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Introduction to Affiliate Programs

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I’ve been working with affilate for the last few years. I dont consider myself an expert or anything, but I have been around the affiliate block a few times. Basically, an affilate program pays you if you advertise a company’s website / products and someone buys something through your link. It’s basically a commission program.

I mainly use Commission Junction for affiliate programs. There are basically 2 types of affiliate programs. One is where a company pays you a commission directly for selling only their product, such as Aaron Wall and his SEO BOOK. Aaron pays you $25 for every book sold through your link. The second is a company such as Commission Junction who handles the affiliate programs for a number of companies and products.

If you look on Commission Junction (after you sign up) you see there are literally hundreds of different affiliate programs available on topics ranging from shoes to travel. Liklihood is there is at least one program that fits your website niche. Basically it works like this. Once your a registered publisher on Commission Junction, you choose an affiliate program(s) that you like. You get the code for the ad banner (or text link) from CJ and place the banner on your website. If you have an automotive forum for example, you might choose affiliate programs for car parts companies. If you have a website that attracts mostly women, maybe an affiliate program for purses and clothing would be more appropriate for you.

But, it doesnt have to end with just placing a banner ad and waiting for the money to come to you. You can be more aggressive about it. One way, and this is especially true if you have a forum, is to send an email to your members suggesting they check out the site (via your affiliate link). This can be a very handy way to push sales. I dont mind this kind of email marketing on my forums because forum users have the option to disallow admin emails f they wish (and I dont violate that wish)

You can also do some adwords advertising to draw people to your affiliate program. First, you make a page on your website that helps sell the product (and contains your affiliate link) and you place your Google Adwords ad to point to that page. You can also have the adwords ad go directly to the affiliate website. (some publishers do not allow this so check) This is an area I plan to do alot of work on in the coming months. There can sometimes be a market imbalance and I want to take advantage of that. By market imbalance I mean you will pay less for clicks on adwords then you earn off the affiliate commissions you earn from those clicks.

OK – thats the first round of basics.  More to come. Tell me, do you use any affiliate programs? Which ones?

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