We have been discussing affiliate programs in the forum this week and although I have spoken about this type of marketing in the past, I just wanted to touch on it again….
I am sure you are all aware but just in case, affiliate programs allow you to refer visitors/subscribers/customers to someone else’s website and if your referrals purchase anything, you get a commission. For digital products, this can be as much as 75% of the purchase cost!
Used correctly, affiliate programs can be extremely lucrative. Used incorrectly, they will earn you absolutely nothing. I should also add that you don’t even need a website to promote affiliate products so they are incredibly flexible. The following tips will help you to use affiliate programs wisely and hopefully, in a way that earns you some money.
If you plan on placing affiliate links on your website (or in your newsletter), you should only link to products that are relevant to your own content. It is a complete waste of time linking to irrelvant products just because they pay a high affiliate commission.
Always try and review the products that you link to before making any sort of recommendation – if the product sucks then this will reflect on you.
Don’t expect each affiliate link to earn you a fortune within a few weeks. Some affiliate programs won’t make you any money at all and it is just a case of testing to see which ones work and which ones don’t. Instead of taking the view that you want one program to earn you a thousand dollars a month, aim a little lower – maybe $50 or $100 – but work with several programs. To illustrate this point, I promote a number of affiliate programs and each one earns me between $150 and $1000 a month. Most of the commission payments I receive are for less than $300 a month BUT I receive lots of them. Last month, these ‘small’ amount added up to over $3,000!!
The beauty of affiliate programs is that you don’t have to deal with customer enquiries, payment collection, delivery, complaints or any of the administration tasks that go with selling a product – the product owner does all of this for you. Your role is simply to direct traffic to the appropriate site (sure, this is not always an easy thing to do but it does mean that this is the only thing you need to concentrate on).
Ok, so what if you don’t have a website?
No problem! There are numerous ways of advertising your chosen affiliate program without the need for a website or newsletter. For example, it is quite common to set up a pay-per-click advertising campaign with a company such as Google Adwords which links directly through your affiliate link to the main product website. The visitors never even pass through your website and as long as you are earning more in affiliate commissions than you are spending in PPC fees, then this really is money for nothing.
From a personal point of view, I have been using affiliate programs to earn money for some time now and I have recently built several small websites specifically to promote affiliate products of one sort or another. I am not looking for these sites to make me huge profits – just a couple of hundred dollars a month each. But remember, this is a couple of hundred dollars EVERY month for doing NOTHING (once the initial site is set up).
There are so many advantages to promoting affiliate products, not least the fact that you don’t need to create your own product in the first place and there are considerable financial rewards if you get it right.