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.

Choosing the Right Affiliate Marketing Mentor





Affiliate marketing mentorship

A good affiliate marketing mentor is someone who has already achieved success in his/her own affiliate marketing business and is willing to share the knowledge – both experience-based and otherwise – s/he has acquired about this business, from the viewpoint of both affiliate and merchant. But being able to choose the right affiliate marketing mentor to follow and emulate, especially when such choosing involves payment of a fee or other costs, is not easy; and it is for this reason that we wanted to share a few thoughts about this topic with you.

It is important that you know what programs, features and methodologies an affiliate marketing mentorship package should encompass, and understand why the mentor offers a particular set of items in such a package. Keep in mind that affiliate marketing has been a popular Web-based business for decades, and it is still among the most viable business types pursued by online entrepreneurs today.

That having been said, however, there is still a large section of the population that knows little or nothing about affiliate marketing; and most people who have recently discovered this business assume that they can easily make big money in a short period of time (overnight?) with little or no work; but this assumption is no more accurate than the one which suggests that owning and operating a successful home-based business requires only a phone and a computer with Internet access.

Balancing affiliate links and banners

The point is that, achieving success in the affiliate marketing business is not an easy task and certainly will not happen overnight. On the contrary, management of an affiliate marketing business has been compared to an ongoing assignment where you need to learn new methods and test various advertising strategies and tactics, whereby the affiliate may even need to sign up with numerous affiliate programs just to determine which merchants performs best.

Another misconception that exists about affiliate marketing is that more affiliate links and banners placed on a website translates to more commissions earned; but too many links and banners on a single website will more likely have the opposite effect in the sense that visitors will see an unattractive pile of non-sensical and unappealing content, and therefore leave that site for another which provides interesting content that is of more interest to them.

Of course there is a way in which to promote multiple affiliate products on your website if you really want to do so; but you would have to make sure that the promotional links and banners jive with the theme and topic of your site, as well as your niche-specific content. Keep in mind also that three or four affiliate links on your site should really be enough to attract a visitor’s attention, depending on the size of your web page.

Affiliate marketing mentor defined

There are affiliates who think that if they add affiliate materials to their site, they can make sales right away; and maybe they just don’t know that affiliate marketing is more about advertising than anything else, because if there’s no traffic coming to a given site, chances are that sales from that site will be non-existent. So the important thing to remember is: the more exposure (through advertising) an affiliate link, or the site on which affiliate links are displayed receives, the more activity these links are likely to generate.

If you want to get involved with, or you’ve already joined, an affiliate program but you are among those who harbor the above misconceptions about this type of business, then you really might need a mentor to help you figure out where to start and what to do in order to achieve success.

The word mentor is defined in dictionary as “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” So an affiliate marketing mentor would essentially be an individual who has acquired sufficient affiliate marketing wisdom and knowledge to be trusted as a competent teacher. In other words, such a person is an expert in the field and therefore can give expert advice and guidance as well as supervision to another person.

So when we say affiliate marketing mentors, we refer to experienced counselors that have made affiliate marketing their specialty. Of course, it is good for an affiliate marketing mentor to know and apply some theories and generalities regarding your business, but there’s nothing more helpful and effective than telling the client what works today and identify those things that could probably work in the future, including new trends, trend changes and other such market-related data.

Measuring a mentor’s success

A mentor should be a source of knowledge for his/her clients, and the first one to instruct those clients on how to generate more affiliate income. S/he also needs equipped with the keys to success for affiliate marketers as well as for merchants, and be able to guide clients as they try to do the things that can help boost their profit margin, because once they do well in their business, they will, no doubt, give credit to the mentor for the role s/he played in their success.

More succinctly put: Client Success Equates to Mentor Success!

There are some articles on affiliate marketing which states that, in order to be triumphant in the affiliate marketing business, the affiliate needs to encompass and develop these traits: persistence, patience and thirst for knowledge. And part of a mentor’s job to help clients develop and nurture these traits within themselves.

Once the clients have developed the abovementioned characteristics, it will become easier for the mentor to explain to them that attaining success in affiliate marketing requires an investment of hard work, some money and a substantial time commitment. These traits will also teach them to persist and never to give up on their goals and objectives.

Moreover, before a mentor trains his/her client to be proficient in search engine optimization, link exchanges, email marketing, newsletter marketing, reciprocal exchanges and advertising in forums, s/he should first become an expert in these fields. They will surely find it hard to learn these things alone and without supervision from the one they trust to have this knowledge. So the mentor must make sure that s/he is knowledgeable in these areas before accepting any invitation to be a mentor to someone else.

No easy task

Yes, being an affiliate marketing mentor is significantly more difficult than starting an affiliate marketing business, but mentorship can be very rewarding, especially if the mentor’s client achieves great success. The mentor, understanding that a client’s failure equates to the mentor’s failure, must do everything in his/her power to do the very best s/he can to put clients on the road to success.