Making Residual Affiliate Programs Work for You





Affiliate payment structures

The term residual income, when used in the context of long-term income, can be replaced by the term, leveraged earnings which might be the most coveted source of income in the sales profession. The most significant difference between the two methods of earnings might be that residual income is earned repeatedly for a single sale by the individual salesperson, whereas leveraged income is earned repeatedly based on the sales of others (recruits/sub-agents).

It is important to understand however, that leveraged income can be earned without residual payments when group leaders, managers, recruiters and other such agents have utilized their leadership skills to hire, train and motivate other people to go out and make sales that are considered “one and done” with no prospects for repeated payments on the sold item; unlike sales of magazine subscriptions, insurance policies or membership dues, which are paid for on an ongoping basis.

But staying on the subject of affiliate marketing and the various programs and payment structures utilized by online merchants, if you are a webmaster in need of additional income; or you are planning to set up a Web-based business but you do not have a product or service to sell, affiliate marketing may be the best solution for your particular situation, since you really wouldn’t need to worry about creating a product because the merchants will provide them.

Affiliate-merchant relationships

All you would need to have is a website with interesting content that is related to any product or service you decide to market. By joining a particular affiliate program, or by becoming an independent affiliate representing various merchants, you can start earning money right away thereby meeting the financial demands of your unique situation; but in order to ensure that your earnings from sales can be relied upon to come repeatedly, you will have to align yourself with those merchants that offer residual income, a task that may be easier said than done.

To be a good or super affiliate marketer and make the kind of money you expect to make it is important to understand the nature of affiliate marketing as it relates to the kind of business relationship that established between merchant and affiliate. In affiliate marketing, an affiliate agrees to direct traffic to a merchant’s website or product page, and if that traffic is converted into the visitor taking any kind of action like making a purchase subscribing to a service, the directing (referring) affiliate will be compensated.

Compensation may take the form of either a percentage of any sales made in the form of a commission or a fixed fee predetermined upon the application of the affiliate with the merchant’s affiliate program. Based on this kind of arrangement between affiliate and merchant, both having mutual interests in its success and deriving mutual benefits from it, affiliate marketing has become one of the most popular Web marketing methods today.

Set fee versus residual income

In fact, almost every merchant or retailer site today offers an affiliate program that any one can join; and most retailers would entice people to become affiliates or members of their program by promising great benefits like large commissions, lifetime commissions, click through incomes and various other benefits; but would it be reasonable to think that all these affiliate programs offer the same benefits? Read on to learn how reasonable such a thought might be.

Most affiliate programs would pay affiliates a one-time commission for every sale or lead referred to the merchant’s website by those affiliates; and such one-time commissions are usually large – ranging from 15% to a high of about 60%. Other affiliate programs would pay a fixed fee for every click through or visitor referred to the merchant’s site by any affiliate; and programs like this often pay a smaller amount for every click through – usually not amounting to any more than half a dollar, even in the case when no purchase is made but the visitor becomes a lead.

Residual affiliate programs usually pay only a small percentage of a sale as commission for every sale referred by the affiliate to the merchant’s site. This commission is often in the range of 10% to 20% of sales made; and because of this many people ignore residual affiliate programs and opt rather, for the higher paying one-time commission offered by other affiliate programs. So depending on their financial objectives and individual preferences, marketers make their choices.

Contrasting income modes

However, for a marketer to ignore residual affiliate programs based solely on the fact that fees or commissions are smaller would be to forego a reliable and – over the long term – substantial income stream; because despit the fact that residual affiliate programs pay at a lower rate, merchants offering such programs would generally pay regular and ongoing commissions for a single affiliate initiated sale. That means you, as an affiliate of a affiliate program can get paid on a regular and ongoing basis.

Just to elaborate a little further, suppose there are two online merchants both offering web hosting services on their sites. The first merchant offers a one-time commission type of affiliate program that pays $80 for every single affiliate initiated sale. The second merchant also offers an affiliate program, but it is a residual affiliate program that pays only $10 monthly for every single affiliate initiated sale for every customer that opens a hosting account.

Naturally an affiliate may get attracted to the larger commission of $80 being offered by the first merchant, instead of the smaller amount of $10; but by thinking things over before actually getting involved with one or the other, the affiliate may be able to better understand that the second merchant is offering more of an opportunity to earn a larger amount of money since the $10 will be made on a continuous basis for as long as the customer has the account.

Making the choice

So for the same effort of getting one customer to subscribe to the merchant’s service, you get paid monthly in residual affiliate programs while you only get paid once in a one-time commission type of affiliate programs. That having been said, are residual affiliate programs worth promoting? Definitely yes, because you simply get more money from these types of affiliate programs in the long run; and would residual affiliate programs work best for you? It depends, but with the benefits that residual affiliate programs can provide, it would really be unwise to ignore such programs.

