Affiliate marketing programs have sky-rocketed in popularity in the past few years. As one of the fastest and easiest ways to start an online home business people are jumping on this wave by the millions. Affiliate programs offer merchants the opportunity to employ vast armies of salespeople who get paid for the results they achieve.
The rewards for affiliates can be very good, and the skilled affiliate marketer can earn many thousands of dollars per month. This win-win situation has led to an explosion in the number of affiliate programs that are available to affiliate marketers.
With this growth of affiliate opportunities have come many questions, such as: how do you go about choosing the right affiliate program for you? What qualities should you look for in a program and which gives you a good chance of making a sustainable income? Below are some tips that will help you to evaluate affiliate programs, and help you to avoid wasting time and money.
What Commissions Does the Program Pay?
It is very important that you know how much you can expect to earn from a sale. There is no point in spending time and money promoting a product that pays very small commissions. You could end up spending more on marketing than you make on sales. It is probably best to stick with marketing products with a high commission value, unless you have found a niche market where you can sell vast quantities of product, and make substantial commissions on your volume of sales.
How Much Traffic is their Website Getting?
Try to discover the amount of traffic the affiliate owner’s website is already receiving. Alexa.com is a very useful tool for doing this research. If the website is ranked in the top 100,000, the merchant is getting a good volume of traffic, so it’s possible that there may already be too many affiliates. If it is ranked below 500,000 it may be no good, or it could be a golden opportunity to make some real money by becoming one of the first affiliates!
Always research a merchant’s product if their website has a low traffic ranking. It may be a good idea to buy the product yourself if you can afford it. Otherwise, you could do a search to find out if there are any negative reviews about it on the internet. Be careful who you listen to though because many people are in the habit of bashing affiliate programs with nothing to really support their comments. If you find a large number of negative reviews with little positive ones then it would probably be a good idea to stay away from that affiliate program.
How Often Are Affiliate Commissions Paid?
Some affiliate programs pay commissions every week; some once a month, others only pay every quarter. It is important that you know how often you can expect a paycheck if you are going to have financial control over your business. Do you have the financial resources to continue to market a product if you have to wait a long time before you get paid? It would also be wise to find out the minimum commission that you have to earn before you get paid.
Does The Affiliate Program Use Tracking Cookies?
Does the Affiliate Program Pay on Subsequent Sales?
Some programs will only pay commission on sales that come through customers visiting their site via a direct link from your site. They pay you nothing for any subsequent purchases that the customer makes if they visit the merchant's site directly. It is important that you get paid no matter what route the customer returns by if you are to build a sustainable affiliate business.
What Marketing Resources Does the Affiliate Program Offer?
Look at the type and quality of the marketing resources that they provide. Do they provide articles, advertisements, or other content that you can use to put on your site? Do they provide free guides, special offers, free viral e-books, or product samples that you can send to your list? If the marketing material they provide is good then it is likely that the business will provide good support for their affiliates.
Finding the right affiliate program for you can be tough to do. The best advice is to do your own research, follow the advice above, and listen to your instincts. Use the above questions as an aid to finding an affiliate program that enables you to reach your financial goals. You never know… You might just strike affiliate marketing gold!