By Graham lee
There are many types of affiliate programs, ranging from individual companies who operate an affiliate program, through traditional affiliate networks where you promote another marketers product or service, to programs where you recruit other affiliates to be in your team and from whom you also earn.
Companies who operate affiliate programs for the products they sell online are usually legitimate businesses, who have seen the benefit of having many ‘salespeople’ promoting their products or service.
Affiliate networks, such as Clickbank, Plimus and Linkshare, are all established networks known for their prompt payment and good commissions.
But there are many horror stories about some affiliate programs and networks. These stories have been heard over and over again, to the point that some people are wary of joining any affiliate program. The stories they may have heard are those related to illegal programs or pyramid schemes, which are usually programs associated with the last group mentioned above.
Basically, this kind of market does not have real, worthy product. You do not want to be associated with these schemes. If all you are doing is recruiting more affiliates into your team and there is no actual product being sold, the only money coming into the program is your membership fee every month. These types of program are almost always illegal.
There is a caveat to this final group and that is, that there are some legitimate programs in this group. Some programs encourage you to recruit more affiliates into your downline because it increases your earning potential but there are always products to sell to a wider audience and from which you all earn. Sometimes you will find there is a small admin fee to pay each month but in many instances it is free to be an affiliate. All you need to do is generate sales of the product to earn your commissions, usually on your own sales and those of your downline team.
First of all it is also obvious that you want to be with a program that offers high quality product(s), that you will readily endorse. The growing number of those who have joined affiliate programs already and are succeeding, is proof enough that there are reliable and quality affiliate programs out there.
But before we look at how to choose the best affiliate program to work with, we should first decide why you would want to participate in an affiliate program in the first place.
- It allows you to work part-time.
- It gives you the opportunity to build a generous residual income.
- It makes you an owner of a small business.
Affiliate programs have already created a lots of millionaires, both offline and online. Yes there are offline programs as well. Think about Avon, Kleeneze and Herbalife. They are all effectively affiliate programs, where you earn a percentage of your sales. And some of the more well-known ones have also now migrated onto the internet and operate successful affiliate programs online.
They are the living testimony of how hard work; continuous prospecting, motivating and training others pays off.
If you are thinking about joining one, you must take into account that you are getting into something that is geared around what you are capable of. There will be an assurance that you are capable of doing anything to come out successful.
So how do you choose a good affiliate program to promote?
Here are some tips you may want to look over before choosing one:
1. A program that you like and have interest in.
This is a natural assumption, as you will naturally be more successful if you are happy promoting something you like and have more faith in. One of the best ways of knowing if that is the kind of program you wish to promote, is if you are interested in purchasing the product yourself. If that is the case, chances are, there are many others who are also interested in the same program and products.
2. Look for a program that is of high quality.
A program that is associated with many experts in that particular industry, is generally a good indication of the quality of the product or service. This way, you are assured that of the standard of the program you will be joining into.
3. Join in the ones that offer real and viable products.
We already mentioned that a good affiliate program will always have a good product to sell. How do you know this? Do some initial research. If possible, track down some of the members and customers to give you testimonial on the credibility of the program.
4. The program that is catering to a growing target market.
This will ensure you that there will be more and continuous demands for your referrals. Make inquiries. There are forums and discussions you can participate in to get good and reliable feedbacks.
5. A program with a compensation plan that pays out a residual income.
Monthly residual income payouts mean that you are not reliant on getting new sales every month. This can be difficult if you are not a natural sales person. Residual payouts means you can build your income over time if this is the case.
You should also look for a program that has a payout of 30% or more. There are some programs offering this kind of compensation. Look closely for one. Do not waste your time with programs that do not reward substantially for your efforts.
6. Be aware of the minimum quotas that you must fulfil.
Programs which require quotas or sales targets that is too hard to achieve, can very quickly make you give up. Some affiliate programs impose pre-requisites before you get your commissions. Just be sure that you are capable of attaining their requirements before you sign-up or make any payments yourself.
7. Select one that has plenty of tools and resources to help you.
You need sales material, banners, adverts and tools that can help you grow the business in the shortest possible time. Not all affiliate programs have these capabilities. Make sure you decide on one with lots of helpful tools you can use.
8. Check out if the program has a proven back office system
A proven back office system will allow you to check your networks and commissions. You should also check if they have it available online for you to check anytime and anywhere. You should not have to rely on the program operator to tell you when you have a commission or sale. You should know when you make a sale and should be able to check the details for yourself.
9. A program that is offering strong incentives for existing members.
A good program should be actively encouraging people in their program to renew their membership each time it is due. The affiliate program that provides continuous help and upgrades for its products have the tendency to retain its members. These things can assure the growth of your networks. Ask yourself, If they are not keeping track of renewals, what else are they not keeping track of?
10. Be aware of the things that members are not happy about in a program.
As with the ones mentioned above, you can do your checking at discussion forums. If you know someone in that same program, there is no harm asking if there are many downsides involved.
So I hope you can see that you must have a thorough and intensive knowledge about the affiliate program and network you will be promoting.
Knowing the kind of program you are getting yourself into will make you anticipate and prevent any future problems you may encounter.
About the Author
Graham Lee is CEO of The Income Zone, where you will find online ebusiness tools for web entrepreneurs. Graham is also the owner of a number of other websites offering tools and information about internet marketing and working online.
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