Affiliate Programs : Golden Opportunity or Waste of Time?


Now that the idea of doing business over the internet has been firmly established, many potential internet businessmen are searching for the best way to do business. Usually the choice comes down to whether you want to set up your own business and online store, or sign up for an affiliate program.

First of all, let's define what we mean by an affiliate program. An affiliate program is basically an internet business set up by someone else. They could be selling physical goods, education, information or any other products that can be sold online. By signing up as their affiliate, you are helping them promote their business or store. In return, they will pay you a commission for each sale you bring them. The amount of commission varies between different affiliate programs. Examples of affiliate programs include Amazon.com and Wordtracker.

1) EARNINGS

So how does an affiliate program differ from starting your own online store? Let's start by looking at the potential earnings. (After all, the main reason everyone wants to start an internet business is for the money). When you sign up for an affiliate program, you will be paid a commission for each sale you refer to the online store. This commission can range from 5% to 15% for physical products, and possibly up to 50% or more for virtual products such as subscriptions and ebooks.

On the other hand, if you start your own store, your profit can be much higher. For virtual products, your profit can be 100% of your selling price. After all, once the newsletter or ebook is created, you do not need to spend any more effort. When someone buys your ebook, they just download it from your website. If you are selling a physical product, your profit depends on whether you are manufacturing the product yourself, or buying from a wholesaler or dropshipping company. Your profit in this case could easily be more than 40% or 50%.

So, if you only consider the potential earnings, starting your own business is more lucrative than joining an affiliate program.

2) LOGISTICS

However, money isn't everything (Or so they say). When you are starting your own internet business, there are a number of logistic issues you need to look at. Here are a few things you would need to take care of:

a) Create your website

b) Design your product (if you are selling new products)

c) Create your product (if you are selling new physical products, or any virtual products)

d) Set up an online store

e) Set up a merchant account or payment gateway

f) Set up a warehouse or storage space (if you are selling physical products)

g) Have procedures and staff ready to fulfill orders

h) Set up an affiliate program to get others to market the products for you

i) Monitor for fraud

j) Monitor stock levels

As they say, "No pain, no gain". Having your own store pays very well, but requires a substantial time investment from you.

On the other hand, if you sign up for an affiliate program, all you need to do is set up a website to promote the program. All the ads, banners, marketing text etc will be provided to you by the affiliate program. Your only responsibilities would be to get people to visit your website, and hopefully click on the affiliate links to buy the products that you are promoting.

3) CONVERSION

Whether you have your own business or are promoting an affiliate program, the bottom line is the conversion rate, or the percentage of visitors that actually buy something from you. A number of factors influence this conversion rate. Factors as quality of the product, quality of the website, customer support are all important. However, I personally believe that the most important factor is trust.

When a potential customer arrives at your website, he will need to trust your site enough for him to be willing to buy from you. After all, on the internet you are just a faceless salesman. He doesn't know who is actually running the site and whether he will actually get the goods that he orders.

Having said that, one of the key methods of garnering trust is by recommendation and referral. If a store is being referred to or recommended by another website, the potential customer will feel that the store is trustworthy. After all, if the store is not trustworthy, why would the other website recommend it?

This is where affiliate programs shine. When you refer a potential customer to the store for which you are an affiliate, the customer will feel more relieved, since the store is being recommended by your site, a 3rd party. The customer will be more likely to buy from the store, benefiting both the store, and you as well.

There are both pros and cons to joining an affiliate program. You might earn less with an affiliate program compared to starting your own store, but I believe the benefits of not having to be responsible for the logistics makes affiliate programs are very viable "passive" source of income.

Steven is the webmaster of www.onlinebiz-help.com">http://www.onlinebiz-help.com - Your Guide To Internet Business. His website contains various resources on affiliate programs and internet marketing advice to help you succeed in your internet business.


MORE RESOURCES:
Retail Sales 160 in June performed much better than expected with results posted ahead of today s opening bell 0 4 on the headline above the 0 1 expected Stripping out auto sales this number stays 0 4 and ex autos amp gas it balloons up to 0 7 The control number was also 0

The opening salvo on busy season for Q2 earnings reports was supplied by 160 Citigroup 160 C which outperformed expectations on both top and bottom lines during today s pre market hours Earnings of 1 95 per share easily beat the 1 80 expected and the 1 62 in the year ago

Overview:    The new record highs in US equities ahead of the weekend coupled with Chinese data that suggested the economy was gaining some traction as Q2 wound down is helping underpin risk appetites to start the week.  Japanese markets were closed today, but equities were mostly firmer in the Asia Pacific regions,

For months, our interpretation of JOLTS (BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) has been that employment growth will be slowing. JOLTS again this past week continues to reaffirm the slowing growth forecasts. The graph below shows the general correlation between nonfarm payrolls (red line) and JOLTS (blue

Following a fresh read on June s Consumer Price Index CPI yesterday morning today we see the other side of the coin 160 Producer Price Index PPI also for June and it also came out slightly ahead of expectations 0 1 growth on the headline compared with 0 1 expected and in

Earnings season is just beginning as companies release their results for Q2 2019, and that will come as a relief for many market watchers. After a few months of trying to read the minds of the Fed and following the Presidential Twitter feed, it will be nice to get back to more mundane, measurable things like

Yesterday following a 100 likelihood in the Federal Reserve deciding to cut interest rates at the end of this month Fed Chair Jay Powell did nothing to dispel this notion In fact to the extent there is a debate at all on this subject it s whether the Fed will decide to cut by 25 basis

In 160 today s pre market we look forward to a public speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell Discussions will include most prominently whether or not the interest rate cut baked into the stock market currently at a 100 chance is warranted or if there if some idea the Fed Chair

In another day of the pre market without any major economic data we look forward to tomorrow s testimony from Fed Chair Jay Powell on the state of the U S economy Three Fed members Bullard Quarles and Bostic will also be making speeches later today PepsiCo 160 PEP 160 got an

The Turkish president is getting desperate. Not only does he have a rival for the first time in many years after his party lost elections in Istanbul, but the Central Bank has been trying to operate independently, as it should--but Erdogan isn’t having that.   On Saturday, Erdogan fired the country’s central bank

Normally, in a week that includes Congressional testimony by that Fed chair, the event would be all-consuming for market watchers and participants, and the focus would be entirely on any hints regarding policy. America, however, gave up on “normal” on January 20, 2017, so while Jay Powell’s appearance on the hill

Following a better than expected jobs number from the Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS on Friday when many traders were extending their Independence Day holidays futures are down in today s pre market likely the result of delayed trading reaction to the BLS survey The reason for this

Marshall Gittler, Investment Strategy Consultant, BDSwiss.group The other day  I wrote an article here about the appointment of Christine Lagarde as the new ECB President. I concluded that her appointment “ should be seen as a small negative for the price of the euro, but a positive for its long-term future.”

A strong U.S. economy and monetary easing from the Fed — is that too much to ask? That’s precisely what investors demand. But will the Fed oblige ? Should they? If gauging by the fed funds futures market, traders are betting on a 93% chance that the Fed will cut interest rates by a quarter-point when it meets

U.S. Treasury revenue growth has continued to accelerate. What portion of this revenue is due to import duties? The graph below shows that the rolling averages (red line) for U.S. Government tax revenues are at a three year high. Year-over-Year Change in US Government Receipts - Monthly (blue line) and Three

Alopa.com ©