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Old 03-09-2005, 11:10 AM   #2
Catalyst
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 90
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Hi Larwee,

Great topic! Here are some more ideas.

Even though some of our affiliates make over $10K a month in various programs we manage, I try not to make it sound like a cake walk because it isn't.

Affiliate marketing is very hard to get started with and overwhelming to learn, but if you devote the time and energy it can be very rewarding. Too many think it's get rich quick, throw up a couple banners and then give up when that fails.

If you are good at SEO, know how to work with datafeeds and customize them with lots of unique content so they don't look like cookie cutter sites you can do quite well. There are even tools like the IPC that help you build custom sites in around a minute without having to do any datafeed programming

Study, work hard and treat this like you would a $100,000 business and you may do well if you pick the right programs and markets.

As far as the question of how to get started, or what’s the "best" affiliate program - well that's a big question but the answer can be defined by YOU!

1) What is your current site about and who are your visitors? What are they interested in? Find products and services that will appeal to them and THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX! For instance if you have a site about travel, don't just promote hotel and airline affiliate programs, add travel insurance, Amazon books about travel and Luggage.

2) What are you passionate about??? What do you know a lot about? If you can find an affiliate programs that tie into your interests or hobbies you will be ahead of the game!!! WHY? Because it can take some time to generate income and if it's something you are interested in it will give you the incentive to keep building more pages PLUS you can add valuable content to your site based on your knowledge of the subject.

3) Make a list of all the potential products and services that you think may be a good fit for either your existing site or a new niche site based on #2.

Go to Commission Junction, LinksShare, BeFree, ShareaSale or one of the affiliate directories like Refer-it and find several programs then compare:

A) The honesty & integrity of the program. Are they parasite-free, do they have affiliate-centered management, good record of paying on time? *This can be hard to figure out unless you search on Affiliate Boards.

B) Commission – Could be per sale or per lead
C) Cookie Length - This is how long sales are tracked and credited to you
D) Good merchant web site design & navigation that will convert your leads to sales

Basic Examples:
Merchant #1 $50 commission, 1 day cookie, poorly designed site, big 800#, get rich quick type of affiliate page.
Merchant #2 $40 commission, 90 day cookie, nice site, easy to navigate, friendly affiliate page.

I would pick #2.

Now to answer the question “What is the best affiliate program?” Well, it depends and as you can see there is no easy answer, but I hope I have given you some guidelines and tips to ponder.

Hope this helps and best of luck!
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