What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing refers to the promotion of products or services through affiliates. Affiliates are usually other webmasters and ezine editors who choose to act as sales people on behalf of their principals for a commission on every sale.
There are mainly two types of affiliate marketing programs: the one-tier program and the two-tier programs. In one-tier programs the affiliate earns on a per referral basis and cannot recruit sub-affiliates to assist. In two tier programs not only the affiliate earns from his/her direct referrals but also gets a percentage commission from referrals by co-affiliates who join the program through him/her. It is also possible to have multi-tier affiliate programs but these are not yet prevalent.
If you are an online entrepreneur or marketer and you have your own website then you can also promote your business and increase your sales through affiliate marketing. You will need an attractive and genuine product plus credible sales copy plus the appropriate software to set up an affiliate marketing program. Set out the program’s terms and conditions,frequently asked questions and online registration form and post them on your site and let prospects read and be able to join if they are satisfied with your affiliate program.
Apart from providing details about your affiliate marketing program on your website you need to send out the word out there that you have a lucrative and working program. Of course you could advertise in ezines or through ezine ad networks and high traffic websites. You will also need to register your program with affiliate program directories and networks such as www.associateprograms.com and www.comissionjunction.com [http://www.comissionjunction.com] so that prospects searching for new opportunities can find yours. You could also write reviews and articles and post them in free articles databases and request editors to publish them in your ezine.
If you have no products of your own and no website but want to earn money marketing affiliate programs you can set yourself up and succeed as an affiliate marketing. You would have to learn the ropes of online marketing and invest time, money and efforts to earn legitimate income from promoting other people’s products.
You can look for a product(s) in high demand, register as an affiliate and start promoting the products using various marketing strategies. How do you know what is in high demand and what can be a successful product to market could be found mainly through considered research. It is generally accepted that information products such as ebooks, special reports, etc sell well on the internet. To discover what particular infoproducts are suitable for you, conduct some research at online marketing forums such as www.warriorforum.com and www.ablake.com. You can read existing messages already posted there and ask questions to find out more. You can also search at affiliate program network sites such as www.commissionjunction.com, www.associateprograms.com, www.clicbank.com and www.google.com.
To assist you select the most appropriate affiliate program here are further tips:
The product must be genuine and legal so that you do not encounter legal problems.
The minimum payout should not be too high to make you wait for too long for the paycheck or to struggle too much to send referrals.
The product should not be too new as to make prospects tarry in making the buying decision or too old that almost everyone has bought it.
The price should not be too high as to make people unable to afford thus making you not get any or very few referrals or the product is too cheap that your commission is too little such that you would have to make many referrals to earn a decent income.
Does the affiliate program have one –tier or several tiers? The more tiers the program has and ability to earn residual income the better.
Do you have to pay or purchase anything to join the program? Purchasing may be fine for you to know the product but paying to join isn’t.
Ideally you should have your own website where you would post reviews and links to your affiliate programs. Use your own domain name when setting up the website to look professional. Since many of the visitors to your website will be there for a few seconds and may never return again, it is advisable that you capture their names and addresses so that you can further enlighten them on your programs and offers. This could be mainly through a regular ezine or an automated autoresponder ecourse.
Provide a means for prospects to contact you in case of any queries and reply promptly and courteously. Promote your website constantly and track your affiliate statistics regularly to gauge your performance. Ensure your links and banners are working and your affiliate ID is correct in all your links. Use text links more than banners as the latter are less effective nowadays due to their proliferation and distractive nature.