Affiliate is not a Dirty Word
It wasn't very long ago when the word "affiliate" left a bad taste in many a mouth. The reason was that the larger percent were Multi-Level-Marketing programs that had products or services of little value, but emphasized the way to the big bucks was in generating a downline. Reaching a large number of people without getting too involved was the pattern. It was referred to as the "some will, some won't, so what" approach. The gizmo, or product was not the object of your ads or your marketing.
Today, if you are new to the Internet and you want to start an online business but you don't have a product, a web site, or an idea of how to begin --- then listen up because things are not as bad as they used to be when we speak of "affiliates".
Begin by joining an already established company to start a small but steady income. Since most Affiliate programs are free to join, you need only read their Terms & Conditions (carefully), and agree to them. They will welcome you with open arms, give you a webpage with your own ID on it, and frequently offer you professionally worded ads that you can post, again mostly free.
Without spending a single dime, you are already in business. But let's put a speed-bump here to caution you in your "selection" of what you choose to attach your name to. You won't earn trust with a worthless product or a company that ignores customer complaints. So here we go!
Why do they "welcome you with open arms"? Because they too make a profit without spending a dime - you are their profit source, you will advertise their program or their product, and they will pay you in one of several ways for your efforts. Let's examine these ways:Pay per sale - either a set amount, or a percentage of each sale that you make.Pay per impression - if you have a high-traffic site (in our example, you do not), they will pay you a few cents for every visitor to that site that sees their banner or link.Pay per click - for every visitor that clicks on their banner or link, you are paid a bit higher than the "impression" rate.Pay per lead - this does not pay as much as a "sale", but by filling out a form, your visitor has given the program owner an email address. This is a valuable "lead", and they will pay you to gather them.
How much does the company pay their affiliates and is it a flat rate or percentage?
Another useful indicator to your future profits is the importance of "levels" or "tiers" any affiliate program provides. Some are two or three tiers, others may go up to ten. This means that if you refer another affiliate to their program, you will earn a commission on the sales that they make. Two tier is the minimum in order to make "residual income".
A replicated website, or duplicate website with your Identification on it, is vital. When someone buys the product from this webpage the program owner will know that you made the sale and where to send your money.
Hopefully, your choice of Programs will pay you a commission on all future purchases that your referrals make as well as a portion of their monthly payments that are collected from some sales. State-of-the-Art affiliate programs have well- tracked identifications of their affiliates. After all, you are their bread & butter.
The advantages of beginning with an Affiliate Program to generate your first few dollars online, are many but suffice to say you do not have to buy their product, and you don't have to ship them to any of your customers. Your full time attention need only directed at getting traffic, traffic, traffic to your replicated website.
Once you have made your selection, market the "product or service" for the purpose of a sale (and thus a commission) but tack on, almost as a PS, that "affiliate positions are lucrative". If the product or service they buy is praiseworthy, they will join as a free affiliate themselves. Now you have doubled your income with a single ad.
© 2004 Esther Smith
About The Author
Esther Smith is editor of Partners-For-Profit Newsletter and copywriter for The Permanent Venture. Each Issue of PFP addresses an important aspect of your struggles to perfect your Internet business.
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