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Affiliate programs have become very popular because of their potential to generate substantial, and even lavish, income in a relatively short period with little investment cost. Their fame has become so big that they are being credited as one of the main reasons for the resurrection of the online business community after the dotcom bubble burst.
But what are affiliate programs? Simply put, affiliate programs, or associate programs as they are called in some circles, are web merchants who pay other websites a commission for either of two things or both:
When the affiliate website generate traffic for the web merchant;
B. When the affiliate website helps sell a product offered by the web merchant.
Now, why is such a set-up with affiliate programs a lucrative option? Well, first, all you really need is an online presence, i.e. a website, and some selling skills. You don't have to pay anything at all. Second, there is no limit as to how many affiliate programs you could join, and there is definitely no maximum cap for how much you could earn. Third, when everything is set, a semi-automated process will be in place that would allow you to potentially earn even if you're busy with other things.
But despite all these favorable things that can be said about affiliate programs, not that many people have decided to take the plunge. Their hesitation most probably stem from the customary notion that nothing enormously profitable can be gained with little work. Also, they may be of the belief that affiliated programs are too complicated to understand.
They're wrong on both counts, and you could use this to your advantage by joining affiliate programs while the industry isn't that saturated yet. Hereunder is an overview on how to start a relationship with an affiliate program, and how to make the most out of it. It is presented a la a cookbook recipe to let you know how easy it is to master.
THE 20 MINUTE AFFILIATE PROGRAM RECIPE
1 or more web merchants who offer good commission schemes
1 or more sellable products
1 or more websites where you could promote your affiliates
1 web builder program (i.e. Frontpage, Dreamweaver, or even MS Word)
1 payment method plan (i.e. Paypal, Stormpay, etc.)
some writing skills
1 software that could convert files to .pdf format
1 or more membership in online forums
DIRECTIONS: Find a good and reliable web merchant who offers products you are impressed with. Remember, you cannot sell, or re-sell to be more exact, a product you don't believe in. You also have to consider if the said goods are sellable. You could determine this by conducting some research on the target market. Here's a tip though: anything is marketable on the web, if you have the time, the patience, and the willingness to seek out potential customers.
Once you have chosen a web merchant, you have to study the terms of the affiliate program he offers. Important things to consider are the modes of payment and the commission percentage. Make sure that the web merchant would be able to pay you through the payment method you have availed of. The commission scheme must likewise be favorable to you. Here's another tip: for sales, do not settle for less than 20% commission.
If all is to your satisfaction, sign up.
You will then be given a link that, when clicked pursuant to a sale or a hit, would inform your web merchant's system that you are eligible for a commission. Do not lose this link, as it would be your bread and butter for affiliate programs.
Now, all you have to do is to strategically place this link on your website. Additionally, you must make a sales pitch to your visitors so that they'll consider clicking on the said link. This can be done by discussing something noteworthy, say for example, a how-to guide on recovering lost data, and in the body of your article, you could suggest your readers to try a certain product like a backup system, who'se link is provided therein. Also, you could make a sales page, which is basically a page dedicated to the product you're trying to resell, and which can be accessed from your site.
As an added option, you could also make your own e-book and distribute it for free. The e-book itself should tackle something important, but should contain suggestions about the use of the product you're reselling, with the appropriate link that would garner for you your commission. Also, you could join online forums that are dedicated to the market that the product would be perfect for. Include your link in your signature. This would expose it to the people who would view the threads you participated in.
© 2005 Gunnar Berglund
Gunnar Berglund has been a "internet- hardworker" for the last five years He publishes The meonit Gazette http://gazette.meonit.com and run http://www.meonit.com and http://www.grabinternetprofits.com
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