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Discover How Affiliates Earning $40,000+ Per Year - Articles Surfing
Like a gorilla on steroids, there is a powerful way to add profits to your bottom line -- and that's through actively participating in the "right" affiliate program. By "right" affiliate program, I mean the one that's right for you.
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The affiliate program gets "no-risk" advertising (in most cases, they don't pay you unless one of your referred visitors makes a purchase),
With literally thousands of new affiliate programs having come online since my last article on this topic, I wanted to make sure that you don't make a mistake and waste your time and efforts promoting a program that will not generate the extra income you deserve.
So to help you choose the "right" affiliate program, I've put together a list of the seven critical questions you MUST ask to ensure you make the best choice and give yourself the greatest opportunity for success.
Question #1: Is the product or service offered for resale by the affiliate program something you would use and personally recommend?
First and foremost, the affiliate product you promote should be something that you truly believe in. It should be something that you would personally use yourself and be comfortable recommending to your best friend. Think of your role as a consultant who personally:
Researches products available in your specialty,
Objectively compares the product to its competitors,
Ensures that the one you choose to promote outperforms the competition by offering a major benefit,
And then "reports" your findings to your web site visitors and opt-in subscribers.
Your customers benefit by saving the time they would have taken to conduct their own research, by saving money, and by being offered the best solution for their purchasing dollars.
Look for products that offer exceptional value and unique benefits that potential buyers want but will not be able to find anywhere else. During your research, also watch for new product announcements. New products can bring in first-time buyers, previous purchasers who wish to upgrade, and owners of competitive products.
With literally thousands of programs to choose from, there's no reason for you to promote an affiliate product that you don't truly believe in. Money is a great motivator, but you should never let the lure of "quick cash" cloud your thinking. When you build your online business around the best interests of your customers, the money will follow.
Question #2: Does the affiliate product you are considering promoting "fit" with your web site's theme?
As you research various affiliate products, watch for those that fit closely with your existing web site's theme; any affiliate product you consider promoting should match the interests, needs, requirements, and budgets of your current customers and web site visitors.
For example, if you sell wild bird feeders, you could join an affiliate program that allows you to earn commissions promoting bird feed, books on identifying wild birds, audio recordings of birds, binoculars, and maybe even night vision goggles for late-night bird watching.
Question #3: Is the company reputable?
Your buyers are relying on you to make sure that every product and service you recommend will perform as promised. If you're considering joining a particular affiliate program, check to see how long the company has been in business and investigate them as thoroughly as you would any prospective business partner. See if they offer a "testimonials" page. Ask questions about their products in various industry newsgroups and bulletin boards.
When you recommend another company to your visitors, it's your reputation that's on the line. Ask yourself if associating with this affiliate program will enhance your reputation with your online community. If it won't, then you have a good reason to pass on the "opportunity." Your reputation is priceless. Only associate with the best in your industry.
Question #4: How good a job does the company web site do of selling their product?
As an affiliate, you will be referring your visitors and subscribers to the affiliate program's sales site. It is the other company's "job" to provide all the information a potential buyer needs to make an informed decision and then close the sale.
Your web site should not have to be a "sales site" for the affiliate product you're promoting. It should be enough for you just to get visitors interested with a personal recommendation that links visitors to the sales site. You may only need a simple paragraph stating something like...
Question #5: How are commissions paid?
There are a variety of tracking and payment systems that affiliate programs use to calculate your overall sales and commissions. So before you sign up, you'll want to make sure you have a thorough understanding of how -- and when -- you'll be paid. Factors to consider include...
a) How much commission will you earn on each sale?
Consider both the dollar amount and percentage of the sale price that you will receive. If it's a product that you'll sell high volumes of, a lower commission may be more acceptable than a high-priced product that you'll make few sales with. Look for products that you'll be able to sell in high volumes while earning a hefty percentage of the sale -- this is the ideal combination.
For example, here at IMC we pay our affiliates $65 for every sale of our #1 best-selling "Insider Secrets To Marketing Your Business On The Internet" course. That's over 30% of the total price...
and a huge chunk of our profits.
However, we're willing to pay our affiliates such high commissions because we recognize the "lifetime value" of our customers. Any affiliate program you join should recognize this, too.
b) Is the program one-tier or two-tier?
All affiliate programs are either one-tier or two-tier. With one-tier programs, you recommend the product to your customers, visitors, and subscribers, and earn a commission for each sale you refer.
With a two-tier program, you earn a commission on each sale you refer. However, you can ALSO recommend the affiliate program to your customers, visitors, and subscribers. Each person who signs up for the program through your referral becomes your "sub-affiliate" -- and you earn a commission on each sale they make!
