Thursday, March 01, 2007

Affiliate Programs... Don't Quit Your Day Job

by Bob Mathers

I was thinking that there must be a million affiliate programs out there. In fact, if you do a Google Search you'll find that there are 121 MILLION links for affiliate programs. From Art to Webhosting and everything in between there's most likely an affiliate program out there for just about anything that you could possibly think of. It's probaby one of the first things that most people look at when deciding to try and earn some money online. But just how easy is it to make money with affiliate programs?

Affiliate programs seem to come in two basic shades. One, you sign up as an affiliate with a program, get your very own U.R.L. and agree to sell whatever it is they're selling and in exchange for doing this you receive a percentage of the sales, also called a commission. Your cut varies from company to company and can range anywhere from 5% to 80%. A lot of this depends upon the price of the product and whether or not it's a product or service that is strictly an informational product delivered by computer such as an ebook or software, or an actual product with physical delivery such as consumer electronics, cosmetics, etc.

The other way is for you to become an affiliate, of an affiliate, of an affiliate, and so on. This is also called Network or Multi-level Marketing. With this way of marketing, the idea is that you recruit or sign up a few individuals and they do the same, right on down to the last 'level'. With this type of program, you can make a little off of thousands of people, which in theory can add up to a lot of money. The reality is usually something different. What oftentimes happens is that you'll sign up a few people and find that that no matter what you do to try and motivate them, they'll do nothing. If you keep plugging away you'll eventually run across some individuals who are also highly motivated and they will be the ones who will in fact help to grow your business and income. The turnover rate is extremely high in this type of program especially if there's a monthly commitment involved. People will oftentimes hang around for a month or two but after a couple of months of paying and not seeing any results, they're usually gone.

No matter what type of affiliate program you're talking about, a major issue is getting enough quality traffic to make any program work. When I first started marketing affiliate programs, I was completely ignorant of how much traffic it oftentimes took to make a sale. I thought that I could do mass advertising on the Hit or Click Exchanges, Safelists, FFA blasters, and make lots of money. Now, you can get lot of traffic by doing the Traffic or Hit exchanges, but they mainly consist of other marketers and advertisers trying to sell their own product or program. So before you start marketing anything, you should come up with a plan on how you're going to market the product or program. You may be able to make money with free advertising but it's more than likely that you'll have to spend some money to make some.

There are people who make a full time living marketing affiliate programs and many who make decent part time money. It can be done, but it usually doesn't happen overnight. I believe it helps to involve yourself with products or programs that you have interest or knowledge of. Also be aware of the cost. Trying to market a high end nutritional program requiring a $100 a month commitment might be a bit more difficult than trying to sell an ebook for $20. At least that's been my experience. Whatever you try, here's wishing you great success in your Internet ventures.

Bob Mathers is actively engaged in Internet Marketing. His current website is..Create a SURGE of Targeted Web Traffic

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