How to pick the best possible affiliate program for your type of website.
You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated. --begin article-- Affiliate programs guide. Joel De Gan, 2003
PICK THE RIGHT AFFILIATE PROGRAM.
Picking the right affiiliate program for your web site is essential if you want to generate any revenue from it. There are a wide assortment of affiliate programs to choose from and weeding through ones is tedious work which requires filling out a lot of forms and reviewing the pro's and con's of each program and if it would be of value to you and your visitors.
THE AFFILIATE PROGRAM HAS TO MATCH YOUR SITE.
That sentence sums it all up for me. If you are running a website doing movie reviews and your affiliate program banners are advertising baby products or health care you seriously need to rethink changing your affiliate program to one which better suits your target audience. For our example here, the movie review site, you might be better off with a movie-poster ad campaign, or perhaps even DVD's. Try to stick as close to your subject matter as possible.
READ THE FINE PRINT.
Some lesser know affiliate programs can discontinue your affiliation for no reason at any time. Some bind you into only displaying their advertising and disallow you to place them in rotation with other programs. Know what you are getting yourself into and what you are signing away.
WOULD YOU PURCHASE THE PRODUCTS YOU ARE ADVERTISING?
This question I have often found myself asking when choosing which advertising to place. I have found that I look for affiliations with sites I already use or feel is something I would like to see. This gives you a better spin when shifting users offsite to your advertisers site. You can recommend products or services which you have personal experience with, thus gaining confidence from your website users.
MONITOR YOUR PROGRAM.
Watch your affiliate program closely, try to check it once a day to see if they have added anything new. I have found that just by simply changing a banner ad the clicks have doubled for a period of several days. Your users notice things that are new at your site. They gloss over things which they have seen many times and fail to notice them. Keeping fresh content keeps people coming back.
If your advertiser does not have regular content changes or new banner advertisments, email them and ask for fresh content.
DO NOT BE AFRAID TO CHANGE PROGRAMS.
If your affiliate program is not making you money, start looking for one that might. Select several and roate them through over a period of several weeks and compare which ones do the best, select the top two or three and rotate through them until you find the right program for your site.
ALWAYS REMEMBER TO "REMEMBER" YOUR ADVERTISER.
If you send out a mailing list, make sure that you include a link to your advertiser, if it is an HTML formatted mail then use banners at the top and the bottom. mention them at once "in text" on each page, even if it just a small "thank you" at the footer, this increases user familiarity with the product.
SOME IDEAS FOR PROMOTION.
If you have long articles on your site, have a mid-section break, creates "Fun facts" section in a quotebox and right below or to the side have a "This fun fact brought to you by ..." This increases user interactivity with the product and begins the association process. With each mailing you do, invite your users to check back on your site for a "special promotional offer" which includes a link to your advertiser to one of their latest promotions.
====================================================== Joel De Gan is a well know open source programmer and has run many websites He has a reviewed list of affiliate programs at his website http://listbid.com/affil/ which has user contributed comments and ratings for affiliate programs. ======================================================
About the Author
Joel De Gan is a prolific opensource programmer who has worked on a multitude of projects and is highly interested in search engine placement.