Ten Tips to Help Select Affiliate Programs & Make Money from Them. by Bill Platt © Copyright. Supplemental Internet Income Many publishers and webmasters undertake the process of picking and adding affiliate programs to add a few extra bucks to their bottom lines. When you have managed to pick a winner, the selected affiliate program can develop enough additional income to make it worth while to continue to offer the program to your visitors. Let's face it. Not everyone who visits your website will be interested in your primary products or services. The truth is that you cannot be everything to everyone. So, it does make sense to offer some additional products or services on outbound links to other sites that offer affiliates an opportunity to earn a commission. Tips Concerning Affiliate Programs * You should always choose an affiliate program based on how many levels they pay to affiliates. If the program only pays on what you sell, I suggest avoiding the program. The only time it would actually make sense to use a program that only pays on your own sales is when the program is offering hard goods that must be snail mailed to the buyer. If you are using the affiliate link in an article, the affiliate program you use should pay on at least two tiers. In this fashion, if you turn someone else onto a program, then you will be able to earn on sales they make as well. Who knows? The person who signs up on your recommendation may be able to sell thousands of ice cream cones to an eskimo. * All outbound links on your website should contain the HREF property *target=_blank*. By setting the target to _blank, you are telling your visitor's browser to open the link in a new browser window. This will force your visitor to make a conscious decision to leave your site, by making them pro-actively close the window your website resides in. * More so in an article than on a website, you should provide the link to your affiliate page through a Redirect link on your domain. From the webmaster's perspective, this makes sense because you can track the traffic to your affiliate website by checking your traffic logs. From the article writer's perspective, it is imperative since most publishers will trim off the affiliate id from your published URL. If you give the publisher a link from your own domain, then there is not an obvious affiliate id to remove from the link. * You should observe the click-through ratio's (CTR's) on all of your affiliate links. Try to make a determination as to why a particular affiliate link does or does not generate good CTR's. Perhaps it is the presentation of the link, or perhaps it is the offer that is being made. Make changes to try to improve on your results, and take action to remove the program if it does not generate good results. * You should also observe the click-through-to-sales ratio's. At a certain point, you should make the decision that a certain affiliate program has failed at their end. If you are sending them lots of traffic, but you are not earning income from that traffic, then you should make the determination as to whether you want to create your own sales page for their product or give up on them altogether. * You should always strongly consider using the affiliate programs that you promote. By using the programs, you can offer people an honest assessment of the programs that you are promoting. In many cases, the personal testimonial of a product or service will help sell that product or service. * Don't be afraid to write your own ad copy or develop your own display banners to promote the program. By developing custom promotional materials, you are able to distinguish yourself from the thousands of other affiliates promoting the same programs that you are promoting. * Put a deadline on the profit expectations that you have from a single affiliate program. Let's say for example you do as I do. I give programs six months from signup to produce results. If the results cannot be improved upon, I remove programs from my site. (I will be removing four programs from my site this week.) * When you have found a winner, step up your promotional efforts on those programs. Don't be afraid to tell people when you have found a winner. My winners are: * Drop Shippers Directory - http://thePhantomWriters.com/dsd If you want to find hard goods to sell online or on Ebay, then you will want to explore DSD to find wholesale companies and drop-shippers who can supply you with those products. * Quikonnex - http://thePhantomWriters.com/quikonnex Have you heard about the benefits of publishing an ezine via Dynamically Created RSS/XML Feeds? If not, then please take a few minutes to explore the promise of sp@m-free, accusation-free publishing with the Quikonnex Publishing System. * As a final note, you should always try to select your affiliate programs based on offerings that your target visitors would actually be interested in. Although these visitors may not be interested in your offerings, there was something about your site that drew them to you, in the first place. So give them the chance to buy other products or services similar to your own. At every point in the process, your goal should be to leverage the traffic you do have into money that you will have. It is far better to have two dollars on the hundred dollar purchase, than it is to have zero dollars on any purchase. If you are going to lose your traffic to others anyway, make the conscious decision now to turn some of that traffic back into dollars. ================================================================ Bill Platt owns http://thePhantomWriters.com. Do you need free content for your website or ezine? Our archives deliver more than 300 free-reprint articles available for your use. http://content.thePhantomWriters.com . Do you write your own articles? Let us distribute them for you to our network of 6000+ publishers & webmasters http://thePhantomWriters.com/distribution ================================================================
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