't put it any plainer than that. Many people claim it has no impact on their other sales, so it is quite worthwhile.
Do you have to have a website to participate in affiliate programs? No, but I strongly recommend one. You can market entirely through PPC search engines, but you'll never get free traffic or build up your own name, which allows you to refer customers to products you're selling.
Programs that pay you every time someone fills out a form are also good choices. It's nice to get paid when the person you referred didn't have to spend money - it increases the odds they'll do it. This is called pay per lead. Just about anything to do with money - insurance, loans and so forth, are fairly likely to pay per lead. This is less likely in other situations.
Now, if you're ready to spend some money on learning about how to market your affiliate programs, start with Rosalind Gardner's Super Affiliate Handbook. Read my review of it if you like first. This is one of the most affordable ebooks on affiliate marketing you can come across. She'll get you started on some truly effective marketing techniques. Put at least some of these into practice immediately, before you start spending more money on other ebooks. Trust me, over time you will download more ebooks than you can possibly use, so learn early on how to detect the worthwhile ones.
Choosing a two-tier affiliate program
Many people love the sound of a two tier affiliate program. It's great to get paid for the sales of others. Just make sure you're choosing the program for the right reasons.
Tools for your Affiliate Home Business
Tools and resources to make running your home business just a little bit easier.
Choosing a host for your home business
The right host will be very good for your business. The wrong host, a disaster. How do you choose?
Copyright © 2003-2017 Stephanie Foster unless otherwise indicated
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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.