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    Your Daily Dose of .NET From India

    This is more like a Business Blog. Rusbiz.com is a B2B portal with features that cover a wide range of online business activities. As the CEO of Rusbiz.com, it is my obligation to be in touch with e-business related issues that concern Rusbiz members. I am planning to write about some of these topics over here. I hope that subjects that personally interest me will not go unattended either.
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    Making Money with Affiliate Programs Part III Saturday, December 20, 2003

    Making Money with Affiliate Programs Whether you are a newbie to Internet or a proud owner of a website, affiliate programs are great opportunities for you to make money online. It is an interesting concept that allows affiliates to develop a source of income and the program owners to sell their products more effectively.

    As an affiliate your job is to drive traffics to the program owners site. You get a commission from each sale made to a customer that originated from your marketing efforts.

    Once you become interested in making money through affiliate programs and do some research you will come to know that there are many affiliates, who consistently make thousands of dollars month after month.

    James Martell, who also wrote a handbook on affiliate marketing, claims that he makes over US$ 40K each month from his 30 over niche affiliate sites.

    Phil Wiley lives in a remote area near Australias Great Barrier Reefs but it does not create any barrier for him to make a comfortable living from his online incomes.

    Rosalind Gardner, author of the Super Affiliate Handbook, made over US $400,000 last year alone by promoting different affiliate programs.

    There are numerous examples like these, but the question is do all affiliates make that much of money? Is it truly possible to make your living by promoting affiliate programs?

    The truth is very few of thousands of affiliates are successful in making good amount of money from affiliate marketing.

    If you follow the tips stated below scrupulously your chance to become a super affiliate will increase considerably.

    Try the product first

    Dont just start promoting an affiliate program because they offer handsome commission! Internet marketing is a complex and time consuming process! If you decided to spend your valuable time and ingenious brain in promoting a product, you better check out the product first. Try the product! As a consumer if you feel that the money spent on the product is really worth it, then you probably found a right affiliate program to market.

    Sell products consistent to your websites content

    If the visitors are coming to your site and spending time, that means they like the content of your pages. If you offer them something which is relevant to this content, chances increase dramatically that they will check out that product.

    Write ad articles and text ads for the product

    Dont use banners to promote your chosen affiliate programs! Our eyes are so accustomed to see banners that in very rare case, nowadays, we click on a banner. Use text ads instead! But dont just use the generic ads supplied by the affiliate program owner. Spend sometimes in creating the text ads. While writing the text ads, think how you can relate the content of the page with the text of the ad.

    Write articles about the subject matter of the affiliate product and use links within the article. Studies show that the ad articles have good click through response. You can submit these articles to other websites and create a viral marketing process for your affiliate program.

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    Get a domain name for the affiliate program

    If you are getting result from promoting an affiliate program and would like to get more serious in marketing this particular program, get a domain name for this program and use it to redirect to the link given by you affiliate program owner. Here is why you should do this:

    Many people dont feel comfortable with the idea that you will get a share from the sales made to them. A domain name convinces many of this type of people that you are not merely promoting an affiliate program, rather you have something to do with this product or better yet, some even might consider that you are not making anything out of a sale.

    Redirect a buyer to a page with relevant products

    If you sell a product of your own from a website, once the buyer finishes the purchasing process, i.e. charging credit card, redirect him immediately to a page with products that compliment the product he or she has just purchased. The idea here is to try to sell more products to the same buyer while he is still in the buying mood.

    Build mini sites for the niche products

    One of the best approaches in promoting affiliate programs is to build mini websites dedicated to these programs. Here are the steps you should take:

    Choose a market segment
    Choose niche products for this particular market segment
    Build a content rich mini website specifically oriented to this segment
    Promote related affiliate programs through this website

    Use free materials, programs etc. to attract visitors

    People love free stuffs! Especially, if there are values in them! Many affiliate programs supply free materials like articles, e-books, programs, etc. in order to help affiliates market their products. Use these materials sporadically to lure customers. If you dont get any worthy free materials from the program owners, search for free relevant materials on the Internet. You will be amazed to see quantity of free e-books, articles and other materials that you will be able to dig out!

    Create exit Pop-Up pages with specific and targeted offers

    If the visitor of your site is leaving, why not showing him a page with highly specific targeted product offers? Best idea is to create several pages with highly targeted products for different pages. If the visitor browsed through a certain page, that means the content of the page some how interested him. If he decides to leave the site right after viewing this page, it definitely makes sense to show him an exit pop-up page with products consistent to the content of the page.

    Build a directory of e-books, articles, and affiliate programs

    Information is the number one reason why people spend time online. Its not always easy to create large amount of contents required to satisfy the need of the visitors. Why not use materials created by others for this purpose? Besides, you can also use those materials to promote affiliate programs of your choice. You can add materials to your directory yourself and you can also ask visitors to submit their materials in relevant categories.

    Post Pay per click ad on the most successful affiliate program

    If an affiliate program generates considerable revenue promote this particular program more aggressively by posting pay per click ad for this program.

