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7 secrets of affiliate programs

Posted Tuesday, March 11, 2003

1. Sell One Thing and Sell it Well
Web flea markets don't work for the most part. The Web is a virtually free publishing medium that allows people to offer anything quickly and easily.

So many Web Sites try to offer everything under the sun; this approach is confusing and has never proven to be a good basis to sell. Focus on a few products and sell them very well; then follow up to offer other products and services.

2. Get Good Profit Margins

http// is the leader in affiliate programs, which is surprising. They pay 5-15% per book. Books are often sold for less than $20.

At best, you are working for tips like a waiter, at $3.50 a pop. Unfortunately, if you do not have a busy restaurant,this deal will yield little or nothing.

Let's say you want to make $1,000 a month; you would have to sell 286 books to reach your goal. That is a huge volume.

Now compare that to a $50 book; your best case scenario becomes $7.50 a book. You now have to sell 133 books to reach your $1,000 goal.

Believe it or not, it takes the same effort to market the cheaper book as the more expensive one. Do your math and see which products sell the best, and remember to lead with an entry product that is not too expensive, and follow up with the more expensive products later, after you have built up the trust and name recognition needed for a more expensive purchase.

3. Don't just Display a Banner Ad and hope for the Best

Many affiliate programs put up banner ads; the visitor simply clicks on the banner ad and goes to the company's Web Site to make the buying decision. The problem with banner ads is that 1-2% of people will actually click on them; so if you generated 1,000 visitors in a month, only 10-20 will even click on the banner ad. If you even convert 5% of those to sales, you will make only one or two sales a month.

4. Use Content, Updates, and Keep your Site Consistent

Remember that you are selling a product or service; you are not just posting an advertisement at your Web Site. Use content to enhance what you are doing.

Give them a zillion choices and you confuse them. So keep updating your site, keep it consistent, and try to emulate the page that you will be linking to. If it changes, it tells the customer they are in a different retail space.

5. Target your Market

If you try to sell to everyone, you will sell to no one. It is that simple.

It is amazing how people do not target their market. They try to sell everything under the sun. Once again, it is the illusion of a volume business. If you think this will succeed, go down to your local retail store. Look at the small profit margins they have to deal with. Retail is a brutal game.

6. Market Your Site

The bottom line is that you will have to market the site and the offer. If you just put up a number of affiliate programs, hoping one will pull, you are taking the magic dust approach. It is like the lottery; you may win, but the odds are against you. Take the responsibility to market and promote your offers; find out where the customers are and drive them to the site.

7. Take Precautions to Make Sure you Get Your Share

Like any business, check out what is going on. Affiliate programs are simply your chance to resell other's products and services.

Are you just generating leads for someone else? I have seen affiliate programs that have no intention of paying you for what they are selling. One client had to wait six months after making tremendous sales for a company to simply get paid his commission.

Make sure you get paid for what you sell. Often this means waiting 30 days for a monthly check. Sometimes it means quarterly payments, like does.


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