Have a plan — As an affiliate, you aren’t entirely responsible for the sales of this company, but you are responsible for the success of your affiliation with that company. If you want to do well, prepare. Have a professional-grade website. One consumers trust with their contact information. Have a strategy for the content you produce and how you promote posts or products.

The best way to think about affiliate marketing is quality over quantity. There are a lot of small websites that will promote your product, but the key is finding a small number of partners that will deliver conversions. For example, an equity management services firm has over 20,000 affiliates in its system, but only about 25 affiliates generate 85 percent of revenue.
You should also make sure you aren't competing with your own affiliates for eyeballs. Any marketing channels you're using, such as search engines, content sites or e-mail lists, should be off limits to your affiliates. Put marketing restrictions into your affiliate agreement and notify partners immediately. It's your program--you set the rules. Or, if you prefer, you can let your affiliates run the majority of your internet marketing.
After her son suffered a massive pediatric stroke in 1998, Rae Hoffman founded a non-profit website that served as a support group for parents and families of pediatric stroke survivors. In 2001 Rae discovered affiliate marketing as way to support the site. And, she’s been involved with affiliate marketing ever since. Today Rae, also commonly known as Sugarrae, is one of the leading figures in affiliate branding and is co-founder/CEO of the SEO/PPC agency PushFire.
Previously known as Affiliate Window but now officially referred to as “AWIN” after acquiring Zanox a few years ago, this network claims to work with over 13,000 active advertisers and 100,000 publishers (affiliates). Founded in Germany, AWIN’s merchants primarily hail from Europe (especially Great Britain) although the U.S. network is growing rapidly. AWIN is currently active in 11 countries.
SkimLinks is primarily for established content producers (bloggers) who want to monetize their content. With a powerful WordPress plugin and scripts for just about any website type, setting up SkimLinks is very easy. And because you have access to all offers on their platform after you’re approved, SkimLinks is very well designed for affiliates who don’t want to spend a lot of time fiddling around with settings and other fine-tuning.
Thank you for sharing your advice on Amazon and affiliate marketing. I just recently joined Amazon and have been updating my blogs using your techniques. Hopefully it works for me like it has worked for you, granted I know now based on your experience that I probably won’t see any big income from it for awhile but it is really nice to know I am on the right track to some success in the future.
Amazon Associates — Amazon sells millions of products (books, music, electronics, toys, and more) that fit into virtually any niche, so its affiliate marketing program is a natural choice for almost anyone. Comparatively speaking, its payouts are generous, too: They vary based on product type and sales volume, but commission rates start at 4 percent and can reach up to 15 percent for specific product lines. However, note that Amazon’s program is now illegal in several states (although there are some work-arounds).
The easiest thing to do is to sign up for an affiliate marketing network like Commission Junction. They provide a marketplace where your affiliate program will be advertised to other affiliate marketers. They also provide the tracking software for your affiliates so you don’t have to build your own tracking system. In some ways this is better because it takes care of the trust issues. Affiliates are always suspicious of whether or not they’re getting credited for the sales they generate. By having an intermediary take care of transaction tracking and payments, the fear of being cheated is alleviated. 
It has over 175 million users and it’s an amazing tool for generating page views. And although a few years ago Pinterest users used to be mostly women, over 40% of new subscribers are men! People go on Pinterest to be inspired and they love seeing content from websites: over 75% of images saved on Pinterest are created by bloggers and business owners.

Be sure to check what kind of customer support you can expect from your affiliate program once you have signed up. Do your research online and if possible, speak to other sellers using the program to get their thoughts. Can you speak to someone via phone or Skype or do you have to wait 72 hours for email responses? Be clear on this because trust me, you will need support at one point or another. 

But back to the WHY of that business plan. Youre going to be starting small, slow and boy! is there a lot to learn. Whats the point of actually sitting down and writing a business plan? Youre not Bill Gates, this isnt Microsoft, just you in your home office a few hours a week, slowly building an online business presence, not really understanding what the heck youll be doing.
What kind of commission do they offer? One-time commissions or recurring commissions? For example, many programs pay you one time for sending a customer. On the other hand, some programs like membership sites or SaaS (software as a service) programs will pay you a commission as long as the person you referred is a paying customer. Recurring commissions are great when you can find them!
This doesn’t mean you only sell one product. This means you build out a brand by selling varying yet adjacent products. Over time, your consumer network might consider you a go-to for which type of vacuum they should buy. Additionally, some industries pay more than others. Especially if the product is a harder sell, affiliates may get a higher cut than they would for a product in higher demand.

Don’t go overboard, but have a couple of items that are relevant to your niche. Whether these are ebooks or software packages, your readers have broad based needs within your niche so you should appeal to every aspect of their need. Click on the “Gravity” or “Network Earnings” options on the affiliate network for stats on what products are selling the best.
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