Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Affiliate Marketing - The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Way To Make Money Online

Affiliate Marketing holds the greatest potential to make money online, however, it is also the trickiest segment to master. By far the best way to conduct affiliate marketing is with a Web Site.

Affiliate Marketing is simply being paid to advertise and get customers to visit and hopefully purchase, sign up or perform some worthwhile action on a sellers website. There are literally thousands of sellers for which you can advertise in every sector of commerce. Such a diverse client base also means a diverse payment structure , everything from a penny per click to hundreds of dollars per sale.

The actual process of tracking affiliate leads is a complex one and therefore most companies usually use a third party to handle the tracking and payments. There are many such marketing companies, but some of the best are undoubtedly

Commision Junction and LinkShare.com
These two are by no means the only marketing companies (see below), however they carry more common household brands like Walmart, Staples, HP etc.

These are a few of the others, some support links for email marketing: Clickbank, excellent starting point for new or email publishers. Affiliate Future, ClixGalore, ROI Rocket, Ideal Revenue

To find out if your favorite store or website has an affiliate program, simply google their name followed by "affiliate program" below, this usually confirms if they operate a scheme and through whom.

So how does it work?

This is the real beauty of these third party marketing companies, they actually provide you with a choice of banners or links to add to your site, the code for these includes all of your tracking information, so that when a customers accesses their site via your site and buys something, you get paid a commission. Once your commissions reach a certain level, you receive a cheque.

Affiliate Marketing: The hard bit...

If you have already signed up with any of the above services, chances are that you will now have a few hundred links. This is the biggest mistake made by most affiliate marketers. The trick to successful affiliate marketing is "QUALITY NOT QUANTITY!". Your aim is after all to firstly get people to

visit your site
Find something useful on your site
Buy it!
& Come back again!

This is a hard lesson to learn, but an incredibly valuable one (Trust US on this one!). To see various examples of how to implement affialiate programs visit our site at http://www.21stcs.ca.

So, that's what you need to do , how do you do it?

Just as in "Real Life", there is no magic formula that can make someone buy something from you, however, there is lots you can do to improve your chances Sell what you know and know what you sell : It is a lot easier to endorse something that you actually enjoy, so for instance, if you like golf, make a website for the golfer with product comparisons, news and of course links all targeted to golf.

Focus: Once you decide on a chosen area stick with it, it's very easy to drift and start putting in links to vaguely related products ... DON'T, if this starts to happen, design another site to accomodate these new products or services.

Content: Remember, "QUALITY not QUANTITY", ensure that your site has some worthwhile content, these days this doen't even have to be yours, look into RSS feeds. This will enure not only happy customers who will return but happy search engines too. Check out the vendor: If you're serious and follw the first two steps, you'll probably have something that looks and feels the way you want it, make sure that the links meet the same standards.

Go forth and multiply...Once you have one successful site, pick a new topic and do it all again ... and again ... and again! - Quality IN Quantity!

That is it in a nutshell, What links you use and how you use them, is down to you. There is actually one other thing that you will need to succeed ...Patience! These are not get rich quick schemes (although they can be), but if you take your time and follow these guidelines, you never know, you just might make some money!

This article was written by Mark Macfarlane of http://www.21stcs.ca or 21st Century Solutions. Mark spent many years trying different things to try to make money online. Eventually, he gave up and got a real job. Now by working at it only part time, he has finally started to create some revenue. Good Luck

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