The best way to make money with affiliate marketing is to create your own Affiliate Program. Here’s how it works: an affiliate program pays a commission to other sites whose links to the retailer result in an actual sale. Your goal is to build a network of affiliates who want to make money by promoting your offers to their own prospects and clients. By doing so, you increase your own circle of influence using their circles. Setting up and managing an affiliate program is easy, once it has been installed. It does take work, both on the creative side and on the technology side. Once set up, an affiliate program is one of the best and least expensive ways to increase sales and achieve more targeted traffic. Affiliate marketing can be extremely profitable and effective, because you only pay for performance, not for traffic. That means a sale has to happen or no one gets paid.

On one of the social networks to which I belong, the question was asked:

Do you or does anyone else use or have recommendations for other affiliate programs? And if you offer affiliate commissions on your products and services I would love to know about your programs as well.

Here’s my reply:

What a great topic and one I have been researching for several years. For my businesses, I prefer to work with affiliate programs/products that are highly respected and have a decent payoff (at least 15% commission) because if I am going to market the product or service to my list, it needs to bring in a good ROE ~ return on effort.

Linkshare, Clickbank, and Share a Sale  are excellent for finding good programs to sign up for. For small business owners however, sometimes this is challenge as they have certain criteria such as number of hits, etc. So even though there are really good programs to sign up for, sometimes the companies that offer affiliate programs don’t approve the companies because they don’t meet the minimum standards they have established.

The other thing is that the programs you promote need to make sense to your audience. A few years ago I had the privilege to interview Tom Antion ~ The Internet Marketing Multi-Millionaire and he had a lot to say about affiliate programs. He told our listeners that he makes between 70,000 to 200,000 month after month from those affiliate products he offers that other people market for him on their sites. That means the products he sells have a built-in audience of interested buyers.

I used to be an affiliate for AMAZON but have never made any money with them so joined the Barnes and Noble program. We are making a small commission with them. If you refer books to your audience, I highly recommend you join Borders, Barnes and Noble, Alibris or another good online bookstore (if you know of any) to send your readers to.

One solution for new website owners is to find smaller programs offered by individuals.  You can google “affiliate networks” and “affiliate programs” (add your industry for specific products/services).  In fact we are gearing up for the launch of our newest website, Cashing in on the WEB. We wil be listing all our programs there and everyone who is an approved affiliate will have the opportunity to promote those products and make money.

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