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Affiliate Beginners

A Few People Make Good Money with Affiliate Programs ... Make Sure You're One of Them!

In dictionary terms, the word "affiliate" means

"... to adopt, attach or connect to as member or branch...."

In Internet terms, "affiliate" is another word for a "seller", however, there are other words that are also used such as "Partner" and "Associate" - these, in the true sense of the words, are NOT the same as an affiliate. (See our Associate Members section)

When you sign up with a company as an "affiliate" - you make an agreement to promote their company by selling their product and/or getting people to sign up to their company as affiliates. In return, you may get paid a commission.

Let's look at the reasons why Companies use Affiliates

  It's a fail-safe and cost effective way of selling more product with minimal overheads

  It allows for widespread communication to a vast number of potential customers

  It allows for a much increased geographic and demographic market place 

  It allows for improved cash flow as affiliates are paid after a sale has taken place

  It reduces in-house staffing costs

  It increases potential for the expansion of the company

... but the main reason is RISK SHARING - or " RISK SHIFTING" as I prefer to call it.

How does that work?  

The company offering the affiliate program will have some powerful back end software that is capable of managing the entire process between their affiliates and their company.

This software will include an automated system that will give you (the newly signed up affiliate) a username, password, and some sample advertising - usually in the form of "your own web site", copy text, emails, classifieds, solo ads, HTML links, audio links, video links,  button or banner impressions - or sometimes all of these.

These copy, or sample, links will all contain a code which will be unique to you (the new affiliate).

That's it! -  all you'll have to do is advertise "your own web site" (which is usually a copy of the company's website) or the company's service or product using the marketing material containing your unique code - follow up any enquiry with a few emails - make a sale - and BINGO -
you get a percentage of the sale price!

But hold on a minute .....

Advertising is a risky business isn't it?

Yes, you're right - your small business, coupled with an infinite number of other small businesses, will all be advertising these companies sites or products, quite often using one of the pre-written forms of advertising mentioned above - or at least a variation of the theme.

No-one ever really knows what is going to work in the advertising game - you've got to try it and track your response rate  to find out..... and by then it could be too late!  (you'll can read all about tracking in our own publication called  Automation Madezi )

Whatever you do, do not spend huge sums of money on advertising until you know the product has a market - it could spell instant disaster before you've got off the ground. (check out our Internet Marketing Section )

Be aware that some peoples advertising of affiliate programs will be effective and successful - a lot will not!

Does the company care? .... course not! .... It cost them next to nothing to set up each individual affiliate, so if some of them flop then what the heck?... they've got others that are succeeding ... and their advertising (their company name and product) is being consistently seen even if half of it doesn't produce a sale - it's still free advertising for them ..... and the risk of failing has been shifted from their company to their affiliates!

You may now be asking yourself - Are Affiliate Programs worth it?

After all I've said - yes, they certainly can be, providing you exercise caution.

Affiliate programs can be a great way to get started, providing you pick the right companies, and by this I mean avoid the scams - the ones that sign you up, get you to promote them, then wriggle out of paying you even a measly dime!

Now - it's NOT as black out there as it seems ... all it means is that you have to be careful and 
be selective !

I'm in favor of Affiliate programs - but there, I'm probably biased because we run our own affiliate program  Blue Moon Affiliates -  we pay affiliates immediately they make a sale - and even pay commissions on affiliates own purchases!  

Anyway, I digress,  getting back to what I was saying, I personally feel that if you make sure that you check out each affiliate program well - before you join! - run the program from your own site and manage to generate a significant amount of traffic, then you stand a good chance of gaining from affiliate programs - but you must understand how they work and what you need to do ...  see our dedicated publication Affiliate Marketing Madezi on this subject at our sister site madezi.com.

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