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Affiliates: The Rules to Live By

Aug 17, 2007
Being an affiliate and promote other people's product is a great way to make some extra money. However, as an affiliate, you are sticking your neck out there. Every time you advertise or recommend someone else's product or service, you are linking to it. In order to not to put your reputation at risk, following are some rules you have to live by.

Rule Number 1: Don't be Cheap. Always Go for Quality!

How many times you saw a great product on the ads that makes you want to buy but you did not after you saw the real things? I did many times. I did not buy it because after I look at product, I find some of them ask for a ridiculous amount of money for something not worth a whole lot. Some of them not have good value for the price. So I have to forget it.

Of course, I will not recommend my friends buy it. In the other words, I will not do marketing for the merchants.

It is the same practice in the affiliate business. Every time when you do product recommendation, you really have to be certain you are recommending a good quality product, from a reputable and reliable company, which has great customer service. If you are not sure about the product, you can talk to people who have bought the product and ask them whether they are happy with their purchase or not.

Don not just simply put your reputation at risk! Be sure you are dealing with a company that deserves your trust and reflects well on you personally.

So be smart! Do not ever promote something that is going to harm your reputation!

Rule Number 2: Sales Copy & Commission Rate

If a company pays you 5% or 10% commission per digitally download product you sold, you need to think it again - that is a low commission! You need to look for a company who is willing to give YOU a high payout to keep you, who is thinking about the life-time-value of a customer.

Remember, you want to associate with a company who pays out around 50% of the net profit to their affiliates. Why - because no matter which commission rate product you choose, you will spend same amount of time, money (maybe) and energy promoting it, if that is the case, why do not go for higher payout?

At the same time, you also need to make sure, when you go with an affiliate program; it has sales copy and website design that "makes you want to buy". After all, YOU are sending them the potential customers, but it is their job to turn those potential customers into buyers! If they get more buyers, they will have more money to pay for you! It is simple.

Rule Number 3: Match the Product or Service to the Theme of Your Site

If your site is about cats and cat products, you do not want to advertise music CD's or golf products. That is not match.

When you sell or recommend something, you need to focus on your targeted visitors. Every time when you write post, provide links, offer the services and products, they should match the theme of your site. In other words, the content and information you put in your site should meet up your visitors WANTS.

Remember this word - "Wants". Due to human nature, people buy things impulsively, so a lot of time they buy things because they "want" them instead of because they "need" them.

When you come right down to it, you will find there are not all that many products people really "need".

Rule Number 4: No Bulk Email Please

Affiliate Programs and bulk email do NOT go together.

You probably heard some kind of "myth" out there about affiliate programs, which is after you sign up with several affiliate programs, you just need to put them all in an email message and then bulk email to thousands of people who will eagerly respond to make purchase and make you tons of money!

Oh, please, it is so WRONG! Its probably is one of the worst things you can do online if you use this way. It is called SPAM!

Most affiliate programs have a "bulk" email clause in their agreement that says, "if you spam, you can be terminated from the program and you will not get paid for any commissions you've earned." So be aware of this.

Sending unsolicited bulk email to millions of people is RUDE! You will not get any response because your email goes to those people who have NOT qualified themselves as being interested in your product. What you will get is waste your time and your money.

Finally, read the affiliate agreement carefully and watch out whether there has any "exclusivity clauses" stated in the agreement before you sign up with any affiliate programs.

Some companies will state, "they can be the only retailer of a specific product on your website". This clause will limit you selling only their product on your site, example, sell a book. It is may not be a problem for you if you only want to sell their books.

I just want to say "be careful, don't restrict yourself unless you want to."
About the Author
Ann Liu, author of "Online Profiting: A Simple Way To Start and Build Your Own Online Business". To learn how YOU too can succeed in Internet and affiliate marketing, please visit http://Marketingbyann.com
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