How To Select An Affiliate Program
Copyright © F. Terrence Markle - All Rights Reserved
Are you having difficulties in selecting an internet affiliate
program to join and promote? Too many opportunities to sort through?
Uncertain of your next step? Guess what - you are not alone. Join
the crowd! You will probably find the road full of potholes in
your research, review and selection of the right affiliate program
You should consider the following steps to help you make the
decision on which affiliate program to join and promote. First,
you need to find the affiliate programs that are available for
you to join and promote. Second, you need to sort through all
these opportunities to learn the details of each affiliate program.
Third, you need to select a program (or programs) that fits your
wants and needs (whatever they may be).
I am making the basic assumption that you want to select a program
that will result in cash flowing into your pocket rather than
flowing out of your pocket. Look out for the potholes in the road.
There are a lot of them out there. You should keep in mind that
most affiliate programs will not make any promises regarding your
future potential earnings or lack of earnings. Warning - Avoid
any program that makes promises that seem unrealistic or too good
to be true.
You should review a wide selection of affiliate programs before
you decide which program (or programs) is right for you. As painful
as it sounds, you need to do the research before making any decision.
You should perform sufficient (and not necessarily exhaustive)
research to understand what programs exist and what they provide
to the affiliate (promoter/seller) and customer (buyer). The amount
of research you perform depends on what you need to make an informative
The process of research is probably the most painful and yet
the most educational part of setting up an online internet business.
Do not cut it short because you will probably pay for it dearly
in different ways at a later date. This includes spending unnecessary
money, pursuing the wrong marketing paths and just plain wasting
your time and energy.
It is essential to perform thorough research if you are going
to profit from any promotional effort of an affiliate program.
It is an established fact that commercial success starts with
having a product to sell (hopefully a product that provides value,
usefulness and/or happiness to the buyer of the product). It is
another well known fact that the economics picture is not complete
without a seller and a buyer that are willing and able to sell
and buy the product. Warning - Do not get involved with an affiliate
program where it is uncertain what comprises the actual product
Many factors, including the selling price of the product and
the total cost of the product (potential costs include manufacturing,
storing, distributing, marketing, and selling), need to be evaluated
to determine if a profit can be made on the promotion and sale
of an affiliate product. As a side note, the difference between
financial success and failure could be a simple matter of promoting
a product that has more appeal or intrinsic value to the potential
buyer than the cost of the product.
The research process should consist of gathering sufficient
information on potential opportunities that will enable you to
make an informed decision on what affiliate program(s) to join
and promote. You will need to devote precious time and energy
to accomplish this phase of the affiliate selection process.
In order to locate the affiliate opportunities, you should start
by using a national search engine. Select "key words" in your
search (such as: affiliate opportunities, affiliate ebook, affiliate
networks, affiliate income, affiliate marketing, etc) to locate
opportunities. Be innovative and change the search word(s) to
match your personal needs and interest.
You should probably direct your attention to the top 10 to 20
search results for any key word group since these are likely to
be the websites with the highest level of internet traffic. Higher
traffic is an indicator that the website gets visitors and is
probably in demand. Demand is important since it is one part of
the economic "demand versus supply" equation.
Write down the appropriate information from each website that
will provide you with data to review after you complete your online
searching. You should probably print out the sales letter and
any other useful information that will help in your follow-up
review and evaluation. Part of your research will include communicating
with the owner of each website that you are considering.
In addition, join some of the internet discussion boards and
chat rooms that discuss the topic of affiliate programs. This
can potentially provide a wealth of information in your review
and comparison process. You can use the search engines to find
these discussion boards and chat rooms.
Another source of information resides in ebooks and ezine articles
that have already been written on the subject of affiliate programs
and affiliate marketing. You can locate these ebooks and articles
by using the search engines. Do not hesitate to communicate with
the authors. Work with the authors because it may help you in
your quest for usable information. You may find some authors willing
to discuss your specific concerns since it may provide them with
useful material for their future use.
In the process of performing your research, you will be compiling
a lot of hand-written notes and web page printouts of potential
affiliate programs. Furthermore, you will probably accumulate
material on your computerˇs hard drive of website pages on affiliate
programs that you had an interest in performing a follow-up analysis
The process of research is not only time consuming but also
may consume some of your money. How much money you spend depends
on the types of programs you are considering. Furthermore, you
may have to join a program or purchase something (for example,
buy the ebook that is being promoted) in order to get the information
you need for your review and evaluation phase. You should always
ask for a free copy - it does not hurt to try.
Keep yourself organized by putting the paper information (hand-written
notes and web page printouts) into 3-ring binders. Use tab inserts
to separate each affiliate program. Each tab insert should be
labeled with an appropriate affiliate program title. This will
enable easy identification of each program in the binder and access
to the detailed data.
The next step is to make a "summary table" that includes each
affiliate program you are considering. The summary table should
contain information on each affiliate program such as: name of
the program, URL website, definition of what the program offers
to the affiliate, description of what is offered to the customer
of the product, cost of the program to the customer, commission
payable to the affiliate, description of the downline sales commissions
(if any), training available to the affiliate by the owner of
the product, sales material available to the affiliate, etc.
Next, you need to review, evaluate and compare the various affiliate
programs at a summarized level. This is the phase of utilizing
all the information that you collected, categorized and organized
during the search phase. This process can now be accomplished
with considerably less stress and anxiety than just looking at
a list of affiliate programs.
You now have the important and essential information (that fulfills
your needs) necessary to make an informed decision. The summary
table provides you with the data to compare the different affiliate
opportunities (whether it is only two or many).
At this point, your review and evaluation process will probably
lead to more questions. However, your questions should now be
very targeted. Any follow-up research you need to perform to obtain
answers should be highly focused.
Make certain you communicate with the owner of each affiliate
program to gain as much knowledge as possible about the respective
affiliate program. The owner of the program should be anxious
to hear your questions and help you since it could result in increased
revenue to the owner. Make your questions as direct and to the
point as possible to uncover your deepest concerns.
Finally, what did you achieve or learn from your search of ebooks
and ezine articles on the topic of affiliate topics? Use this
information in your decision process. You should communicate with
the author(s) if you found something of interest that can help
you in your eventual decision. The author(s) should also be willing
to talk to you since it could result in material for future ebooks
they might write.
I hope you find this information valuable and worth your time
in reading. A decision based on having the appropriate information
is definitely worth more than a decision made by "guessing." This
article is just the beginning. You will find your niche in affiliate
programs by performing a proper research, review and comparison
of available programs before making your informed decision. Good
luck in your quest to find the right affiliate program(s) for
your future personal and financial success.
Copyright © 2003 F. Terrence Markle - All Rights Reserved. Join
a FREE 7-Day eCourse on earning income on the web. http://www.QuikSystems.com/info/free7day.htm
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