No product... not even a product idea. What's a would-be
online entrepreneur to do?
For many beginners, affiliate programs seem like a dream
come true: earn a commission selling another company's
products or services. No need to create one of your own!
What's even better is that you only have to place a couple
of banners or links on your website, and this hot product
will sell itself! Right?
No. Just like with any other online business, earning money
from affiliate programs requires education and experience
with Internet marketing. Affiliate programs are a great
way to learn the basics of marketing online. Although it's
the rare person who makes a significant full-time income
from them, many people find that they provide an excellent
supplementary income stream.
Many newbies to the 'net are so eager to get started that
they sign up with every affiliate program that looks good
to them. They advertise like crazy, often spend hundreds
of dollars -- only to be disappointed at their complete
lack of sales.
So what does it take to make money with an affiliate
program? Here are a few key tips ...
__Make Smart Choices.
To get started, choose only one or two high-quality
programs that are a good fit with your website audience.
For example, if you're running a crafts website, don't
advertise technical software.
One or two programs will provide you with plenty of work
to begin with. More than that and you may find yourself
frantically trying to promote too many and having little
success. It's better to start earning money with a
couple of good programs first, then gradually add
additional income streams later on.
You may also find, over time, that your audience responds
to a certain type of product and not to others. Test
different offers to see which ones your audience like
__Don't Rely on Your Downline.
2-tier affiliate programs offer additional commissions
everytime someone in your 'downline' makes a sale. Your
'downline' are those people you refer to the program who
also become affiliates.
Don't become obssessed about recruiting subaffiliates.
Remember that you can only control your own efforts;
you can't control what other people do. Concentrate
on making your own sales... and if your subaffiliates
make sales too, consider it a nice bonus!
__Hard Work, Determination, and a Willingness to Learn
Don't let anyone tell you different: Internet marketing
is hard work. It does *not* consist of slapping up a
few banners, blasting out a few ads, or - heaven forbid
- spamming millions of people.
You'll need the determination to keep you going through
the 'tough' periods. People tend to expect instant
results on the Internet. Unless you're a marketing
genius or already have a targeted, high-traffic site,
chances are you won't see immediate results. Keep in
mind that everyone's different - some people will see
profits in a few weeks, others in a few months.
__Experimentation and Adaptability
One day, after plenty of hard work, you may finally see
the coveted 'You've made a sale!' notification. That's
wonderful! Now HOW and WHY did you make that sale?
Don't be afraid to experiment with different marketing
methods. If one thing doesn't work, try another. If
something works, keep using it or even try to improve
For all of this experimentation to be successful you must
track the results of each marketing campaign. This is the
only way to truly determine which methods are bringing in
profits, and which ones should be replaced with something
While it's true that most people never make money from
affiliate programs, it doesn't have to be true for you.
Only you can determine the outcome!
About the Author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical
guide to building an Internet business on a shoestring
budget. If you're tired of hype and just want solid,
down-to-earth information, then visit us today -- and in
moments you can have access to loads of instantly useable
tips, specifically chosen for beginners!
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