Avoid the Path to Affiliate Marketing Failure





The lure of affiliate marketing

An increasing number of people are lured into affiliate marketing and you might very well be one of them. This lure is the result of affiliate marketing being one of the most effective means of generating a full-time income via the Web, without the need for a huge investment of money to get started. The business of affiliate marketing is primarily based on agreements between merchants and affiliates, as both groups benefit from the arrangement.

Similar to other business types, success in affiliate marketing depends on the affiliate’s advertising, promoting and selling strategies. Everyday, as the affiliate marketing industry expands, competition heightens as well, so an affiliate marketer must be creative enough to employ unique and effective ways that will convince potential buyers to purchase, or avail themselves of, the merchant’s products and services being offered by that affiliate.

Compared to traditional advertising practices, affiliate programs are more effective, risk-free and cost-efficient; but there is still a great deal of failure experienced by a large number of affiliates, and those not familiar with the business often wonder why. However, when they understand that affiliate marketing is a “you-get-out-what-you-put-in” kind of business, the explanation for such failure becomes more apparent – although there are other less apparent reasons.

Preparation begets success

The most critical aspect in any affiliate program is advertising; but many affiliate marketers fail in this area because they either refuse or are unable to put in the time and hard work required to excel in this most important aspect of the affiliate marketing business, or any other kind of business. And although it helps to be lucky, a business person cannot merely rely on luck to succeed as an affiliate marketer, but rather to understand that the business of affiliate marketing is much more than just directing customers to a website.

For example, if you are interested in becoming an affiliate marketer, and want to earn big money, you have to devote the necessary time and a great deal of hard work, as well as to invest the money necessary to promote those products and services entrusted to you by the merchants from whom you expect to receive commission payments.

As mentioned earlier, there is very stiff competition in any kind of marketing, and affiliate marketing is no different; but commitment to your objective, hard work, and consistent promotional activity will help you keep pace with that competition and operate a profitable affiliate business.

On the other hand, if you are uninspired, unmotivated and/or unwilling to do what it takes to achieve success, the results you get will be unacceptable due to unpreparedness; because lack of preparation is almost always the reason for failure in affiliate marketing, whether the individual is a merchant or an affiliate.

When research is a success tool

Keep in mind also that part of preparation is research; and this is true for merchants as well as affiliates. Merchants must be highly selective in choosing the right affiliate websites for their affiliate program; and in order to be sure that they have the best choices, they must have exhausted all means in looking for highly interested affiliates whose sites (theme and content) are compatible with the products and services they provide.

Affiliates must make sure that visitors to their websites match those customers whom they’ve targeted as most ideal for the content they provide, as well as the kind of products/services they promote; and the affiliate marketer must likewise research good-paying merchants before they sign up with a particular affiliate program. In addition, an affiliate must ensure that a merchant’s products/services match his/her interests so that s/he can devote full attention and dedication to the program.

An affiliate can obtain valuable information by joining affiliate forums, comparing different affiliate programs and reading articles on affiliate marketing where s/he can get tips from more experienced affiliate marketers on how to choose the best merchants and select products with high conversion rate.

The website is a very important tool in the overall affiliate marketing strategy; and as an affiliate marketer, you should plan carefully on what kind of website you’re going to have; from a catchy and memorable domain name to the design, lay-out, content, and ads, your website must be conducive to the kind of affiliate business you expect to conduct if you expect to succeed.

Marketing to your targeted audience

Some visitors to your affiliate website will be particular about what they see at first glance and therefore, if they consider your site to be unattractive they won’t read through the content, even if your site has many interesting things to say and offer.

Conversely, there are visitors who want information more than anything else; and affiliate marketers with “rich-content” web sites will usually be the ones who attract this group of visitors and prosper as a result, because the content improves traffic to those site.

Websites with high quality content and relevant keywords as well as valuable and useful information about a particular product, as opposed to empty and hyped-up advertisements, —allow their owners to earn big in affiliate marketing even when they’re asleep. An important point to remember is that if you can’t sustain the interest of your site visitor, you won’t be able to lead him/her to your merchants’ site; and no click-through (to a merchant’s website) often means no sale and thus, no income for you.

Selecting a top level domain name is crucial to the success of the affiliate program. That having been said, there are many affiliate websites that do not appear in the search engine results because they are deemed by affiliate managers as personal sites; meaning that major search engines and directories would think of your website as transient and thus, they won’t list it in the directory; so before you decide on the domain name, know first what you are going to promote.

Knowledge creates a competitive edge

However, the domain name is not always the website title, and many affiliates fail to attract visitors because their websites are not appropriately named; and even when they feature the exact products customers are looking for, those customer might think the site is not relevant and therefore won’t enter the site.

