Affiliate Marketing 101 – What You Need to Know

What would you like to promote? Affiliate marketing is no stranger to the internet, and certainly no stranger to online marketers, and article marketing is still a successful way to promote your online business or blog. Affiliate marketing offers a phenomenal opportunity for people who don’t have a lot of startup capital or a lot of time to put together a gigantic campaign. Affiliate marketing has some very good benefits, including no own product, no inventory, no shipping or overhead, and no actual sales force. For the merchant, it can also be a cheap and effective marketing strategy.

What are affiliate programs?

Broadly speaking, affiliate programs are marketing programs offered by online advertisers or merchants that recruit website owners and bloggers. Merchants provide banner ads, links, and buttons that website owners can place on their website to promote the merchant’s products. The site owner or blogger, on the other hand, receives a referral fee or commission when a customer purchases a product delivered through an affiliate link. One of the most common types of affiliate links is pay per click (PPC – Pay Per Click), but these days they are increasingly intertwined with email and content marketing.

Product:

When you’re looking for an affiliate program, there are a few things you need to consider before choosing which company to take up arms with. The product must be of high quality, it can also be the service. As long as it is a usable service for the product and it offers the customer something valuable.

There are several different compensation plans built into affiliate marketing programs, and one of them can be a residual program. However, not all affiliate marketing programs have residual programs. If you can find one with funds left then that would be the way to go. However, some offer a really high premium that can compensate for the loss of residual income. There are also others that offer a multi-level marketing compensation structure. Now, if you are familiar with multi-level marketing, that may be an option you want to explore.

But before you jump into any multi-level marketing program, you should read it and do a thorough analysis. The last thing you want to do is jump into an affiliate program that will be a serious waste of time.

Choosing an affiliate program:

Back in 1994, there weren’t very many affiliate programs to choose from, and most of them revolved around websites with offensive content. Today, affiliate programs have a higher standard and are a new way of doing business. Many companies have affiliate marketing programs lime Amazon, web hosting companies, domain name registrars and electronic websites, Apple iTunes, bit Defender, panda security, PC Health Boost, Commission Junction, eBay Partner Network, Google AdSense, VistaPrint and the list goes on and to be continued.

You can find an affiliate program for almost anything you want to sell. It’s a good idea to sell something related to your website if you have one. Not everyone who signs up for an affiliate program has a website to complete it through. Some actually write articles and redirect URLs to an affiliate program.

Becoming a partner:

If you want to join an affiliate, it’s not that difficult. You just go to the website of your choice and search for their affiliate link program. What usually happens is that you sign up and get a unique affiliate code and some banners and links. You then place them on your website so that your potential audience can click on the links, which you will be rewarded for buying. Just because you’re signed up for an affiliate program doesn’t mean you’re going to drive traffic to your website. You still need to do something to drive traffic to your website or affiliate link, such as writing interesting articles and establishing yourself as an expert in your field. These articles can be placed in article databases and are a surefire way to drive traffic to your website or affiliate link.

What you should look for:

When you go to buy an affiliate program, try to look for high affiliate commissions, long cookies and of course you want to get a high conversion rate. Two-level programs that have the same structure as a multi-level marketing organization and can be quite profitable. Such organizations that make billions from multi-level marketing and direct selling include companies like Amway, which has been in business for 53 years, Nu Skin started in 1984, and Nature’s Sunshine started in 1972, so multi-level marketing has been around for quite some time. The remaining affiliate programs are definitely the way to go. You will continue to earn money from that visitor every month. The advantage here is that eventually your sales will start to accumulate as you make more and more money, as opposed to a single sale where you have to keep making money to stay at the same level.

Where you can go:

There are services out there that have a database of many companies that do affiliate programs, so you don’t have to run around and find every single program yourself. Companies like ClickBank where you sign up and choose the affiliate program you want to support.

Link marketing:

Now let’s talk about that affiliate link for a second. Most affiliate links are very long, horrible, and some have special characters like “?” or “=” character. These links don’t rank very well in search engines like Google and certainly can’t be added to a pay-per-click like Google AdSense. I suggest you get yourself a domain name and redirect it to the affiliate offer. Let’s take an example if I wanted to become an affiliate for a cell phone electronics company and I had a website that I could write about a specific cell phone that I was trying to market. If there is more than one, I might just pick a product or two to write my articles about. Anyway, I would try to register a domain that might have something like cheap cell phones or something like that so the search engines can determine what your product might be.

Increase your sales:

What if you don’t have a website and want to increase your sales through affiliate marketing; what would you do? One way to market an affiliate program, which I touched on briefly, is to write quality articles about the product being marketed. I really suggest this strategy to increase traffic and sales. There are several article directories that you can submit your articles to, but don’t submit the same article to multiple sites other than the article directory and your own site if you have one. Article directories can be a very good source of traffic because of their reputation and the number of monthly visitors who read your article. Of course, some of your readers will click on your affiliate link, driving traffic to your affiliate program. I like Ezine Articles as an article directory, but there are others such as; Goarticles, ehow, Examiner, Technorati, Thefreelibrary and more, but that’s a good start. Don’t just read one article when doing research, add content to that one article. Try to do in-depth research to get a complete understanding of what you are writing about. Once you understand this, try to simplify your article by using either bullet points or a topic list. To get people to click on your links you have to, but the only way to do that is to write interesting articles.

Making money online with affiliate programs can be a rewarding experience if you know where to find the right affiliate program and how to do the necessary research. Just finding an affiliate program is not all you need to do, you need to weigh the seriousness of that affiliate program. First, decide what you want to sell and do your research. Hopefully you’re looking for something to highlight your website, or if you don’t have a website, something you know a lot about to write your review.

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