Thursday, July 13, 2006

Beginners Guide To Affiliate Marketing

If you run a website with traffic, you can make money by having links to merchants' online stores on your site. When someone goes through your links into the store of a merchant, and makes a purchase, you earn commission from the sale. Some merchants also pay for leads or clicks.

Affiliate marketers every where are cashing in on the huge amounts of money to be made with affiliate marketing. Even if you do not have a website you can utilize becoming an affiliate of any given company. Of course if you have a website, you will be able to optimize your website for maximum search engine placement, in return you will see a huge increase in affiliate income.

How do I find the best affiliate programs?

To start off with, if you are going to run affiliate programs on a website, you should look for programs that are similar to your website content. Your visitors are at your website looking for something specific, so you should make sure that any program you are promoting is going to be of interest to your visitors.

Example: If you run a pet related website, you want to seek pet related affiliate programs to maximize your marketing efforts. Selecting programs that offer pet products or pet services that your visitors would be interested in. Adding affiliate programs such as long distance calling cards or credit cards will not perform as well as a pet training book or pet clothing would. Why? Because your site traffic is looking for pet info in particular, therefore you need to run affiliates that offer something those visitors would be interested in.

What do I look for when selecting an affiliate program?

The first and most important thing to look for is the products or services. There is no need to join a program that you will never run or a program that offers bad services. A great starting point is to look for affiliate networks. These are great especially if you plan on running more than one website. Affiliate networks typically offer several different programs a webmaster may join. Most let you see a directory of the merchants in the network before you join. Commission Junctions, Link Share, and Click Bank are 3 large affiliate networks that offer several merchants.

Second, you need to look at the commission rate to determine if it is even worth your time. In addition to the commission rate, pay close attention to the dollar amount that you’ll get per sale or action. For example, 20% commission on a $100 product is $20, while 50% commission on a $5 product is only $2.50. So, knowing what you will be given in exchange will make selecting much easier!

Does the company offer tracking?

Being able to check your stats are very important. Most legit affiliate programs will allow a webmaster to view stats at any given time. being able to view your stats will allow you to see what ad's are performing the best and what ad's are not performing. You will also be able to view your click thru's and sales with affiliate tracking.

Being able to track your stats will allow you to work the programs that are doing the best and help you decide what programs to stop running, so you can focus on the ones that are making the most!

Where do I place affiliate links on my website for the best results?

For the last 7 years of affiliate marketing I have found that placing ads above the fold of my websites perform very well and also in my content. Google AdSense is a great program to run in content, as google will deliver related ads. I always place Google ads to the left of any article or content and also 1-2 paragraphs down. This technique has worked very well for me.

These several questions will help you a great deal when searching for affiliates to deal with. Once you have mastered seeking the right affiliates you can begin working them into your website!

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