How to succeed as an Affiliate on the Net
Author: Harvey Segal
What is an Affiliate ?
When a company has a product or a service that they wish to sell they will often enlist 'affiliates' to do the job of finding customers for them. You may know an affiliate by another name, for example: agent, reseller, associate, communicator.
Once the affiliate has managed to get the customer to make an order his job ends. The whole process of handling the order, the collection of payment, the shipping of goods, is done by the company (or distributor).
Who benefits ?
This is a tremendous arrangement for both sides. The distributor simply waits for orders to arrive and has no involvement in the marketing phase. The affiliate simply gets a customer, for example, to visit a web site and takes no further part. Commission is paid to the affiliate on the value of orders made.
It is the power of the Internet with the possibility of cheap or free advertising for a vast audience which makes reselling such an outstanding business opportunity. And if you have your own website, where you have the luxury of posting your own ads for free, then you have an effortless income-producing system.
Two things which make reselling even more exciting
- If the product can earn you residual income, for example a monthly commission all the while that the customer continues to renew it.
- If you can recruit your own affiliates and collect commission either for each affiliate or for the products that they sell
What should you look out for ?
Here are some rules for checking out affiliate opportunities:
#1 The company
First, there would be no point in generating massive commission on 'paper' only to find that the company are unreliable, don't pay up on time, or eventually fold. Test out the company first.
Make an inquiry as if you were a potential customer. Study the quality of their reply and of their literature or website. How quickly do they respond ? If their customer service is poor this does not give much hope for the way they will handle their affiliates. Are they an ethical company, what guarantees do they provide for refunds ?
#2 The product
- Is the product an item which is in good demand ?
- What is the rate of commission ?
These two factors will determine your potential earnings. As a guide commission should range from 25 to 50%.
#3 Assistance with promotion
Does the company provide advertising material for their affiliates ? In particular do they provide a personalised web site ?
#4 The cost
What is the cost of becoming an affiliate ?
This can vary from
- completely free
- paying an initial one off payment
- paying a monthly subscription
You don't have to be deterred by affiliate opportunities where payment is involved. These may offer greater benefits such as advanced promotion techniques and commission which will quickly outweigh the payments.
For example $30 per month may seem a high figure but if you regard it as one dollar a day to have the company's products displayed 24 hours a day to the whole world on your own personalised web site it could be viewed as the bargain of the century.
Can anyone become an affiliate ?
Affiliate opportunities are ideal for both experienced online marketeers and for newcomers to the Internet. Here's why:
#1 Experienced online marketeers
If you have an established web site the minimum that you need to do is post an ad on your own site. And there's no need to stop at one product.
Providing that you don't overload your web site with ads you could have many - and you can monitor how they perform so that you can judge which ones to give prominence to.
One of the first and most important skills you will need to use for any online business is how to place adverts.
Here are some of the things that you start to learn when you submit ads:
The various locations where you can place an ad such as newsgroups, forums, ezines, web sites: and the different rules and methods used for each one such as frequency of posting and size of ads.
- How to post information to a mailing list or newsgroup for free but using a signature file to promote your products.
- How to code your adverts so that you can identify where the response originates.
- How to organise your mail files to handle responses.
- How to simplify your own systems so that you have standard replies to common questions.
- How to set up autoresponders if necessary to take away the chore of responding manually.
- How to deal with the unexpected (for example, even though you may clearly spell out in your ad that a reply should be made to an autoresponder many people will still reply directly to you).
By taking on an affiliate operation you have an ideal opportunity to practise these methods. This will provide the experience for whatever online venture you plan as well as an excellent source of additional income.
Don't miss Harvey's FREE book
Guru Magic: the Internet marketing book with a UNIQUE twist. And there's more great articles, ideas and tips at the SuperTips website http://www.supertips.com