Affiliate Success Checklist
|You have probably heard that you have to be in ‘affiliate programs’ to get ahead on the Internet. We all hear about people making huge incomes being a ‘super affiliate’ and how these programs are the greatest thing since sliced bread.But what IS an affiliate program and can we really make any money with them? Sometimes it’s very confusing.To help clear up that confusion, following are some basic definitions along with a checklist that is useful when examining any program.What Is “Being An Affiliate”?
Being an affiliate simply means that you sell someone else’s product and earn a commission when you do so.
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word ‘affiliate’ this way…
Affiliate: [verb] To associate as a member <affiliates herself with the local club>
That’s exactly correct. When you become an affiliate you are associating with the product or service you will be selling. You are loaning them your reputation. Don’t forget that. Every email you send, every contact you make, reflects on you. And the company’s action will reflect on you as well, so choose wisely.
So, being an affiliate is simply a fancy Internet way of saying that you are going to be a commissioned salesperson.
Does It Really Work?
Yes, it does. It is true that you can make very good money with affiliate programs, but it is not automatic. You must still understand the process of marketing and do the work. And it’s not always quick. But if you choose great programs, do some of the work (and take advantage of the tools they offer) you can grow a powerful income in a short period of time.
It’s equally true that you can waste tons of time and money on them and your reputation can suffer if you don’t choose carefully.
Here is my checklist for choosing affiliate programs. I hope it works for you too.
Affiliate Success Checklist
1. Make sure the product being offered matches you. If your passion is embroidery, you probably won’t do too well with car parts sites. Stick with what you know at first and, once you learn how to promote on the Internet, move on to different products.
2. Check it out. Don’t just jump in because it’s easy. Ask yourself this question; is the product or service you are affiliating with something you would bring to your best friend? If not, you may want to keep looking.
3. Talk to current affiliates. Ask for a list of happy affiliates. Ask them some key questions such as did they get the help and support promised? Are they being paid on time? You get the idea.
4. Look long term. If your first arrangement doesn’t pan out, don’t give up. Many people on the net are making excellent incomes with affiliate programs. You can too.
5. Go for quality. Make a checklist of everything you want, find two who meet the criteria, and go all out with those two. Remember that it will be your reputation on the line.
6. How well do they sell? You need to ask how well the product or service you will be promoting ‘converts’. Conversion is simply the number of people per 100 who buy something.
Look for sites that convert more than 2% of visitors every day, not just when a promotion is taking place. If you can find a site that converts over 5% every day then strongly consider promoting them.
You can expect this number to range from .5% to about 10%. Anything higher or lower and you need to be careful about them telling you the truth.
Also, be aware that ‘hot’ products convert well while they are hot but conversion drops with time. So be sure to get *current* conversion figures.
7. What is the cookie duration? Most affiliate programs track using ‘cookies’ that are set on the visitor’s machine. You need to know how long this cookie lasts and if it can be overwritten.
The reason this is important is that people don’t buy the first time. If the cookie life is short (say 10 days) and someone you refer buys a month down the road you loose your commission.
It’s the same if the cookie can be overwritten. If it can, then someone who first learned about product X from you, but clicks another link to buy, will not earn you the commission you deserve.
If you promote Clickbank products you know that the cookie life is 60 days and that Clickbank does reward the last affiliate to promote, not the first. So know that going in and you will be fine.
8. Do you earn ‘backend’ commissions? This means do you get paid when someone you refer buys a second product? This is vitally important. People often buy two, three or more products from one site. You should earn commissions for every product they buy.
9. Do you earn renewal commissions? If you send someone to a site where they pay a monthly or quarterly fee, do you get paid every time or just once? You should get paid every time.
10. Do they support you? Most people don’t know, or have the time, to write ads and create banners or graphics. You should expect the program you join to provide these tools as well as some training on how to sell their products.