An Honest And Complete Guide to Affiliate Income

Online Affiliate Marketing Program

There are so many affiliate programs to choose from. So, where do you start then?

Do some research and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have to. You will be investing time and money in these programs by building your affiliate business around them, so you want to make sure they are good merchants with good
business practices selling quality products. An online affiliate marketing program is almost always free. With so much competition out there for affiliate marketers, merchants have begun to offer better support, improved tools and better commissions. However, these are all secondary to a quality product. You won’t make any money if the buyers are always asking for a refund.

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You might want to figure out how and when they issue commission checks. Some only deal with Paypal, so you’ll want to make sure that you have an account with Paypal. Some issue only checks, and some issue only check every quarter (yes, that’s every 3 months!). Most affiliate programs have a minimum payout threshold, normally $100; so, you’ll have to earn more than $100 with that program to receive a payment.

Another important consideration with any online affiliate marketing program is the quality of the sales/landing page of the merchant. Some are written extremely well, while others are terribly poor. This can normally be determined by figuring out what their conversion rate is. A conversion rate, also known as a hit per sale ratio, should be well above 1% - the higher the better. If the conversion rate is 3%, that means that for every 100 people you send to the sales page, 3 will buy.

You will also want to determine how referrals are tracked and how long your cookie will remain on the system for each referral. Your cookie is the bit of information left on someone’s computer when they click on your affiliate link. This will ensure that should the individual return to the site at a later date, you will receive the commission you are due. A normal time frame for this is 90 days – the higher the better.

Stats are always good. The can help you to stop doing what’s not working and continue to do what is working (and likely increase that effort). So, you want to have some pretty detailed stats offered in your affiliate programs back office and available to you upon login.

Does the merchant offer a two tier system? This can help to boost earnings. You would not only get paid for your direct referral, but a portion of all sales that come from individuals that you referred who then became affiliates and started making sales.

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Obviously, the higher the commission the better; there are merchants out there offering 75-90% commission on the sale price. Often commissions this high can indicate a fly-by-night operation or an unethical merchant looking to make a fast buck, but not always. A fair commission seems to be around 50 percent.

Lastly, is the commission recurring? This might be the most important consideration, aside from choosing an ethical merchant and quality products. With recurring commissions you will be paid every month. Normally, this is offered for monthly memberships or for monthly product shipments. Many merchants are beginning to offer monthly services, and by marketing these products you can make a buck by selling it and then make some more every month for as long as the buyer remains a member of the monthly service.

If you can ensure that the merchant fits the items mentioned above, you’ll ensure that you have a product with which you can make money.

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