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Affiliate Programs Can Be A Beginners Friend

Aug 18, 2007
You can dive into the world of affiliate marketing free. Also known as referral marketing

So, what is an affiliate and what does he or she do? The marketer acts as a middle man between seller and consumer, but without adding anything to the consumers cost. They do not mark up or resell products.

Instead, the affiliate educates and directs the consumer to a product, and he receives a percentage of the sale in commission from the merchant.

The affiliate acts as an independent lead generator for the merchant
by bringing in new customers.

This is a win-win situation for both the affiliate and the merchant.

The affiliate can reap a full-time income marketing a whole suite of products that he does not own. He doesn't pay for product creation, doesn't have to ship anything and doesn't deal with customer service issues or returns. The merchant benefits from the influx of new customers, the boatloads of cheap traffic and low cost advertising. Merchants get their product and their brand in front of thousands of potential buyers without paying a dime until someone makes a purchase.

It is truly a pay for performance arrangement.

Before you begin your venture into affiliate marketing, it is necessary to choose the right program for you. There are almost as many programs out there as there are products! When you first start out, it's easy to go overboard signing up to as many programs as possible, but this isn't the right way to go about it.

First, you need to decide on a area of particular interest to you. What
products do you know the most about and think you could do the best job
of selling?

Once you identify your specialty, you begin by sorting through the available
merchants and examine the structure of their affiliate programs.

Key areas to investigate:

1.When and how do you get paid?

Find out whether the program pays you weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, etc. Most
programs have a minimum payout amount, meaning that you don't receive your
commissions until hitting a minimum number of sales for the pay period. You'll
also want to find out whether the programs pays you via check, direct deposit,
Pay Pal or any combination of the three.

2.What is your percentage per sale?

Remember you'll be investing your own money into advertising and other expenses to promote these programs. Therefore, you should seek programs which reward their affiliates well. You'll also want to seek out high-value products. A fifty to sixty percent commission on a $100 product is very good, but it's not so hot if you're promoting a $15 product.

3.Is this company reputable and well managed?

Larger companies usually have affiliate managers devoted to maintaining contact with their affiliates. Even if you go with a smaller outfit, they should at least offer clear contact information. You might want to try e-mailing them at their contact address to see how fast they respond to you. Mismanaged programs are, at best, a sign of disorganization and, at worst, could indicate a company in trouble. The last thing you want is to be sitting on a grand worth of hard earned commissions and see the merchant go out of business before paying you.

Keeping these factors in mind, here are some great places to seek out products
you can promote:

www.clickbank.com
www.cj.com
www.linkshare.com

Commission Junction (CJ) and Linkshare provide affiliate hubs for major brand
corporations and mid-sized businesses. Their focus is generally on tangible products and services. Clickbank is the leading source online for affiliates of information products like e-books, software and membership sites.
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