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Affiliate Program - An Introduction

There is no easy money that will fall into your lap without you doing anything, and in case there was any easy money I would keep that information to myself and not write it in an article read by thousands of people. So we're not talking about get-rich-quick schemes here. We're talking about a way to generate a steady monthly income through genuine hard work,a little ingenuity, and a internet phenomenon called Affiliate Programs.

There is no doubt that the most successful group amongst online entrepreneurs are affiliates. Few are willing to go public about it but it is widely known that that there are a number of affiliates comfortably raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in income every year.

Affiliate Programs are also called Associate Programs or Referral Programs whereby a website which sells product or services is introduced to visitors by another website. The Publisher or webmaster of the helping website is called an affiliate and the website which run the affiliate programs is usually called merchant.

Concept is really quite simple. Every thing is based on paid referral system. Visitors come to your website, you introduced them to product or service from a third party vendor through a banner or text link and you get paid a commission by merchant in various ways:

Pay Per click : Affiliate get paid for each unique visitor send to marketer's site from their banner or text link on your site and best instance of pay per click is Google Adsense.
Pay Per Lead : Affiliate get paid for visitor that provides the requested information to the marketer on the marketer's site, like filling form. Instance of pay per lead type Affiliate Program is eBay
Pay Per Sale : Affiliate get paid for each visitor that purchases a specific product on marketer's site.

Affiliate helps the merchant by exposing the merchants product and services to visitors of their website. This is done by careful placement of banner and text link, that contains a tracking code inside it.  Any time you send your visitors to the company's web site, you'll send them via the link so all your orders can be tracked and identified. Most affiliate programs are free to join and easy to setup.

One thing you should keep in mind is that you should only join affiliate programs that relate to your website.  If your site is about home employment, it makes no sense to advertise jewelry on it.  People are coming to your site to look for jobs, not diamonds.  Although it's tempting to join any and every affiliate program that sounds lucrative, more is not always better.  Many affiliates make the mistake of joining dozens of programs with little regard to their audience. They figure the more associate programs they join, the more money they can make. Join only those affiliate programs that fit with your site concept, and concentrate on providing attractive content that will generate traffic and sales.

Plastering banner ads all over your site is not a good way to earn money.  Recommendations through useful editorial content is the best way to get the sale. it's important to note that the recommendation shouldn't sound like an advertisement.  It would just be a logical statement that flows with the rest of the article.  For example:

One of the best hosting service for your website is XYZ.  My most of the web sites are hosted with this company and it has always provided me with top-notch services.  Click here for more information.

Web sites that do the best with affiliate programs contain lots and lots of useful content that's updated often and has its own developed theme with a targeted audience. Also remember, there's almost never a such thing as too much information.  The more knowledge you can fill them with, the greater chance they'll keep coming back to your site again and again.

By creating an information rich site with great content that your visitors value and respect, you become a trusted expert making a recommendation rather than a stranger making a sales pitch. This is another reason you should always choose a topic you are truly interested in.  The more you know about a subject, the easier it will be to add content and keep your site updated.

You want them to feel comfortable taking your advice.  Remember they can't see or talk to you so all they have to go on is the information you provide on your site -- so make it good ! Most people will not buy on the first exposure.  They need to see the product more than once.  If your site is lacking content, what reason would your visitors have to return again ? 

Build a web site with a clear, concise theme that is supported by lots of unique content and information on your choice.

You need to build credibility to encourage people to respect your recommendations.  It's difficult to do that with a small site.  One good way to build this credibility is by providing useful articles and helpful resources that gives your visitors confidence that you know what you're talking about. 

Create at least 20 pages of unique content on your niche and always look to expand your site.  The more information the better. Once you start building that content, begin searching for affiliate programs that match your site's theme.  Then work on getting traffic to your site via the search engines, especially Google.

Don't push your visitors to the click to your merchant's site, make them want to click. And they'll click-through with pleasure, arriving at your merchant's site with an open-to-buy mind. All humans like doing business with a company who has been recommended to them by a expert whose opinion they have come to respect. You need to de-emphasize the affiliate links and emphasize more on the content. This means that when visitors come to your site, they should feel that the site is primarily focused on providing information on that topic, and that the affiliate links are just a small aspect of your site.

Only promote high quality products and don’t hurt your web reputation by referring less-than-satisfying products and services. There are plenty of good products out there for you to offer. Don’t waste your time on the junk. Join only those programs that fit the audience of your site. A close match will always yield better performance.

The best affiliate programs will even pay you commissions for a prolonged period of time, after the original sale has been made. This is especially attractive for programs that sell services with regular fees. For example, if your referred customers make monthly fees, you'll earn the commission each month.

So what are you doing this saturday, playing a poker game or making money from affiliate programs.

Top Affiliate Networks providing multiple Affiliate Program :

Commission Junction
Click Bank
Affiliate Network List - Best 25 affiliate networks on web !


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