All About Affiliate Programs – How They Work, And How to Start Your Own

An affiliate program is an arrangement where someone other than the owner or creator of a product sells a product on her website or blog, for a commission. Visit most any blog and you will see buttons and links to different products, membership groups, and eBooks. More than likely, the blog owner is participating in more than one affiliate program. Most affiliate programs are free to join. You simply sign up through the website that sells the product, and place a button or link on your website or blog. You can write blog posts and articles and include the link to the affiliate program or you can include the link in your signature on your emails, forums, and groups.

Affiliate programs are an easy way to earn passive income, but you must continue to put your links in front of people, or drive traffic to your site to get the clicks. Do not expect to put a button on your site and watch the money come rolling in. But, the good news is that you are probably doing this anyway for other reasons such as Google Adsense, or to sell your own product. You must constantly promote an affiliate program to make sales.

The best strategy for success with affiliate programs is to add those that relate or correspond with your website or blog. For example, let's say Melanie sells handmade, personalized baby blankets on her website. She also has a blog about baby and infant care. Melanie will want to participate in affiliate programs that relate to babies, mothers, child care, etc. She may choose an affiliate program for nursing products, baby food, eBooks about infant care, or other types of personalized baby items. Melanie probably will not make many sales by participating in an affiliate program for accounting software.

Now that you know what an affiliate program is all about, let's talk about starting one that will benefit you as a seller or owner of a product. I started an affiliate program for my eBook, The Stay-at-Home Mom's Guide to Successful eBay Selling. Participants who refer customers to my website that buy the eBook earn a $ 4 commission. When a participant makes a sale through a visitor clicking the link, her payment is automatically transferred via Paypal. The payments are automated and I do not have to do anything except watch by eBook sales.

Now you're thinking, why would I want to go to all the trouble to set up an affiliate program, just to share the profit with other people? I've got two words for you – FREE MARKETING. An affiliate program encourages participants to add your link or button to their website- especially if they can participate for free with no registration or participation costs. With each person who signs up for your affiliate program, you are extending your reach to new potential customers that you would not otherwise have access to. I see my affiliate programs pop up all the time on websites, blogs, and eBay About Me pages. Other people are spreading the word about my products for free. What could be easier?

Even if the affiliates do not make many sales, you are getting your product in front of many more visitors than you could buy driving that same traffic to your blog or website yourself. Also, consider the repetition factor. Let's say I have 100 people participating in my eBook affiliate program. Visitors may see my button in multiple places and begin to recognize it. Advertising wisdom states that a consumer must see an ad for a product 13 times before taking action. Having an affiliate program gives you brand identity, and recognition. Finally, let's say those 100 participants in my affiliate program refer others to join. I can exponentially increase my reach as the program grows, and grows, and grows over time.

Learn more about internet marketing, blogging, and home business by joining my Facebook group, Moms in Business . You can also join my affiliate program by visiting eBay Selling Coach [http://www.ebaysellingcoach.com/affiliates.html].

Source by Suzanne Arant-Wells

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