Affiliate Programs Explained
More people are discovering the power of affiliate marketing to supplement or even replace their existing income. But there are even more people who would like to have a slice of this exciting world but are unsure exactly what an affiliate program is or what it consists of.
When discussing an affiliate program, it helps to compare it to a traditional networking company where a network of salespeople and distributors are recruited to sell their products to all corners of the globe.
As an example, instead of a company selling directly to their customers it sells products through a series of distributors and salespeople. In turn, the members of this distribution and sales network enjoy a very good living by promoting the products made by others.
In essence, the affiliate programs found on the internet are distribution and sales efforts taken to the online world. The affiliate web site takes the place of the distributor and sales network, and the individual is paid by the seller of the product when a sale is made. Of course there are affiliate programs where physical products have to be shipped but there are also many other affiliate programs where only software or informational products have to be downloaded.
It is easy to understand why this arrangement is so popular, from the point of view of both the merchant and the owner of the web site. The merchant benefits from increased sales and at the same time, does not have to pay for additional advertising and he can expand his network without the need for additional and sometimes expensive advertising. The affiliate on the other hand may not have a product of his own to make money from and selling someone else’s product for a share of the selling price gives him the opportunity to start his own business.
Of course, effort is required on the part of the affiliate to promote his website and the product he is trying to sell. There are many ways that an affiliate program can be promoted. An example would be if the affiliate already has a website and a link added directly to the merchant site. It costs nothing to set up and is very easy to do with a little cut and paste.
Commissions paid by merchants vary. You can expect anything up to 70% or even more with some affiliate programs, but these will mainly be software downloads. If you go to Clickbank you will find thousands of such programs to promote. With these kinds of commissions, it is easy to see why the promotion of software type programs is such a great way to make money online. At the other end of the scale though some affiliate programs pay a pittance, as low as 1.5% in some cases and you will have to ask yourself if these will be worth the effort.
Affiliate programs are very popular on the internet. If you do not have your own product to sell and you want to have a shot at earning some money on the internet, then affiliate marketing is the way to go. Give a little time, effort and patience and you will be rewarded. So if you’re not already familiar with the concept of affiliate marketing, why not check it out?
Building Affiliate Marketing Websites The Easy Way
There are some myths in affiliate marketing, which attract a lot of people to it believing they are true. First is they think managing an online business is easy and second, they think that one can make a fortune through online marketing in an instant. Probably not even 10% of those who are into affiliate marketing became rich overnight. There may be some who fortunately achieved overwhelming success in just a short span of time after setting up an affiliate program, but not a majority of them can confidently say they only had luck. Anyone who is successful in this kind of business would say he worked hard to get to where he is right now. Success in affiliate marketing takes time and hard work, but it’s worth it.
If you are planning to start an affiliate program, one of the things you have to consider is having your own website, not just an ordinary website but a professional looking one. How do you build an affiliate marketing website? What are the easy steps to build one? First, you must have already decided on the theme or niche of your website. It would be better if you already have an idea what products or services to promote as this would help you plan the design and lay-out of your web pages. The next thing to do is to choose a domain name and get it hosted. The domain name is a unique name used to label the actual address of your website on the Internet. In deciding what domain name to register, look into the type of products you are endorsing and the theme of your site. Having the right keywords in your domain name would give you better chances of drawing more visitors to your website. Also, choose a top level domain or extension, such as .com because it is more popular. In selecting your web host, consider the security of servers and up time guarantees.
Now, you can start creating your webpages. Don’t be disheartened when you know a little in this field. There are page generation tools and fast launch sites available online; you just have to search for them. Countless online sources could help you build an affiliate marketing website, though you might need time to study and learn the whole process. This is one of the reasons why your site or the products you are going to promote must match your interest. Building your marketing website for the first time would be a lot more fun if you know very well the theme of your site. If you don’t have time to make your own website, you can use templates or purchase readily available websites. The latter, however, is a more expensive option.
Creating an affiliate website on your own would be cheaper and more interesting. In the process of building your website, you may also increase your knowledge in Information Technology and the use of computers, softwares and the Internet. As you educate yourself in these fields, you are increasing your advantage against other affiliate marketers. It helps a lot, though, if you already know the basics in web page development like programming languages and graphics softwares because you can make your site extra corporate-looking, more convenient to use or easier to navigate. Furthermore, if you are knowledgeable and skillful in this area, you can already concentrate more on the content of the page rather than the design.
The key to draw visitors to your website is to have high quality content; thus, the next thing you must pay attention to in building your marketing website is this. There may be several other factors that contribute to the success of your affiliate marketing site, but a good content tops the list. This is precisely the reason why users choose to enter your site. They want to get information and so when they don’t find it, they would definitely go elsewhere. Write interesting articles related to your theme as this would make them frequent your site. If you have already looked for affiliate programs that complement your site, add links to the business sites and other very good informative sites. Links contribute to how well you will be listed in major search engines as well. Also, create pages for the products you are endorsing, but don’t just promote the products by putting hyped-up ads. Keep your readers interested by injecting lots of relevant and useful information. This would make them click the link to the business site and buy the product. Remember that no good content means no frequent visitors, no sales and ultimately, no commission.
Make your site simple yet not without a touch of class in order to make it appear more of a business website rather than a personal website. This would be pleasing to the eyes and more interesting to browse. To help you with the design, you can check some successful online stores to get an idea on how you can make your site look better. Make sure you don’t place too many banner ads since these could distract some site users; and thus, instead of clicking your ad, they might just leave your site and look for other interesting websites. After all, banner ads are not the only means of advertising your products. Now your website is complete, submit its URL to major search engines to increase your traffic.
Grow from where you started. Learn about use of keywords for search engine optimization and apply them in your content. Update your site regularly or add new webpages. Make sure to inform your prospects about the latest updates in your site. You can use newsletters to accomplish this. The Internet offers a huge source of information about just anything, make use of it. Continue to educate yourself on how to improve your website and soon you’ll find yourself successful in affiliate marketing.