    Overture and Google Adwords are the best options available for pay per click advertisement campaign.

    Affiliate programs are great way of making money online! However, dont expect an overnight success! Like any other business, here also you require proper planning and persistence. Most super affiliates confess that, in general, it takes one to two years of hard work to become successful in this field. So do your homework before jumping in!


    Making Money with Affiliate Programs Part II Tuesday, December 2, 2003

    Making Money with Affiliate Programs In this holiday season online shopping is hotter than ever! According to US Commerce Department online sales continue to grow with a robust 25-27 percent this year over 1992. Online holiday shopping at a rate of 10 percent is also considerably outpacing the 5.7 percent growth of overall retail sales. Goldman Sachs predicts 23 percent of all gift-buying this holiday season will take place online!

    So, if you dont have a product of your own to sell online, how can you profit from this exciting trend?

    One of the finest ways of making money online is to promote other peoples products or services by becoming their affiliates. Affiliate is a term used for a website that drives traffic to another website in exchange for a predetermined commission.

    Thanks to the success of several affiliate programs in the early days of online business, most merchant websites, today, use some kind of affiliate programs to promote their sites and generate sales.

    Considering the sheer numbers of affiliate programs available on the Internet, you may feel overwhelmed. However, if you set some basic criteria, it would be lot easier to find a good program that suits your need.

    Free sign up

    The affiliate program that you are planning to join must be absolutely free. There are way too many good programs available for free, why should you pay for one? Moreover, the programs that require payments to join are mostly multi Level Marketing (MLM) programs. Although, there may be many good MLM programs existing on the Internet, I dont think its a viable option for an average person.

    Good commission

    You deserve handsome compensation for all your hard work! No matter, how you look into it, in most of the cases, promoting a product or service is not an easy job. Since you are doing the uphill struggle of bringing the client to the merchants door, your commission should be real good one. What is an acceptable commission anyway? If you are promoting an information product, dont go for less than 50 percent. For more tangible products and services your bare minimum commission should be 15 percent of the sale. If you are promoting monthly subscription, choose a program that pays a portion of subscription fee as recurring commission to you as long as the client referred by you stays subscribed.

    Two-tier affiliate program

    An affiliate program which pays certain percent as a commission from the sale for bringing in a client and another if that client brings in other clients. Two-tier affiliate programs are more preferable since once a client base is built, it becomes a great source of residual income.

    Quality affiliate tracking system

    The merchant should have a very good and well-organized affiliate sales tracking management software system. You have to be absolutely comfortable with the statistics generated by the affiliate program. The program should show such important aspects as repurchase, if any, by the client referred by you, your second tier affiliates, activities by your second tier clients, etc.
    If you do not feel comfortable with the tracking system provided by a merchant, better stick to the merchants, who use third party affiliate managing system. At least, you will know that a dishonest merchant wont be able to defraud you.

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    Efficient customer support

    You should feel satisfied with the service and support you get from your affiliate program owner. A good program highly values its affiliates and gives priority to its customer support system. As the clients that you are sending to the merchant are primarily your sites visitors, you should be extremely picky about the quality of customer service the program renders. After all, your own sites reputation is also at stake here!

    Promotional materials

    If you are planning to promote an affiliate program, you will need more materials then mere banners. Unfortunately, even many high-end affiliate programs do not carry enough promotional materials to satisfy the need of the affiliates. Promotional material should include: contents to build mini-sites, various ad articles, different kind of text links, product brochures or presentation, etc.

    Commission payment policy

    The affiliate program should have a sort of minimum payment policy, where you can receive commissions if even you have made just one or two sales. A reasonable amount is US $25. Less than that is not viable due to processing costs. Commission should be paid each month. If you are located outside of US, see if the merchant makes payment through Paypal or other similar services or not. For most of the countries checks issued in other countries are not a good option.

    If an affiliate program meets all these above mentioned criteria, you can consider joining in this program. However, to get best result from your efforts, before signing up, you should also consider the following rules:

    You have to like the product you are promoting
    Any salesman will confirm you that this is one of the fundamental rules of selling. If you are selling a product or service you must have confidence in it. If you like the product and will use it yourself gladly, you found a product to promote! Dont waste your time with a product that is not up to your taste!

    Promote a product or service consistent to your websites subject matter
    If your site is all about soccer, you will be better off with products and service related to soccer. If this same site promotes, for example: pesticides, no matter how hard you try your success will be very limited! Before joining in any affiliate program first you should identify who your visitors are, what do they like and which products they will probably buy online. Once you know your niche market its lot easier to find products or services for it.

    Many webmasters think that in order to make money through affiliate programs, all you have to do is to come up with a site and fill up the site with affiliate links. Sooner all later people will click on them. Unfortunately this does not work! Making money through affiliate programs is also a business and like any business you have to have a proper business plan. Only a well prepared business plan followed by its meticulous implementation can bring success to your affiliate endeavor.


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