How to Get Started with Affiliate Programs

So everyone, including me, recommends affiliate programs – especially for new blogs. But the question remains: what affiliate programs should you use, and how do you use them?

How to Evaluate A Program

When deciding whether to use a certain affiliate program, I use the three “R’s”:

  1. Revenue: Look for programs that pay a large chunk of the purchase price. Sure the seller will probably make more down the line, but your goal is to increase your profits. Don’t worry about him.
  2. Reccurance: A low payout that repeats every month is better than a one-shot high payout (unless you think people won’t like the product, in which case you shouldn’t be selling it anyway…)
  3. Relevance: Make sure the affiliate program has something to do with your blog. There’s nothing worse than selling fur coats on a vegan blog, or dresses on a men’s blog.

OK, now that you know what factors to consider, how do you find a program?

How to FIND a Program

  1. Affiliate Directories: Such as Commission Junction, Linkshare, and Click Bank are useful. Sign up with them and you can instantly access thousands of programs.
  2. Products and Services You Use: If you pay for something online, and you find it useful, look on the company’s website for a link that says “Affiliate” or “Affiliates”. Click it, and you’ll be given instructions for signing up.

I highly recommend you choose the latter method. If you use and believe in a product, you will be much more successful in selling it, and your readers will thank you.

How to Make Money With a Affiliate Programs

There are two main ways to make money with an affiliate program:

  1. Passive: Put the links or banners the program provides you with on your site, and hope people find the product interesting enough to purchase. It’s not very effective, but it works.
  2. Active: Write an (honest) review about the product or service. Make sure to mention in your post that it’s a “Sponsored Review”, and make sure you are thorough. If you write a good review, you’ll help your readers become more exposed to the product, and make an informed decision. Also, put the affiliate link in your sites “Recommend Links” page if you have one, or even on your “Blogroll.” Let your readers know that you recommend the product or service.

I personally prefer the active method. Unless a banner or link is very informative, few readers will click it, and even fewer will purchase the service.

Now that you know how to get started monetizing with affiliate programs, what are you waiting for? Get started today with the Text Link Ads affiliate program. You just sign up as a publisher, and you make $25 for each publisher you refer who uses their (FREE monetizing) service for seven days.

Post your questions in the comments sections, and I’ll try to get to them as soon as I can.

Until next time.

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