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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 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.


Todays News by officejax surplus outletMORE AFFILIATE REVENUE RESOURCES updated Sun. May / 16 / 2021

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Bojoko urges fairness as report uncovers affiliate revenue share as low as 8%  iGaming Business

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Disney streaming growth slows in Q2  BroadcastProME.com

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Better Collective's revenue grows in Q1 as Atemi deal diversifies income  iGaming Business

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Wirecutter Debuts New Sections, Styles and Trends, to Capitalize on Ecommerce Boom  Adweek

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'Fight for health freedom': A look inside the affiliate marketing network cashing in on vaccine 'disinformation'  Stars and Stripes

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Fox sees Q3 profit gain despite sales dip after 2020 Super Bowl  New York Post

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RevGlue Radiates With The Promise And Power Of Passive Income  EIN News

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Alibaba Posts First Loss Since Going Public After Antitrust Fine  The Wall Street Journal

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ViacomCBS Adds 6M Global Streaming Subs in Quarter, Driven by Paramount+, to Reach 36M  Hollywood Reporter

How to Make Money Blogging - Small Business Trends
How to Make Money Blogging  Small Business Trends

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The New York Times Reports Strong Growth in Q1 2021  Subscription Insider

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Better Collective buys Action Network for $240 million in a bid  Awful Announcing

Why Mark Zuckerberg Wants Influencers To Get Rich - Forbes
Why Mark Zuckerberg Wants Influencers To Get Rich  Forbes

The Power of Optimising Your Affiliate Onboarding Process - PerformanceIN
The Power of Optimising Your Affiliate Onboarding Process  PerformanceIN

Fox News Expands Menu to Steel Itself for Cord-Cutting’s Bite - Variety
Fox News Expands Menu to Steel Itself for Cord-Cutting’s Bite  Variety

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HyreCar Inc. (HYRE) CEO Joe Furnari on Q1 2021 Results - Earnings Call Transcript  Seeking Alpha

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Fox: Greater Uncertainty Enters The Picture  Seeking Alpha

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Affiliate Channel Partner Program Market Projection By Key Players, Status, Grow  Fractovia News

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Paysafe’s Income Access Partners with kwiff for Launch of New Affiliate Programme  Gambling Insider - In-depth Analysis for the Gaming Industry

ViacomCBS Reports Q1 2021 Earnings Results | 2021-05-06 | Press Releases - Stockhouse
ViacomCBS Reports Q1 2021 Earnings Results | 2021-05-06 | Press Releases  Stockhouse

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Bojoko Asserts 'Contractual Security A Must' In Study On Fees Applied To Affiliates  Inkedin

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‘This is a disinformation industry’: Meet the media startups making big money on vaccine conspiracies  Fortune

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SK battery materials affiliate surges in Seoul market debut  Nikkei Asia

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Impact of covid-19 on Affiliate market Report to 2026 – Industry Demand  News By ReportsGO

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What Makes the Perfect Influencer Collaboration? | Video | BoF  The Business of Fashion

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CARS Reports First Quarter 2021 Results  PRNewswire

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‘We’ve barely scratched the surface’: How publishers are thinking about affiliate commerce in 2021  Digiday

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US Cable Network Affiliate Revenue Down For The First Time In Q2 08/19/2020  MediaPost Communications

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Publishers Look Beyond the Buy Button to Capitalize on Affiliate Revenue – Folio:  Folio Magazine

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Publishers and Commerce 2021 - Insider Intelligence Trends, Forecasts & Statistics  eMarketer

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Xavier University to add its first new varsity sport in the last 16 years  The Cincinnati Enquirer

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Using Affiliate Marketing to Increase Sales. How Does it Work?  Business 2 Community

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First Ever Affiliate Marketing Guide For Marketers Now Available  GlobeNewswire

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Hyundai Q1 profit triples, to adjust May auto production due to chip shortage  The Edge Markets MY

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Publishers love getting affiliate revenue from their reviews. So is it okay for Amazon to pay to get more of those reviews upfront?  Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

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Airbnb ends affiliate program as it ramps up host recruitment marketing campaign  CNBC

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Fox's revenue rises on advertising, affiliate fees  MarketWatch

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How Wired leveraged Cyber Week readers to increase subscription revenue  Digiday

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Do affiliate links undermine the marketing value of holiday gift guides? – RetailWire  RetailWire

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Affiliates, Amazon's Forgotten Marketing Channel  Marketplace Pulse

Publishers see higher traffic to commerce sections, but also face affiliate fee cuts - Digiday
Publishers see higher traffic to commerce sections, but also face affiliate fee cuts  Digiday

Affiliate marketing: How publishers earned in the pandemic - Press Gazette
Affiliate marketing: How publishers earned in the pandemic  Press Gazette

ViacomCBS's Q4 revenue rises to nearly $7 billion - MarketWatch
ViacomCBS's Q4 revenue rises to nearly $7 billion  MarketWatch

Amazon slashes commission rates for program that gives publishers a cut of sales - CNBC
Amazon slashes commission rates for program that gives publishers a cut of sales  CNBC

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How a new order of commerce is increasingly coming to the rescue for publishers with advertising challenges  Digiday

ViacomCBS Reaches 19.2 Million U.S. Paid Streaming Subs, Ad Revenue Grows - Hollywood Reporter
ViacomCBS Reaches 19.2 Million U.S. Paid Streaming Subs, Ad Revenue Grows  Hollywood Reporter

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BuzzFeed Starts Selling Products Directly to Consumers  The Wall Street Journal

