Everyone is talking about them. Almost everyone is a member of at least a few of them. Affiliate programs are hot. You can usually sign up for free and be selling products within 5 minutes. The web sites, sales letters, and order shipping are all done for you. All you have to do is promote.
But...Is anyone making money from these programs except for the affiliate program owner?
It is a surprising statistic when you find out that only around 10% to 20% of affiliate members do enough to ever get a check. Then, only a small percentage of those go on to earn really good incomes from affiliate programs.
It isn't the affiliate program either. Although some affiliate programs have pitifully small payouts (5% to 10%) and limit their members that way, the real problem comes with the fact that affiliates have no idea how to sell from their affiliate sites. The affiliate owners usually don't have any idea how to help them either.
I own several affiliate programs myself, so I have spent a considerable amount of time studying my top affiliates and the top affiliates in programs all over the Internet.
The principles below are true of almost everyone of the top affiliates in every program I have looked at. If you want to succeed and earn at least $5,000 or more per month from affiliate programs, then you will have to be following the five steps below. If you don't, it just isn't going to happen...and you have no one to blame but yourself.
1. Create Your Own Web Site
Although almost every program gives you a web site to use to promote with, you really shouldn't be promoting with that site. The top affiliates always have their own web sites which they promote from. Then, they link to the affiliate program sites.
I never drive traffic directly to any of the affiliate programs. I drive it to my site, get their name on my opt-in list, and then promote affiliate programs. If you are serious about earning profits online, then you will do the same.
Having your own site and linking to your affiliate program gives you some additional advantages as well:
* You can write up a short two to four paragraph endorsement and testimonial for the site yourself.
* You can generate subscribers to your opt-in list first (this is the key to Internet profits).
* If the affiliate program ever stops or changes your link, you still have all the traffic you worked for at YOUR site (this happens quite often).
If you don't currently have a web site, but want to earn through affiliate programs, you need to get one today.
2. Generate Traffic
You can't earn a single penny in any affiliate program without generating traffic to your site. No traffic equals no income. Combine the right ingredients of an opt-in list, good site design, and the right sales offer...and your income will be directly proportional to the targeted traffic you generate.
An advantage that I didn't mention above in why you should own your own domain is getting listed with the search engines. The pages given to you by your affiliate program owner aren't going to receive virtually any traffic from the search engines. They won't have top rankings because there are at least 1,000 other pages just like them (from the other affiliate members) and many software programs create pages which can't even be indexed by the search engines.
Having your own domain will give you the freedom to create web pages which achieve high rankings on the search engines. Each of the major search engines such as AltaVista, Infoseek, Hotbot, and the others have their own ranking algorithms which change virtually monthly.
You can stay on top of them though by using a program such as Web Position which actually monitors the search engines for you and helps you prepare doorway pages which will achieve the top rankings you are seeking after...and the traffic which comes from having those top rankings.
You can read more about Web Position and everything it can do for you at our site. You can also even download a trial version for the three of the major search engines which is good for 30 days to try it out free. Check it out and download the trial at: http://www.bizpromo.com/webposition/
Search engines are not the only way to build traffic to your site. You can trade links with sites, place free and paid classifieds, and even use banner advertising. There are dozens of ways to generate traffic. If you want to make money from your affiliate programs, you will be using them.
3. Start an Opt-In List
I checked my affiliate members' checks this month and noticed a very interesting trend. All top 10 affiliates have their own opt-in email lists and are pretty aggressive marketers to those lists. They all mail to their opt-in list at least weekly and the number one affiliate this month mails to his list every single day.
That is where my income is coming from also. Over 90% of my income comes through using opt-in email in one way or another...either through my newsletters or through my autoresponders with follow-up. If you don't know how to use email, then your always going to be living on barely get by street in the online market.
The web sites which I send the most traffic to have one purpose to them...and one purpose only...to sign them up on my newsletter lists. All of the content that I have on my site is for that one purpose.
If you can't get a visitor to sign up for a free newsletter, then you aren't going to be able to get them to fill out your order forms and order. Get them on the list, and then start emailing them as often as you can put out good content (along with the ads).
Although I prefer to personalize my newsletter using software you have to buy (I get mine from Postmaster Online). If you are just starting out and are on a budget, you can start your list using a free Listbot from http://www.listbot.com
4. Develop a Unique Web Position
Here is a trick to increase your sales from ANY affiliate program, but people rarely ever mention it. Any successful web site finds a way to make their products and or services unique from their competition.
When you are an affiliate though, you have thousands of competitors selling the exact same product at the exact same price. Every other affiliate in that company is your competition!
You will have to become unique if you want to beat the other affiliates competing against you. You may think it would be difficult to do, but it isn't.
All you have to do is add on some extra bonuses to those people who are purchasing from you. For example, if you're an affiliate for a video course, then add in a special free report on the same subject which is ONLY good for those who order from you. Your free report can be emailed to those who order so it won't cost you a penny of your commissions.
If you own an opt-in list like you should, you could give a free ad to anyone who orders an affiliate product from you. For example, you could write that anyone who orders the ________ (you would list the product here) before midnight tonight will also get a free ad ($30 value) in your newsletter...or three free ads. Buy submission software and submit their site to 1,000 search engines if they order today.
Do something like this and tell your opt-in email list subscribers and web site visitors about it. You will be setting yourself apart from the competition and be giving your purchasers an even better deal than buying from the affiliate owner!
Special limited time offers work extremely effectively when combined with your own opt-in list.
5. Generate Multiple Streams of Income
If you follow all four of the principles above, then you are going to be able to earn money from many different affiliates programs, and that is exactly what you should do. You should join several non-competing programs which sell products to the same targeted market.
For example, if you have chosen to sell to Internet marketers, you may join:
An Internet Training Program
A Web Hosting Program
An Autoresponder program
A Business Opportunity
You can find several programs which target any specific niche group.
You can be earning 3 to 10 streams of income from the same visitors at your web site and subscribers to your newsletters. Having several streams of income helps every visitor to your site be worth more money to you!
Terry Dean, a 5 year veteran of Internet marketing, will Take You By The Hand and Show You Exact Results of All the Internet Marketing Techniques he tests and Uses Every Single Month" Click here to Find Out More: http://www.netbreakthroughs.com