Making Money with Affiliate Programs Part I
By Nowshade Kabir, Rusbiz.com
If you have a website and you are not involved in any of the
thousands of affiliate programs available on the Internet, you
are losing great opportunities to make some extra income. As in
the case of some top affiliate marketers this extra income might
even transform into thousands of dollars.
Affiliate program is one of the most effective methods of producing
sales second only to direct mail. According to Forrester Research,
a marketing research company, in this year 21% of all online sales
will be generated from affiliate sites promoting affiliate products.
If you do your homework right, you too can earn handsomely from
the correct use of affiliate programs.
What is an affiliate program?
The concept of affiliate program is based on the age-old business
practice of referral service. This is quite common in many industries.
An attorney, for example, gets a certain percent of commission
if he refers a client to another lawyer.
Back in 1996 Amazon.com started the first widespread use of
referral service on the Internet. If a client comes to Amazon.com
and buy a product using a link provided by Amazon, from a website
which signed affiliate partnership agreement, that site receives
10 to 15% commission from the sale. The Amazon Affiliate Program
became so successful that it prompted others to follow the suit.
Today, affiliate programs became ubiquitous on the Internet making
them one of the primary methods of online marketing of products
Affiliate Program can be defined as Internet marketing system
where a company allows and helps third party websites, called
affiliates to post link and refer clients in return for a predetermined
flat-fee or percentage-based commission. Benefits of affiliate
Affiliate Programs became so popular because as a partnership
it's a win-win situation for both the program owner and the affiliates.
Benefits for program owners include:
Increase Sales The primary reason for most of the companies
to adopt an affiliate program is the possibility of boosting sales.
In fact, proper implementation of a quality affiliate program
is capable of increasing sales dramatically.
Free promotion A successful affiliate program can easily become
the largest traffic generator for the company website. Many websites
receive major portion of their visitors from their affiliate links.
To find suitable websites with required content in order to run
a banner or link campaign is time consuming and require large
resources; affiliate programs in comparison can resolve this issue
often with a far smaller investment.
Increase search engine ranking Search engines, Google in particular,
calculate link popularity as one of the main factors in their
ranking algorithm. Backward links from affiliate sites certainly
help improving this.
Branding Thanks to its affiliate program Amazon.com banner links
can be seen on numerous websites. Popularity of Amazon.com among
the newcomers to Internet proves that Amazon.com was successful
in creating its online brand name. No doubt, omnipresent visibility
of their logo on the affiliate sites definitely had a huge impact
on the brand recognition of the Amazon. Offline companies had
to spend billions of dollars of advertisement money to get similar
How about the affiliates? What are the benefits they get from
an affiliate relationship?
No product or service to carry Online business with your own
product or service might be rewarding, but it requires substantial
investment from your part. With carefully chosen affiliate programs
you can have your online business without the requirement of having
your own products. The investment is low as all you need is a
No need to have a merchant account Since you don't carry your
own products or services you do not have to go through the hassle
of having a merchant account to cater your clients. Your affiliate
program owner will do everything. All you have to do is supply
clients through your designated link.
Possibility of residual income
- Many programs pay you a commission from the sales made to
the customers generated from affiliates, who have signed up as
an affiliate following your link. This kind of affiliate system
is called 2-tier system. - Visitor tracking system allows affiliate
programs to pay you a commission when same visitor from your website
makes repeat purchase. - Some affiliate programs that promote
monthly or yearly subscription services pay a commission each
month as long as customer referred by you stays subscribed.
Complement you website with added products and services If your
site is dedicated to certain products or services, there must
be other stuffs that go well together with your own products.
It's a good idea to seek out viable affiliate products of these
items and promote through your site. Your visitors will love this
and this will help building loyalty among your visitors.
Have new contents for your site many affiliate programs supply
you with valuable marketing materials. Some of these materials
can be nice addition to your site content bringing further value
to your website. Various Affiliate programs
There are two ways of running an affiliate program:
- The company owns and handles the program itself, using certain
software. - The company uses third party administered affiliate
The reasons why many companies prefer to hand over management
of their affiliate programs include technical aspects, cost factor
and human factors.
Â Companies do not have to spend money on developing, running
and updating the software. Â Proven technology allows companies
to concentrate on their job of selling their products and services.
Â Many prospective affiliates prefer third party managed programs,
because they rightfully ponder, in this case the program owners
have less chance to cheat their affiliates.
Find below a list of some leading third party affiliate program
However, this does not mean that you should avoid company run
affiliate programs. On the contrary, some of the most successful
and best affiliate programs are run by the owners.
If you find an affiliate program that suits your requirement
and you feel that the company is a reputable one, by any means
you should give it a try!
About the author
Nowshade Kabir is the founder, primary developer and present
CEO of Rusbiz.com. A Ph. D. in Information Technology, he has
wide experience in Business Consulting, International Trade and
Web Marketing. Rusbiz is a Global B2B Emarketplace with solutions
to start and run online business. You can contact him at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org,
Return to Affiliate
Marketing Article Index