5 Ways to Start And Promote Your Affiliate Program
"What's the Buzz About?"
"I made $5,000 in one week"
"I quit my job and spend more time with my kids"
It sounds too good to be true, but if you're serious about working from home and you don't have a lot of money to start than keep reading?
"What IS an Affiliate?"
Basically, an Affiliate is an individual that is willing to market and promote another company in exchange for a commission.
An affiliate is NOT an employee of the company. There are no guarantees of earnings in most cases, and there are various methods of determining payments.
In most cases, the company presents the affiliate with a link to its site that has a special code. When this link is promoted and customers click on that link, the company can trace any sales or leads back to the affiliate. Commissions can be made either way depending on the nature of the business. Good affiliate programs will offer a period of time in which, if the customer does not purchase the first time, but comes back within that period (even through another link) the original affiliate gets the credit.
"How Do I Choose a Program?"
Typing "affiliate program" or "affiliate program directory" into a search engine will give you millions of suggestions. Some directories can give you advice or recommendations. If you are new to affiliate programs, it may be wise to stick with the free applications. Don't worry, many, if not most, are free to join.
Select a program you are interested in yourself. If feasible, try the product or service personally. It always makes for a better sale if you can give personal testimony to the offer. Try testing its popularity by checking the 'keywords' at Overture, http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/. By typing the words you think a person interested in your product or service would use when searching, you can see how many people have actually searched for it.
"How Do I Promote It?"
1) List your company (being sure to use your affiliate link) in free classifieds. Again, these are easily found in the search engines. Try for 20 and keep adding on.
2) Determine who your market is?business people? Mothers? Car enthusiasts? Or those interested in health and fitness? Look for forums (public chat areas) or sites that cater to these individuals. Forums are great for connecting with people and building rapport, but be very cautious. Read some of the posts before making one of your own. In many cases there are strict rules about advertising, and you should respect that. View it as a social gathering and keep it light. This is where a personal recommendation would go over much better.
3) Write an article about the topic. A brief article 500-1000 words is perfect. Avoid advertising too blatantly. Some ezine (Electionic Magazine) submission directories will not allow articles that are too obvious. Creating a 'How To' or '10 Ways to?' would be a good way to start. You can then either incorporate your affiliate link in the article, or more likely, at the end when you create your author's credits. Submit your article to ezine directories (try for at least 50). For more information on writing ezines go to http://affiliate-start.com/ezine1.htm.
4) Join a traffic exchange program like TrafficSwarm. You can join for free and create a classified style add with a link to your site. By clicking other people's links you will collect points. Your points will mean your ad is being shown to others in the program who will view it. To see how it works go to http://www.trafficswarm.com/go.cgi?287887.
5) Search for newsletters catering to your market (see #2). Search for "business newsletter" etc. Subscribe to several and if you feel they are appropriate, contact them offering either your article for their use, or to check out the process for advertising in their newsletter. This method can reach thousands of people that have enough interest to subscribe and read a newsletter about that topic.
"A Word To the Wise"
Be very careful to avoid 'spamming'. This means advertising to individuals through their email when they have not given permission. This includes email 'blasting' and safelists. This can potentially include newsletters too, so verify their methods of getting subscribers before advertising.
"Enjoy Your Success"
If you follow these five steps, you should be certain to draw a handsome commission from your chosen program. We wish you success!
Cyprian and Shannon Emmanuel run several online business and share valuable tips and recommendations on starting a home business at http://www.Affiliate-Start.com.
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