Affiliate marketing is a very lucrative way of conducting a business. If you are not already into an affiliate program, then you should really consider joining one as soon as possible because you are missing out on some big money.
I believe that by far the most important thing is the affiliate program you decide to join. A poorly managed program can make you get the wrong idea about your ability to make money on the Internet while a great program can turn even the most secluded computer geek into a money making machine.
There are programs and programs. Choosing wisely is the key to your success and here are a few things to look for when you consider joining an affiliate marketing program:
1. Affiliate Support
What do they offer in terms of support? Do they give you a couple of banners and several text links to load on your web site or are they actually involved into helping you do the right marketing and promotion for your business. Banners and text links don’t work too well if you don’t know how to write a sales copy and you have no idea what SEO research tools mean.
Find out what they offer in terms of affiliate support and make sure they are specific about it too. Don’t buy the “we have a dedicated team of affiliate experts, blah, blah, blah…” Ask for some proof.
2. Affiliate Marketing Software.
Even if you don’t need software at all to create and run a web site (other than a simple text editor), you will need a lot of software to manage your business. And affiliate software is not cheap, not cheap at all. You need a word tracker account, a FTP client for your web site (there are free options here), a program to analyze the logs of your customers’ actions on your web site, a program to monitor the sales you’ve generated and lot more!
Then you need some software to create your web site with if you are not a master with HTML and PHP/ASP or other scripting programs. Dreamweaver is one of the best out there, but it comes with a hefty price tag of $399!
Then if you are a blogger, you need to install blogging software like WordPress. And even if you are not a blogger you should become one pretty soon. Blogging is cool today, but find out who is going to pay for all these. Maybe they can offer you some or all these pricey software for a special low price. Or you can get some of it for free if you are really lucky.
3. Marketing and Advertising Tools.
Do you know how to promote your web site? How to organize an advertising campaign and how much money you should spend on promoting your business? Even if you think you know all there is to know about Internet marketing, a second opinion is always welcome and may offer a fresh point of view.
And if you are just starting out you will need a lot of guidance and support to learn the ropes of what a marketing campaign is all about. You will also be using all the creative materials they provide you with, so you need to see some of their artwork and if you think it looks sloppy and lacks that spark that can make the customer want to click a banner, then maybe you should just move on.
Remember that every little piece contributes to the success of your business!