So you've joined your first affiliate/associate program and slapped that big old banner on your site. All you have to do now is sit back and wait for the bucks to come rolling in. Not so fast there, Bucky...there's a lot more to making money with affiliate programs than that. If your best effort is going to be that banner, don't plan on retiring any day soon.
As with everything else online and off, what you get out of an activity is equal to the effort you put into it. So if you want to make some serious cash with those programs you're joining, you're going to need to promote them. There are a variety of methods you can use. Here are a few that I've used with success:
My first suggestion to you is to join only those programs that relate to the theme of your website. Make sure they're a "good fit" with your site and that they pay out "healthy" commissions. A $2.00 bounty is hardly worth the work involved to earn it, like:
Weaving the URL's throughout your site. Make sure you weave the URL's throughout your site or devote whole pages to their topic.Don't just use banners, use alternatives like text links within your pages. Banners have become so saturated online that a lot of folks tend to ignore them,not to mention the extra weight they add to your pages.
Most programs you join will give you a variety of ads to use in your promotion efforts, but for best results you really should be creative and write some of your own. All too often I see the same old advertisement repeated over and over online until I want to scream. A little creativity stressing the benefits of your product will take you a lot farther then canned ads that 10,000 other affiliates are using.
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Make a habit of scanning discussion boards and look for any opportunity to answer a question or give advice using your affiliate link. At the least, make the link a part of your signature line and use in your e-mail correspondence and newsgroup postings.
If you publish your own ezine, make sure you keep a list of text ads for all of the associate programs you participate in and pick two or three to put in your newsletter every time you publish. If you've purchased the product yourself, a personal endorsement will pique your subscribers' interest and motivate them to click through. Your subscribers trust you, so don't recommend something you don't believe in.
Don't forget about placing your ads in other ezines that cater to your target audience. There are plenty of inexpensive newsletters just waiting for your ad copy. Say an ad cost you 10.00, and from that ad you make three associate sales that add up to $100.00. That's a pretty nice return on your investment.
One trick that has worked well for me over the years is placing my associate links in e-books that I've written. Since the books are given away for free there's no telling how many people will see those links and possibly make a purchase. If your book is well written and popular you could stand to make some decent revenue from the associate programs that you've placed in it.
Associate programs really are a great way to make some cash online, but a banner alone is not going to do it. Start promoting your "special link" every chance you get....and you'll be rolling in the dough in no time at all.