Affiliate programs FAQ
Follow 'Choosing an Affiliate Program' and start your own profitable affiliate marketing business...
Affiliate programs are an excellent way to make money online, particularly if you don't have a product or service of your own, or if you simply want to implement another income stream for your business. This page will answer some of your most frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are affiliate programs?
Affiliate programs are revenue sharing agreements between companies and Webmasters. In return for placing product links on web sites, in ezines or advertising, the company pays the Webmaster a stated commission when a customer purchases a product or service thru the Webmaster's link. This is a rapidly growing, cost effective way for businesses to increase sales and for webmasters to make money.
How much money can a webmaster make with affiliate programs?
The potential for high earnings is tremendous. Affiliate marketing is a 100+ billion dollar industry, and growing strong. However, many affiliates only earn a few dollars a month. It all comes down to you. High earners know the products they are promoting, know their customer base and have put real effort into promoting the programs. Many affiliates simply put a link on their site and expect the money to come rolling in - that simply isn't going to happen. As with any other business time and effort is going to produce the most rewards.
Do I need a web site?
Some programs state that you don't need a web site to promote their products, but if you're serious about succeeding with affiliate marketing having your own web site is essential. Your web site helps you to build the trust and confidence online customers require before they purchase a product. They don't buy from just anyone - they want to know that you are reputable, and that you are knowledgeable about their problems and the products you offer. They need to believe in you..
How much traffic do I need to make money with affiliate programs?
It's a given that the more traffic you have the more chances you will have to make a sale. But a lot depends on what you do. For instance, does the product or service you're promoting fit into your web site theme and customer base? Do you write articles and actively promote the products or do you simply set up links and banners?
Bottom line, if you have 15,000 unique visitors a month (500 per day) and make a good effort to promote the products you should be able to begin earning a decent income from your affiliate programs.
What is a two-tier program?
Two-tier affiliate programs pay you a commission for any sales you make directly, and also pay you a commission (usually a substantially smaller percentage) on the sales of any sub-affiliates that have signed up for the program from your links.
Isn't a two-tier program the same as multi-level marketing?
A two-tier program is simply that. There are not multi (many) levels involved. There is no "down line spill-over". You make your commission for products/services sold, and receive a small percentage for the recruitment of other "sales people", and that is as far as it goes.
Can I make a living just from associate programs?
Many online business use affiliate programs as a supplement income, apart from their main service or product, but you can certainly make a good living with affiliate programs alone. There are many affiliate marketers who are earning six-figure incomes - and with some creativity and effort you could too.
What is the best affiliate program?
That would depend on your site. The best affiliate program for your site, might not work for someone else's site. You need to direct your attention to products that are suitable to your site and to your customers. That is what will make the best program for you. You can also check out our Top Affiliate Programs listing.
How can I increase my commissions?
If you are primarily using banner ads, try using text links instead, or in addition to. Text links receive a much better click-through/sales ratio than banner ads.
Secondly, personal product endorsements will be received very well by your customers, and could double or even quadruple your sales. To do this, purchase the product/service for yourself so that you can write a truthful, enthusiastic endorsement.
Thirdly, promote good two-tier programs and/or programs that provide residual income from sales. This will give you extra income, without extra effort. For a listing of some of the best programs in this category see our Top Affiliate Programs.
What is the best way to promote an associate program?
Personal endorsements and article marketing are two very effective way to promote an affiliate product. Placing them in your opt-in newsletter should boost sales even more. For more in-depth information on promoting affiliate products join Ken Evoy's (free to join) 5 Pillar Club and read the FREE affiliate manual.
If I sign up with an affiliate program, can I have links on my site from other programs?
Yes. There are only a handful of companies, that have an exclusivity clause. Just make sure all the programs are relevant to your site, and that you don't have a hodgepodge of links and banner ads that will ultimately distract from your site theme and appearance.
Do most affiliate programs require that their products be related to my site theme?
There are some companies, Disney for example, that require a certain type of site, but the majority approve you instantly without any type of site check. More important to you is not whether they approve you, but rather is the program right for your web site? There are many affiliate programs out there relating to almost every type of business, so be choosy!
What are the worst mistakes affiliate marketers make?
The worst thing any marketer or business person can do is send spam (bulk unsolicited email). Not only will your reputation be ruined, but you may lose your Internet service provider as well.
Secondly, selling products/services that are not what they claim. Make sure you check out the program and the product/service before you apply - try it out yourself, if necessary. To keep your reputation in tact, you should only promote quality products backed up by a quality program.
Thirdly, marketers who choose a niche that is too broad fail to receive the targeted traffic that is needed to become successful. Make sure you research thoroughly before choosing your niche. Your success requires keywords that are narrow enough to reach a segmented audience of hungry customers.
Also, make sure you have a well oiled web site. A web site that is very slow, is poorly organized, has a color scheme that is hard on the eyes will not keep visitors, they will quickly click away. Most importantly, make sure your web site is search engine optimized or customers won't find you. If you need more information on this topic go to Search Engine Optimization.
Do I have to pay taxes on income from affiliate programs?
Yes. Whatever tax laws in your country, state or locality that apply to the income you earn, apply to an Internet business as well.
I don't live in the USA. Will companies still pay me?
While there are a few that won't, most companies are set up for International business - this is the World Wide Web after all. Make sure you read the agreement contract before you sign up for any affiliate program.