ViacomCBS Reports Q3 2020 Earnings Results - Business Wire
ViacomCBS Reports Q3 2020 Earnings Results  Business Wire

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Beyond the boom and bust cycle: How The Sun grew and stabilized its e-commerce revenue haul  Digiday

ViacomCBS Reports Q4 and Full Year 2020 Earnings Results - Business Wire
ViacomCBS Reports Q4 and Full Year 2020 Earnings Results  Business Wire

We Are Living In An Affiliate World - Forbes
We Are Living In An Affiliate World  Forbes

How 2020 Will Shape Future Affiliate Growth - PerformanceIN
How 2020 Will Shape Future Affiliate Growth  PerformanceIN

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Better Collective Q3 revenue up as non-affiliate income offsets low margins  iGaming Business

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‘Marketing at maximum intensity’: Publishers ready for rocketing ad spending from streamers in 2021  Digiday

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As Amazon soars during the pandemic, publishers that rely on it now feel left behind  CNBC

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Fox Corp. Tops Wall Street Estimates, But Fiscal Q1 Revenue Rises Just 2% In Tough Climate  Deadline

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M&A activity leads to revenue and profit growth at Better Collective  iGaming Business

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How Affiliate Marketing Can Boost Your Tech Startup's Revenue  Forbes

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Spared for now, large publishers live in fear of Amazon commission cuts  Digiday

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The 25 Best Affiliate Marketing Companies in 2019  Small Business Trends

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The New York Times wants to test Wirecutter as a subscription product  Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

How businesses can use affiliate marketing to boost revenue generation - ZDNet
How businesses can use affiliate marketing to boost revenue generation  ZDNet

FOX Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2021 Revenues Of $2.72 Billion - PRNewswire
FOX Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2021 Revenues Of $2.72 Billion  PRNewswire

As Amazon Slashes Affiliate Referral Rates, Publishers Consider Alternatives - Forbes
As Amazon Slashes Affiliate Referral Rates, Publishers Consider Alternatives  Forbes

How Hearst UK’s e-commerce revenue grew 322% during the second quarter - Digiday
How Hearst UK’s e-commerce revenue grew 322% during the second quarter  Digiday

25 Ways To Earn $100 Every Day Online - Forbes
25 Ways To Earn $100 Every Day Online  Forbes

For Influencers, Affiliate Revenue Is Next to Disappear - The Business of Fashion
For Influencers, Affiliate Revenue Is Next to Disappear  The Business of Fashion

Connexity Buys Skimlinks, Adding An Affiliate Network To Its Retail Marketing Toolkit - AdExchanger
Connexity Buys Skimlinks, Adding An Affiliate Network To Its Retail Marketing Toolkit  AdExchanger

ViacomCBS Ad Revenue Falls 27 Percent, Film Profit Rises Helped by ‘Sonic’ Digital Release - Hollywood Reporter
ViacomCBS Ad Revenue Falls 27 Percent, Film Profit Rises Helped by ‘Sonic’ Digital Release  Hollywood Reporter

After Growing Commerce Sales by 67% Last Year, BuzzFeed Eyes a ‘Digital Shopping Mall’ - Adweek
After Growing Commerce Sales by 67% Last Year, BuzzFeed Eyes a ‘Digital Shopping Mall’  Adweek

ViacomCBS Gets Past Wall Street Q3 Estimates, But COVID-Hit Revenue Slips 9% - Deadline
ViacomCBS Gets Past Wall Street Q3 Estimates, But COVID-Hit Revenue Slips 9%  Deadline

Bookshop, a new startup, is offering publications bigger kickbacks than Amazon (and the thrill of battling Bezos) - Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard
Bookshop, a new startup, is offering publications bigger kickbacks than Amazon (and the thrill of battling Bezos)  Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

Betreels launches affiliate program with Paysafe’s Income Access - Yogonet International
Betreels launches affiliate program with Paysafe’s Income Access  Yogonet International

The True Cost to Consumers of Pay TV's Top Channels - Variety
The True Cost to Consumers of Pay TV's Top Channels  Variety

Amazon just provided a nice little reminder of why it's risky to build a journalism business on affiliate fees - Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard
Amazon just provided a nice little reminder of why it's risky to build a journalism business on affiliate fees  Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

Advertise Purple Launches Self-Serve Affiliate Marketing Tool - Martechcube
Advertise Purple Launches Self-Serve Affiliate Marketing Tool  Martechcube

J.Crew Pulled Its Affiliate Marketing Program, But It Could Backfire - Morning Brew
J.Crew Pulled Its Affiliate Marketing Program, But It Could Backfire  Morning Brew

FOX Reports Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2020 Net Income Of $145 Million, Earnings Per Share Of $0.20, Adjusted EBITDA Of $742 Million And Adjusted Earnings Per Share Of $0.62 - PRNewswire
FOX Reports Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2020 Net Income Of $145 Million, Earnings Per Share Of $0.20, Adjusted EBITDA Of $742 Million And Adjusted Earnings Per Share Of $0.62  PRNewswire

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From bidets to meat thermometers, how publishers’ commerce businesses adapt  Digiday

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DistroKid teams with Twitch to help indie artists earn money from live streams via Twitch Affiliate Program  Music Business Worldwide

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Fox Corp CEO endorses 'center right' strategy; company beats revenue expectations  Reuters

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Performance Marketers Appear To Be Willing Victims Of Fraud?  Forbes

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Shufti Pro launches affiliate program to expand biometric anti-fraud reach  Biometric Update

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