About Your Affiliate Income...

From BizWeb2000

A few years ago when affiliate programs began to make their way onto the Net, I was already "living" online. So naturally, I was one of the very first marketers to take a look at this "new" online marketing idea.

And frankly, after a close look inside the numbers, what I saw was not overly exciting. But thanks to a little patience and a few strategies I developed, I've been able to generate affiliate income that most experts predicted impossible.

If you're looking to do the same, read on...

The first program I reviewed, (which shall remain nameless) paid an average of ten percent commissions on each sale my site generated. The products (mostly books) averaged around $15 so my share would be about a buck and a half per sale. I figured if I could get one sale out of every 35 visitors I sent to the site, that would be a decent conversion rate (better than average, actually). After doing a little math, I concluded that I would earn about $45 for every 1000 visitors I sent to the site.

But getting 1000 visitors to any given affiliate site meant I'd have to get about 10,000 visitors to my own site. If I could do that every week, I'd be doing OK for a small business site with a marketing budget close to zero. But I was already learning that it takes time and money to get 10,000 visitors a week. And lets see... for all my traffic generating efforts I would pull in a cool $180 a month? It didn't take a genius to figure out that it might not be worth the effort. I passed.

But I did not pass on the affiliate game altogether...

I knew there was potential for excellent long-term income in the right affiliate programs so I bided my time and grew my website traffic and my ezine subscriber numbers. Meanwhile, I kept a close eye on the affiliate horizon.

At the end of 1997 I joined my first serious affiliate program. A year and a half later I would join my second.

And to make a long story short, those two affiliate programs I joined are now responsible for over $80,000 in annual income (and still growing) at my site. Who says you can't make a decent income with affiliate programs?

While I've sampled a few other programs along the way, I continue to promote only those two programs on a regular basis. As far as affiliate program marketing goes, you won't find too many marketers who are this picky. But picky works. Had I joined that very first affiliate program I looked at, I would have been lucky to make $5,000 last year in affiliate income. Not bad, but a far cry from 80K.

So what programs are pulling in 80k a year for me?

I'm not going to tell you! At least not in this tip. (If you just have to know, I'll share a link at the end of this piece.) You see, I did not write this tip to round up more second-tier affiliates. I wrote it to show you the true potential in affiliate program marketing and to explain exactly how you can grow affiliate income like I have.

So let's get to that next, right after today's sponsor...

So what are the secrets to generating measurable affiliate income? Here they are in a nice five-step program...

1. Choose the right affiliate programs!

As my example above shows, this important step can mean a difference of 75K a year, easily. The right programs for YOU are ...

a) programs that tie in with your site well (Ex: don't promote a dating service if your site focuses on business)

b) programs that you can get behind 100% and recommend personally to your website visitors, subscribers and all else who come in contact with your business

c) programs that pay serious commissions of 25% or more on sales -- and if you can earn residual or recurring income that's even better (Ex: services like web hosting require customers to pay monthly, so you as an affiliate can earn monthly too!)

2. Promote your best programs with personal recommendations at your website and in your emails.

While most affiliate programs offer marketing assistance to their affiliates, your best bet is to form your own marketing plan and promotion material. This sets your affiliate site apart from thousands of others.

And don't forget, in order to truly make personal recommendations, you'll need to be a customer as well. I see far too many affiliates making personal recommendations without even making the investment in the product or service they are promoting. Not only will you lose credibility when you do this, you'll be limiting your marketing potential by not knowing the product like you should.

3. Don't go affiliate crazy and promote too many programs.

A handful is fine, but a dozen or more cheapens the experience for your users. If you absolutely must promote lots of products and services, personally recommend only a small number of them. Take your very best one or two affiliate programs and stick to recommending them as your staple. A premium service with a slightly higher than normal price tag and generous commission is ideal for this strategy. But be sure it is worth the price!

4. Don't expect to grow serious affiliate income without having a website of your own.

Too many newbies make this mistake. They think they can avoid ALL online business start-up time and expenses by joining an affiliate program and using the free site they get as their main site. It's a mistake. The best affiliates in every program have their own website where they bring all their traffic first. From a "home base" like this you are free to make personal recommendations, promote a variety of programs and earn income other ways such as advertising or selling your own products and services. Growing your own site is a major key to growing serious long-term affiliate income.

5. Get help!

Don't go it alone. Ask successful affiliates how they've grown their incomes - most are happy to share the details on how much they are making and exactly how. And with that in mind, here's that link to the programs promoted right here at bizweb2000.com - have a peek, but remember -- don't even consider them unless they tie in with the theme of your own website!

To your affiliate marketing success...