For example, the IMC Affiliate Program is two-tier. If you joined our affiliate program and sold a copy of our "Insider Secrets" course, you would earn a $65 commission. If, as a result of your recommendation, a visitor to your site clicked through the affiliate link we give you and joined our affiliate program, they would become your "sub-affiliate." Each time one of your sub-affiliates sells a course, they earn a first-tier commission of $65, and you earn a second-tier commission of $20.
Obviously, the benefit of joining a two-tier affiliate program is that you have an opportunity to recommend the program to your customers and subscribers to earn some easy extra income on the sales they make.
c) Will you earn a one-time commission or residual income?
Affiliate programs that allow you to promote products that customers run out of, use up, or need to renew are frequently "residual income," which means you receive a commission every time the same customers come back to purchase more of the same product -- rather than just earning a commission on the initial sale.
Good examples of products or services that might be offered as residual income through affiliate programs are cleaning supplies, flowers, web site hosting, newsletter subscriptions, and dating site memberships.
Commissions from residual income products can really add up because on top of the "first-time sales" commissions you can earn each month, you can also earn more and more "residual" commissions as satisfied customers you referred come back to purchase more of the same product!
For example, "Secrets To Their Success" (the IMC private members' site that features interviews with successful online business owners) is offered through the IMC Affiliate Program as a "residual income" product. We pay our affiliates a residual commission of $6 per month for each new subscriber they refer for as long as that person remains a subscriber.
And while $6 might not seem like very much, when you do the math you will see that your commissions from a residual income program like this can snowball very quickly:
10 subscribers @ $6/month = $60/month OR $720/year
100 subscribers @ $6/month = $600/month OR $7,200/year
500 subscribers @ $6/month = $3,000/month OR $36,000/year
As you can see, the biggest benefit of residual income programs is the cumulative commissions you can earn. Once you've "sold" a first-time customer, you don't do any more work, but you continue to rake in the commissions for as long as that person remains a customer.
d) How much commission do you have to earn before the affiliate program issues you a check?
Many affiliate programs require you to have earned a set dollar figure in commissions before they will issue you a check. Obviously, printing and mailing checks is an expense for the company, so it makes sense that they may not want to issue you a check for only a few dollars. However, there are some programs that set this "minimum commission" figure extremely high ($100 and up), which means it can be months before you see your first check.
Before joining any program, find out the minimum amount that they'll issue a commission check for and how frequently your checks will be mailed. Make sure you're comfortable with these regulations. Ideally, you should look for programs that pay you monthly, no matter how much you've earned.
e) What currency is the check issued in?
This is an important question if you're considering joining an affiliate program based in a foreign country or if you want to be paid in a strong currency.
f) Can you check your sales statistics online?
g) Within what time period do your visitors have to make a purchase for you to be credited with the sale?
Ideally, your referrals will buy "on the spot" once they click through to your affiliate partner's site. Realistically though, many people hesitate to make a purchase until they have more information, more money, or feel more confident that the product or service is exactly what they are looking for.
To track the sales of those people who click through your affiliate link but don't purchase the first time they visit the affiliate program's site, you want to make sure the program you join uses "cookie" tracking.
"Cookies" are small files that, in this case, contain the unique affiliate identification number you should be given when you join a particular program. This cookie with your affiliate ID# is saved on the visitor's computer so that if they leave the affiliate program's site, but come back again later to buy, you will be credited with that sale.
Question #7: What advertising and promotional tools do they provide you with?
The affiliate program you join should not expect you to reinvent the wheel. They should have at least a handful of tools that you can use to promote their products like:
Everything they provide you with should already be tested and proven to generate the highest click-throughs and sales, so you can immediately implement them and start earning top commissions. They should also provide some kind of training... or at least be willing to speak with you personally about how you might best promote their products in your newsletter or on your web site.
For example, if you'd like to see what a highly developed affiliate training program might look like, check out our IMC Affiliate Support Center at http://www.marketingtips.com/assoc/t.cgi/883561 Just sign up as an affiliate (don't worry, it's free to join and you're under no obligation to do anything) and you'll receive the username and password you need to snoop around and check out the resources we provide our affiliates with.
With so many great affiliate programs to choose from, with a little research you should have no trouble finding profitable affiliate products to promote and earn top commissions. Look for products and services that complement your existing product line, match the interests of your visitors, and offer exceptional value.
Only deal with reputable companies who are proud of their products, stand behind them, and will bend over backwards to please their customers. With the wide variety of commission pay plans available, choose one that offers an attractive incentive.
To find top affiliate programs, you can visit:
Associate Programs http://www.associateprograms.com/index.shtml
Great resource that reviews an extensive list of affiliate programs and offers a top-10 affiliate program list.
A search engine for affiliate programs that offers affiliate news updates on their homepage.
Lifetime Commissions http://www.lifetimecommissions.com
Gives you a choice of 83 different residual income affiliate programs.
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Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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