The Truth About Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the new term for distributed sales. The concept has been around for well over 75 years, probably longer. Like the old door-to-door direct sales, it involves companies establishing a distributed sales force that presents products to consumers. With Internet affiliate marketing, door knocking has been replaced by web sites. Individuals, such as yourself, sign up to represent various service providers. When paying customers buy a product after reviewing your sales material, you earn a commission. Depending on the cost of the product, each sales commission can be quite significant. There are many variations to consider as well. Affiliates can earn direct commissions on sales, referral amounts for leads and even residual payments for future purchases. All of these variations combine to improve the affiliate marketing experience for you.
Affiliate marketing is not the get rich quick scheme that you may have seen far to many times. In fact, you likely will not get rich at all. You can make real money, however, while working from home, at your own pace. The key is to sign up to market products that are in demand. You then need to show people the merits of the products. This process is helped if you represent good products to start with. If you represent low quality items, you may make some money but you won't be successful for long. Instead, concentrate on starting your own quality affiliate marketing approach.
In the Internet affiliate marketing world, there are a few really big players and many more smaller ones. Google Products and Amazon are examples of large affiliate programs. These are great organizations to partnet with. You know and trust both them and the products that they carry. Generally, however, their sales commissions are relatively low. Still, 4 or 5 percent may translate into a good payment for you since transaction amounts are generally high. Many people find that starting out in affiliate sales with one of the large companies is a great way to get started. They offer a lot of affiliate support, they have a wide range of products to represent and they are well known to a large number of people.
Consider, also, the merits of smaller programs. Shareasale.com is one of the best of these. They offer a wide range of service providers that you can represent. Most of their partners offer exciting products that are easy to advertise. While Shareasale provides a great deal of sales support, so too do the individual merchants. After you sign up with Shareasale.com, you can review the list of partner agencies. You apply to become their affiliate and start representing them after you are approved. In some cases approval is automatic while others may take some time reviewing your application. When you apply, you will see a box where you can include your marketing plans for the program. This is optional but is well worth using. Companies would like to know that their affiliates are dedicated. By listing your web sites, and why you decided to apply as an affiliate, you show the company that you are seriously interested in them.
Shareasale.com lists the available affiliate marketing arrangements by category, popularity and age. You may be interested in the newest opportunities since fewer marketers will be active for these. You may be interested in the most popular opportunities. These are the ones that other marketers find lucrative. You may also be interested in products that you yourself have found to be helpful. It is always best to represent products that you believe in. This allows you to extole the merits of the products easier. People will also see that your product promotions are sincere. With over 3400 programs available, Shareasale.com likely has many that will appeal to you as an affiliate marketer.
The programs available through Shareasale.com include services, direct sale products and health advice. Programs pay a commission on sales but payment for leads is also available. The particulars of each program opportunity is listed along with other statistics. The average transaction amount, and the affiliate earning, is listed. The site also lists the return rate. This is a useful statistic to review. If the return rate is too high, there may be an issue with the program. As an affiliate, you might want to avoid such programs. This preserves your reputation and protects you from commission refunds.
Affiliate marketers need to understand that the payment process may be quite lengthy. Imagine that you list a product on an article. A viewer clicks the product and makes a purchase. Their payment is processed and the article is delivered. There is often a warranty period during which the customer may return the article for credit. As an affiliate marketer, you must wait until the completion of the entire sales process, including the warranty period. In some cases, there is a further waiting period as well. Other programs establish a sales threshold before payments can be made. Despite the long waiting period, affiliate marketing is still worthwhile. Since you tend to represent good products, you can be confident that your commissions will arrive as cash in time. When you have many such commissions in play, you can safely ignore the waiting time issue.
Many Internet content providers have found that affiliate marketing is a great way to make money from a home based business. By concentrating your representation to quality agencies and programs, you increase the likelihood of your sales and you reduce the chance that you will be subject to commission returns. Many affiliate marketers have found that product representation is a great way to establish a revenue stream on established web sites or brand new ones. This approach give content providers a means to offer significant value to viewers, even to free content sites.
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