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Affiliate Programs Marketing - A Beginner's Guide
What to check out before joining an affiliate program!

By Harith Al-Jibury

This article is directed at beginners to affiliate programs marketing who wish to generate additional income of their web sites by joining these programs. It might help you to figure out which affiliate programs you shouldn't join!

What are affiliate programs?

Affiliate programs (also called reseller, associate programs) are programs where you (webmaster) advertise and/or promote a vendor(s) product/service or site on your site. This is usually done by placing on your site; banners, buttons, pop-up windows, text-links or/and promotion articles. You will get paid; per click or per 1000 impressions (in case of banners), per lead or per sale generated from your site.

There are also the so called "2-tier" affiliate programs which pay commissions on two levels. You will receive a commission for each sale you make and for each sale your recruits (affiliates who sign up with the program through your own affiliate links) make.

Affiliate programs aren't get-rich-quick models!

Though there are 100.000s of affiliates scattered all over the internet, very few are making decent money out of affiliate programs. There is a famous sentence known among savvy affiliates: Only 5% of affiliates are making the 95% of sales for affiliate vendors! You will find yourself too that this statement is true in most cases.

However Affiliate programs can definitely pay off, but you have to be running your operation like a business. It all depends on the volume of traffic that your site receive (without the traffic, your site isn't going to sell much), whether you provide a useful service to your site visitor, the type of your site visitors, the relevancy of affiliate programs to your visitors (targeting), and your own promotion/marketing efforts.

Don't try to join too many affiliate programs with the result that your site will look like a supermarket. Instead focus your efforts on few programs, that meet the needs of your site visitors, and make them work for you!

What to check out before joining an affiliate program?

Too many webmasters fall for the hyped claims and signup with several affiliate programs without any consideration.

You need to check out and examine few things before joining a program:

- The program must offer REAL products. Programs without legitimate products are known as "ponzi" or "pyramid schemes"..... be worry!

- Determine who is running the affiliate vendor site. I.e complete contact details.

- Study the terms of the affiliate agreement carefully. This is a MUST!
You may wish to save (or print out) a copy of the agreement. In this connection, I recommend studying the Affiliate Union Draft of Merchant Certification Criteria.

- Se whether Payment terms are acceptable. Make sure the program has a reasonable minimum pay-out ($25- $50) and pays at least once a month. and make sure that the affiliate program will send payments worldwide if you are outside USA (or outside the country of the affiliate program).

- Some affiliate merchants offer multiple payment options to buyers, for example credit card online merchant account, third party credit card processing, ClickBank, PayPal, payment by check, money order, etc...
You should make sure that you are paid commission on ALL sales generated by you regardless of payment acceptance methods used on the merchant site.

- If an affiliate merchant offers more than one product on his web site, be sure that you will be paid commission on ALL your referral sales of ALL products.

- Be sure that the affiliate program offers a reliable detailed statistics and stats are updated at least once a day.

- Read carefully the FAQ page of the program (if there is one).

- Find out whether the program offers Support to its affiliates and whether affiliates email (questions) are answered timely or at all.

- Ask yourself whether your site visitors are interested in the product/service that the program offers. Try to target the program you choose and don't just pick those programs that seem to pay most.

- There should be no fee to joine an affiliate program. Be worry if the program requires joining fee.

- You must perform some level of affiliate merchant due diligence to determine whether an affiliate merchant has a sound and viable business model.

- Find out whether the affiliate merchant has a web site that SELLS (to convert visitors to buyers). Would your visitors buy from such a web site?

Where should I place the affiliate banners, buttons and links?

Many beginners make a common mistake; they put several banners and buttons on the same page to the extent that their site looks like a "banner farm". People don't like Banner stuffed pages and I can assure you that this is a way to loose your visitors.

You shouldn't install more than two banners and few buttons on each page. Banners are placed at and bottom of a page while you may wish to place buttons within the page menu (left or right margin) or at or bottom of the page.
Use also text links. Many people don't like banners but they do click on text links. These text links should go directly to the page of the product at the vendor's site (not to the vendor's home page!).

Test as many banners, buttons, text links as possible. The more you test the greater the chance that you'll find the ones that work for your site.

Occasionally test your affiliate links, banners and buttons to see whether they are working and whether the affiliate merchant is still in business.

Avoid this one!

At last I wish to ask you to do yourself this big favour: Refrain from the use of unsolicited bulk email (UCE) for any marketing purpose of the affiliate programs you are on. Using UCE might bring you in trouble with your ISP (internet service provider) and a bunch of people you don't know.

Some recommended affiliate programs resources

Affiliate Programs Directories and Guides  Hundreds of Affiliate Programs, Associate Programs, Reseller Programs and Pay Per Click Programs.

AssociatePrograms.com Forum  The forum for Affiliate Marketers (and their friends)

ReveNews.com Forum  Fresh News- and Discussion forum related to affiliate programs.

I wish you Good Luck with your affiliate programs marketing efforts.

Harith Al-Jibury

Danex Marketing & Business Resources

About this page: Affiliate Programs Marketing - A Beginner's Guide. This article is directed at beginners to affiliate programs Marketing. What to check out before joining an affiliate program?



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