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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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