How To Identify a Profitable Affiliate Program (Part 1)
You see them everywhere... affiliate programs. They're a dime
a dozen now days. With so many companies launching affiliate programs,
how can you tell which ones might actually help you make money?
This is part one of a two part series, in which we help you
to determine which affiliate programs could be the most profitable
for you. So, let's jump right in!
1. How long has the affiliate program been around? A new affiliate
program is not necessarily a bad thing, but unfortunately they
may still be working out some kinks. And they might not have much
in the way of promotional material for you to use. An established
affiliate program on the other hand, will usually have payment
schedules, tracking statistics, and ad creative down to a science.
The longer a program has been around, the better the chances
are that it is successful too. A program like ScamFreeZone's Internet
Success Associate Program, for instance, which was launched in
August 1999, must be doing something right... otherwise they wouldn't
still be around more than three years later, right?
2. How much commission can you earn? Many affiliate programs
pay very little -- some as low as 2%! Others offer outrageously
high commissions... up to 75% in some cases. Why such a huge difference?
Usually, it's related to the products or services being offered.
Unfortunately, the commission structure can cause unbelievable
headaches for affiliates, and can even cause a program to fail
too though. Let me explain...
A company who sells products or services with a 30% profit margin,
might decide to only offer 10% affiliate commissions. This, in
their mind, is safe, because it allows the company to generate
enough profit to continue operating. Another company however,
might decide that paying affiliates more money will make them
grow faster, so they'll decide to offer a 25% commission... leaving
themselves with only 5% profit. With very little potential for
profit, a company is much more likely to fold, or at the very
least close their affiliate program.
Now, most companies won't share their profit margin details with
you. There are things you can do though, that will help you get
a better gauge of how stable they might be. Using The ScamFreeZone's
Internet Success Program example above, you'll find that Neil
Shearing, the owner of this program, actually shares with you
his profit margin. But even if he didn't, you can get a feel for
him and his company by browsing his website. In doing this, you
can tell that he doesn't have one or more offices to maintain,
no employees to pay, and no high-falutin' executives or board
of directors siphoning off profits. So, do a little research.
Dig into the company's website and see what you can find. And
if you're still not sure, try asking them! Just send a brief,
polite email... you never know what they might be willing to share.
On the affiliate side of things, the commission structure can
be a headache. If for instance, you join a program which pays
just 2%, you'll only make $2 for every $100 in sales. If you're
paid 10% commission, then you'll get $10 for every $100 sold,
and 50% will get you $50 for every $100 sold. Now, at first glance,
it looks like you'd choose the highest commission offer, right?
But you have to look at the products too. If you're only able
to sell $100 every six months, then you're not making much money
are you? If on the other hand, the smaller commission offer is
much easier to sell... say for example you can sell $1000 worth
of stuff every month... then you'll make more money in the long
run with the lower commission structure.
So, try to weigh the long-term value of a given commission structure,
with both stability and profitability of the company, before choosing
which program to join.
3. Would you use the products? This may seem like a strange
question, but the answer can actually determine how successful
you might be with any given affiliate program. You see, if you
really like something, really believe in it, that is going to
show every time you talk about it. You'll find yourself writing
articles or testimonials to use on your website... if you really
like a product. You'll find yourself referring to something you
personally use, or found useful, just in casual conversations.
And those casual conversations, or brief mentions on your website...
they can turn into sales. Sales that you'll make commissions from.
In Part 2 of this series, we'll tell you:
-- Why the number of products or services being offered can
make a huge difference in your earnings. -- Show you how there
may be more than one way to make money with the same program.
-- Tell you what to look for, and what to be careful about, in
the affiliate program's communications. -- And more.
For additional information on the examples given here, please
visit The ScamFreeZone's Internet Success Associate Program -->
(Written by Kathy Burns-Millyard for The ScamFreeZone's Internet
Success Associate Program)
-- Need some quality content for your publications? Check out
The Guru Gazette! --> http://www.GuruGazette.com
And you can find out more about Kathy at http://www.ElectronicPerceptions.com
Return to Affiliate
Marketing Article Index