Above all, an affiliate marketer must be willing to learn more about his/her business on an ongoing basis; because there is still a lot to learn, so any affiliate marketer who expects to achieve success must continue to educate him/herself so s/he can improve marketing strategies. Many fail because they don’t grow in the business and they are merely concerned about earning a quick buck; but if you want long-term and highly satisfactory results, you must take time to learn the ins and outs of this business.

Continuing to improve your knowledge, especially about the basics of affiliate marketing ranging from advertising to programming, web page development, and search engine optimization techniques will certainly provide some of the motivation and staying power needed to achieve success. Likewise, study the needs and wants of your website users and how different merchants compete with each other.

Keep on trying; and don’t get disappointed if your first attempts do/did not pay off. Thousands are attracted by the possibility of generating huge incomes through affiliate marketing, and as a result of this attraction, they sign up in any affiliate program without carefully understanding every aspect of the business. When they don’t get instant results, they quit and sign up for another program and repeat the process of just copying links and referring them to others.

When you sign up for an affiliate program, don’t expect to achieve instant success and get rich quick. Make sure to work on your advertising strategies and other pertinent aspects of the affiliate marketing business; but most important, be patient, because you will never know how much you can get if you don’t persevere.

About Niche Marketing and its Relevance





Niche defined

In ecology, a niche refers to the place or position occupied by an organism or a population within an ecological community known as the ecosystem. It is a term which defines the role an organism or a population plays in the general scheme of things. The niche held by an organism or a population is that thing which is responsible for dictating the survivability of the species. In short, it is the one thing which indicates whether an organism or a population will perish or thrive.

In marketing, a niche refers to a service or product that occupies a special area of demand; that small corner in the market that accounts for a certain kind of specialty which is relevant to an unmet customer need. That having been said, for a marketer to be able to attract a strong, solid market, that the choice of a niche product should ultimately complement that marketer’s website. It is through this scheme that s/he is able to generate a specific market for the niche product s/he is trying to promote and sell.

Niche marketing therefore derives its name from the term, “niche,” and is described as the process of finding market segments which are small but potentially profitable nonetheless. To maintain a profitable quantity of sales, this marketing strategy relies on increasing the loyalty of customers so that corporate objectives will be met or surpassed. Illustrative of this is the fact that the quality of such a product or service sold will generate customer satisfaction and, consequently, customer loyalty.

Uniqueness of the niche

The result is profitability garnered through a solid market base that trusts in the ability of the product or service to really deliver usefulness, high quality and great value. One of the great intangible benefits derived from niche marketing is the encouragement of those who indulge in it to be unique, independent and consistently dependable.

Such benefits ensures that the niche marketer is not forced into the lion’s den and made to compete against established marketers; but rather, is made to occupy a strong and secure position that ultimately wins him/her a real place in the market. Niche marketing differs from other online marketing strategies in the sense it’s a particular quality allows it to operate almost autonomously and without having to contend with corporate sharks that tear each other to pieces.

One of the most important things that should be thought over by those involved in such a marketing strategy is the type of niche business that is going to be involved in the process. In other words, it is important for a marketer to consider the type of business that s/he is going to work on in order to ensure the kind of success that s/he hopes to achieve. It is also important for such a marketer to know everything about that specific niche business. Learning tricks of the trade is one of the things that s/he could do to make a niche business prosper tremendously.

Marketing to a specific niche

Being able to reach a niche market is another consideration to make, because in doing so, the marketer will know the exact words and phrases that people are searching for. Utilizing of tools can help a lot in identifying the type of keywords and keyphrases that should be used to make the business profitable. Targeting the right keywords goes a long way in making a niche marketing business soar.

Those who engage in niche marketing know that determining the potential of a niche before doing anything else is a must if they want to save all the time, money and effort that might otherwise be wasted by plunging in head on. Building a niche marketing site that proves to be profitable should be done after an unsatisfied customer demand is identified; and marketing the site appropriately by reaching out to customers is the best possible methods niche marketers should use if they want their business to reach the highest levels of success.

Is niche marketing needed in a world crowded with a hundreds of similar systems designed for people to make money online? Those who know how the system works will answer in the affirmative, because niche marketing is the only system capable of filling a gaping hole in the market by catering to the unsatisfied needs of customers – needs that are usually not paid attention to by those in the big league.

The niche: Small but powerful

Although niche marketing is the kind of business which may pose a challenge for most marketers to gain a foothold in such a specialized market – the typical niche might be described as a needle in a haystack – it is the small and inconspicuous nature of such a marketplace that gives it the notoriety and relative success it deserves; similar to the female wasp which, based on its ability to sting someone so hard and swift, it gets the immediate attention and respect it deserves for its stinging power (despite its tiny size) by all who have experienced it.