Monday, June 23, 2008

Affiliate Programs Is The Secret To Earning Online

by Tim Fulcher

To put it simply you need to be really careful about any affiliate program you might join

The reason is simple:

Most Affiliate Schemes Are Made For Merchants Not Affiliates

What I mean is that just about anyone can start their own affiliate program or use something like clickbank. The fact that there is an affiliate program for a product doesn't mean it will sell anything - i.e. most of the time its likely you will be wasting your time

Why Do Affiliate Programs Often Fail?

There are all sorts of reasons most affiliate programs fail to do anything for the affiliate. Most of the time it could be that you are trying to sell a product to someone who is already an affiliate for the same product. As a result they just swap your affiliate URL for their own. The affiliate product may be old, the sales copy may be poor etc. In the home business world there is a tendency for affiliate sales to be very strong in the first few months and then tail off to virtually nothing

The key to being successful is to "test" any affiliate product you are thinking of promoting, to see if it really will sell. If you are unable to generate any sales even after a significant amount of advertising, then don't just carry on promoting the product. Try and switch to something else, and carry on "testing" until you find an affiliate program where the product really does sell

Protecting Your Affiliate URL

Many affiliate programs are based on some kind of cookie system which means the script puts a cookie on the persons computer who is viewing the page. If for some reason the cookie is gone, when the person actually buys the product, then you will not get paid anything. This might happen if the person bookmarked the merchants URL instead of your affiliate URL or if they use an "evidence eiminator" program which automatically cleans their computer of temporary internet files and cookies etc

There are effective ways of protecting your affiliate url and placing it in another page on your own site, so that when people bookmark the page they are bookmarking your page, this way no one would know it is an affiliate URL at all, but you need to remember that affiliate URL's can mean you are generating sales but you are not getting paid anything - so do be careful

The Most Effective Affiliate Schemes

The most effective affiliate schemes I have found are those where people join for free i.e. where there is a membership requirement in order to buy anything. So say you want to advertise on Google - you first have to create your free membership account - then later when you have verified your email etc, then you can come back and start buying whatever it is you want. These are the kind of affiliate schemes which in my experience can be very effective. People are not thinking - "how do I get round this persons affiliate URL" - as its free they just go ahead and join. Once they are signed up the sales are tracked much more effectively because there is no need for a cookie - the sales are simply tracked through the membership details when the person joined. You then automatically get credit for the sales however long it is before the person actually buys the products

In Conclusion

It is vital when promoting your affiliate URL that you learn to protect your affiliate codes, otherwise people will spot that you are an affiliate, and they will move "heaven and earth" to make sure you don't get paid

In addition you should "test" different affiliate products, to find which ones actually sell. When you find an affiliate product that is selling, then pour all your advertising into that product

About the Author

Tim Fulcher is an independent writer and webmaster. To find more about how to be successful online visit one of his websites at: