Working With Affiliate Programs
by Jude Wright (c) 2004
Everywhere you look you see affiliate program offers for
every product or service that you can think of. Some have
fully automated systems that sell high volumes of hard
products all over the world. In case you don't know, "hard"
products are those that you can touch...unlike an ebook or
downloadable web template. Many affiliate programs have
several thousand affiliates and one or two of the bigger
companies have over one million affiliates.
What are the advantages of joining an affiliate program?
They provide a ready-made business. This is a very big plus
for those people who want to earn some kind of living off
the Internet but lack the knowledge or inclination to set up
a business by themselves.
Commissions and rewards are generally good, and the more
established programs offer a real chance of advancement to
higher and better-paid levels.
Other affiliates are usually on hand to offer practical
What are the limitations?
You are restricted in your promotional activities due to the
fact that you do not actually own the affiliate site they
give you. You won't be able to put such things as banners,
images, links, meta tags, etc. onto your page.
The URL of your affiliate page is often either too long or
contains such awkward things as question marks, which many
Search Engines will not index.
Any promotional ads or articles have probably already been
used by thousands of other people and consequently may have
lost its impact, making it more difficult to achieve sales
If the program you have joined has not yet established
itself (or in some cases even if it has), then you may
encounter problems with payments owed to you not being
honored. You also run the risk of low quality products or
sub-standard statistics that do not accurately record how
many referrals or sales you have made.
You may be required to purchase a minimum quantity of the
product on a regular basis before you start to qualify for
commissions or even before you can become an affiliate.
You may not get the technical or affiliate support you might
expect from the company. This may be due to inadequate
staffing, or the company's negligence.
Other people in your downline do nothing to promote the
At least four of the above limitations can be overcome with
a little time and effort. You could, for example, come up
with fresher ads to promote the program (provided this is
If the company supplies the email addresses of people in
your downline, then you could offer to help the less active
members. Very often these people are passive not because
they are lazy or apathetic but merely because they don't
know HOW to promote effectively! your guidance could mean
the difference between no sales or referrals and healthy
downlines and residual incomes.
As regards promoting your actual page, here are a couple of
little tricks that should overcome a number of
Cloak your Affiliate URL to stop hijackers Affiliate Masker
While this will not help you to get listed on the major
Search Engines, it will make your web page easier for
prospects to remember and type into their browser's address
Go to your affiliate page. Place your mouse pointer anywhere
on the page and right click once. In the drop-down box
choose "View Source". This will display the HTML for the
page. Save this to your hard drive as a HTML document using
the "Save As" function. Upload the page to your web site.
If you don't have a web site then get some free web space
from one of these:
Submit your 'new' page to the Search Engines. You are also
now able to place banner codes, links, images, testimonials,
in fact anything you want onto these pages, because you are
in control of the HTML. A word of caution, though. Don't
change the actual HTML of your original affiliate page. Just
put the other stuff, like banners etc, around it.
Making this "mirror page" of your affiliate page will
dramatically improve your advertising options.
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