Affiliate Marketing, Small Business, Starting An Online Business March 11th. 2010, 7:20am
However much fun you may have running your own business, at the end of the day, you’re hoping for some cold, hard, cash. That consideration is probably foremost in your thoughts about how to start online business. If you want to make money online, one of the best ways is through an affiliate marketing program—but which affiliate marketing program? Picking the right program can make or break your home based business!
Affiliate marketing can add up to some significant profits for your business. When you try to choose an affiliate marketing program, though, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers. Like anything else on the Internet, though, there are good guys and bad guys. –And among the good guys, there are those who will meet your particular needs, and there are those who are selling to a different clientele. An affiliate marketing guide can help you weed out the affiliate programs that are a rip off, and filter out those programs that don’t suit your needs.
First things first, and the first thing is money. Before signing on with an affiliate marketing program, make sure you completely understand what you’re going to be charged. Also make sure you understand what services you’ll receive for that amount. Look for hidden fees, too. Are there penalties for late payments? What about startup costs? Is there a time commitment? If so, are there penalties for pulling out early? A good partner will have the answers to questions like these ready for you to ask. If they are evasive with you ask questions like these, move on to a different program.
Take a close look at how you’ll be compensated, as well. Does the program you’re considering have high commissions and low payout thresholds? Does it track your customers for a good long time, such as for 90 days? How often does the program pay its affiliates? Can you expect payment once a month, once a week, or what?
You also need to consider your niche. If you’re selling sporting goods, it’s not going to help you to sign up with a program focused on gardening tools. The program you pick should be selling products like yours and, even better, products that complement yours.
You will also need to investigate the products and services being sold by your affiliate partners. Are they of a good quality? Are they reasonably priced? What about the company that’s selling them? Do they provide great customer serves and money-back guarantees? Do they engage in fair business practices?
As a small business owner, your enterprise’s success depends on its appearance and reputation. If your affiliate partners don’t meet the same high standards as your own business, potential customers may be put off by the riff raff in your virtual neighborhood. Remember that ads from your affiliates are going to be appearing on your web pages. If they’re from disreputable or sub-par companies, your potential customers may mistakenly think you’re disreputable and sub-par, too.
These are some of the most pressing criteria to examine when getting involved in affiliate marketing for the first time. There are many, many more! But choosing the right program will give you a great start, and you can always analyze your program in more depth after you’ve gotten your feet wet with your new business.