The nature of affiliate marketing programs
Affiliate marketing programs by their very nature, dictates that participants have the ability to work well with others; in the sense that these programs – also known in some circles as referral programs – are structured primarily on commission-based sales, and as such, those who are most likely to succeed in this type of business will possess outgoing, optimistic and colorful personalities.
A quick example of the referral programs comparison is based on you being an affiliate marketer, in which case it is probable that you would own a website from which to direct your site visitors to a merchant’s product page in hopes that they make a purchase. The redirection is what has been described as referrals for which you will be paid a fee or commission – depending on your arrangement with the merchant – if and when they make any purchases.
That having been said, affiliate marketing is much more than a mere referral service, since many affiliate marketers have created significant numbers of marketing and advertising campaigns for which they appropriate rather sizable advertising budgets. In other words, affiliate marketing is a business to those who run it as such, and a referral service for those who prefer to do the bare minimum; but keep in mind that it is also the kind of business in which you get out what you put in.
An affiliate program that fits you
If you already have a website set up, you can run an affiliate program from it, or you can simply build a site to promote a particular product/service ('product') on behalf of the merchants who own that product; and as long as the website brings in more cash than it takes to build or maintain, you really should be okay...and quite possibly just okay, if you only want to do the minimum.
Like any other marketing system, you will need to be careful in your selection of an affiliate program; because although one of the benefits offered by an affiliate program is providing you with another way to make money from your visitors, you might be more comfortable – depending on your level of skills and expertise – sending them to a partner taking a cut of your profits, instead of creating the resources necessary to sell them a product (salesletter complete with calls to action, sales funnel, ability to accept credit cards, etc.) which could get rather expensive.
Even though it may seem tempting to opt for programs with the highest commissions, those programs won't pay you anything if your visitors don't buy the products they are promoting and selling. So with that thought in mind, take a look at the following tips that could be helpful in your selection of an affiliate program that is right for you:
Program selection tips that could prove helpful
- Do not accept any less than 25% commission, since you can find many programs with great payment structures and high percentages of pay in just about any field.
- Look for statistical pages that list the number of click-throughs, sales and commissions earned (and paid) so you'll be able to see how you are doing.
- Always look for programs that offer a wide variety of tools to put on your web site, including banners, text links, and of graphics.
- Find out how often you'll be paid and be sure that the payment schedule meets with your own expectations. Some programs will pay monthly, while others will pay quarterly.
- Be sure that top level support is included. If they can't answer your questions in a quick and timely manner, you don't want to work with them.
Once you learn what you are doing in your interactions with the various affiliate programs, you can really make a lot of money, but that is not to say it will be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is, especially generating great wealth. If you are just starting out, you should always use common sense and not rush into anything; and as you become more familiar with how things work, you should be well on your way to making a lot of money – and even more importantly – enjoying what you're doing to make it. If you have to work hard, you'll be glad you did.