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Companies or individuals
that have a product or a service that they would like to sell
on the internet quite often do so through the use of associate/affiliate
programs. These programs rely on resellers also known as affiliates
to do the job of finding customers for them.
The affiliate acts as a referral
agent and directs the customers to the merchant from their web
site or from other forms of advertising. The whole process of
handling the order, the collection of payment, and the shipping
of goods, is done by the merchant.
This type of arrangement
benefits both the affiliate and the merchant. The affiliate is
paid a commission based on the value of orders made by the customers
that were referred by them to the merchants web site. The merchant
benefits because the affiliate does most of the marketing while
the merchant simply processes the orders.
The Internet provides cheap
or free advertising to a global audience providing both the merchant
and the affiliate a "Golden Opportunity" not otherwise
Anyone that owns a computer
and has access to the internet can become an affiliate. If you
own your own website, you already have a place for the posting
of your own ads for free. If you don't own one yet there are
plenty of ways to obtain one. Some programs go as far as to create a website
for you so that virtually anyone can have the opportunity to
cash in on these income-producing programs.
When choosing Associate Programs
there are several things to consider.
1. First and foremost if
you already own a site choose programs that will compliment your
site. In other words you need to target your audience. For example,
if your site is a sports related site an associate program for
a merchant that sells pet supplies probably wouldn't generate
much income, where as providing a merchant that sells sporting
goods would fit very well.
2. What kind of commission
does the program offer? Commissions for sales should be at least
10% with some programs paying in excess of 50%. Products that
provide residual income, in other words a monthly commission
from renewals, are great income producers that continue to increase
your revenues from month to month as your number of active accounts
Why and what are they?
3. Check out the company first. Send them an email inquiry and
see how quickly they respond. A quality site should be responsive
to any and all inquiries. If it takes more than a day or two
for them to get back to you chances are they are less than reputable.
You should also check to see how ethical the company is. Do they
offer their customers any guarantees along with refunds?
4. Does it cost anything
to become an affiliate? My general rule of thumb is to avoid
those that do but there are a few exceptions. Most programs are
totally free while some charge a one time set up fee and then
there are the ones that charge a monthly fee. Whether you should
pay a fee mainly depends on what you are getting in return.
There are hundreds of associate
programs so you can be selective when choosing which ones to
promote. Use the criteria above when the time comes to choose
your associate programs. It can be tempting to place a large
number of programs on your site but quite often you end up overloading
it and are unable to properly promote all of them or any of them.
Quality is more important than quantity!
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