Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Affiliate commission – What plan to choose.

For webmasters new to affiliate marketing, some of the terms might not always be so easy to understand. While some terms are less important, you at least need to understand the different commission types available.

Affiliate commission – Choosing a revenue option

When choosing an affiliate program, the commission offered is - obviously - very important. So is the commission type. Should you choose a program that pays you for every visitor you send their way, so called PPC? Or should you go with the option of sharing the revenue for that particular visitor? Fixed commission or a percentage? The options are many, there is no general answer to what is best. It’s up to you to decide where to send your visitors, to experiment, evaluate and finally choose one or a few affiliate programs best suited for your needs.

PPC - Paid per click

Many affiliate programs offer you a - fixed or varied -commission for every visitor you send their way. Often these programs are similar to Google’s Adsense program, namely contextual advertising. The advantages of this are many, but so are the limitations. The main advantage is just the contextual bit, the task of placing relevant ads on every page is gone, and all you need to do is choose what program to join. Another great advantage is – because of the flexible nature of these programs, you will only need to join one program, making it easier to reach the payout threshold. The downside of it all is the revenue. If you can target your visitors, and subsequently what they are looking for, you can make a much larger profit with other types of affiliate programs. But, it WILL require far more work.

PPM – Paid per mille

This is roughly the same as PPC, the difference being you get paid for every visitor viewing the ad, they do not have to click it. Many companies, offering contextual advertising, have this option included in their program. The good part about it is the possibility to get paid while visitors stay on your site, instead of referring them to someone else. This option is most suitable for high traffic web sites - with small quantities of visitors, this rarely adds up to a good profit. It can, however, be a good way of targeting often viewed pages on your site.

PPS – Paid per sale

This type of commission is based on the activities of the visitors you refer to the affiliate website. If you send active visitors, who shop a lot, this can be a goldmine compared to PPC and PPM. The type of commission varies as well. It can be a percentage of the sale, a fixed amount per sale/signup or a combination of both. What to choose is very dependant on your audience, and what category of program you are looking for.

In some cases, often with a recurring commission, the option of sharing the revenue, thus getting a percentage of the total order, rake or what have you, will be far better than choosing a fixed amount per sale. The dynamics of percentage vs. revenue sharing will be looked at more deeply later on.

PPL – Paid per lead

This is roughly the same as PPS, but you get paid for leads instead of sales. This is a fairly uncommon commission method, but it often applies to specific categories of affiliate programs; Insurance companies, financial institutes and other companies with high priced products in competitive markets. If you have a site targeting visitors looking for these kinds of products, this can be a highly interesting revenue model for you.

There are other, less common, alternatives. Many of them are individual, and are mainly for very specific niches, or for experienced affiliates.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Art Related Affiliate Programs

Art affiliate programs - or any artistic program - can make a very nice addition to websites of many niches outside the obvious; Art.

The reason for this is simple; most people like art. - Wait a minute, you think, that can't be right. But it is, the only problem you are facing is to figure out a way to intrigue as many of your visitors you possibly can.

This isn't always easy, but if all else fails - trial and error will always work well. Just promote a new artsy product - or a new art affiliate program - until you find a program converting well enough – making you a nice commission.

There are different affiliate programs - all related to art in some way - that could be of interest. The question is what your visitors are likely to be interested in. A few choices are;

Painting affiliate programs

Selling paintings online isn't easy, but still some manage to succeed. If you can find a successful website – selling paintings - with a decent affiliate program, you may have a good chance of making some nice commissions. Most paintings are quite expensive, making only a few sales go a long way.

Finding good online web shops with an equally good affiliate program is hard in any small niche, paintings are no exception. But, as affiliate programs get easier and easier to join and implement, joining a new program is easier than ever. So, if you are not converting well enough, just find a new paintings affiliate program to try out.

Poster art affiliate programs

Unlike most art, posters are not expensive at all. This is perhaps the easiest art related product to promote but the commission earned on every sale will be significantly lower.

Posters can also be a very good product to promote on non-art related websites with the right type of visitors. The variety of posters makes it a very interesting when using affiliate programs:

If the poster affiliate program offers product links you can easily promote highly on-target ads on your website. A website about movies can link to the movie posters, a site about music can link to posters of various artists etc. This way of advertising often converts very well, as many of the visitors viewing the ad will have a specific interest in the motive of the poster.

Music affiliate programs

Promoting music related websites through an affiliate program is an excellent way of earning some extra cash online. There are many websites offering good commissions on various music related products.

The music industry is huge, making the variety of merchandise equally large. This makes for a wide selection of affiliate programs potentially right for your website.

You need to figure out what to promote, as well as how to promote the products. Often the content of your site will give you a good idea of what affiliate program to promote.

If you are reviewing records in any way, an obvious way of making affiliate commission would be to have a direct link to every record reviewed. Even though many internet users download their music, enough people still buys their records. There are many affiliate programs offering products such as; downloadable music, music players, instrument classes or instruments for sale, look around to see if you can find a good match.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Weight loss affiliate programs – Surfing the fitness trend

In affiliate marketing, choosing the right niche is as important as anything else, and both fitness and weight loss are popular topics – both off- and online. The popularity of niches such as these presents the affiliate marketer with both problems and possibilities; for the right person, this could be a virtual goldmine. But, if you do not do your research thorough enough, you might end up with nothing but lost time.

As the competition hardens – and for weight loss sites it will – the need of a good plan beforehand increases tenfold; the chance of just winging it and succeeding is virtually zero. But, for marketers with enough patience, working with fitness related affiliate programs can prove very worth while, as these types of program often offers high commission and convert surprisingly well.

Patience is important, as are a few other factors;

Keyword research

Before you start your website or blog, make sure you look closely at as many keywords related to your idea as possible. Use any good keyword research tool or, if you can’t afford it, use a free one such as SEO Book’s tool. The time spent looking for the right combination of keywords is time well spent; finding obscure keyword combinations with more than expected monthly searches is what it is all about. That is basically the same strategy search engine marketers apply on buying traffic through adwords or such.

Good copy

Weather you are writing or re-printing your content, high quality copy will be an important aspect to your success. There are over two million monthly searches for the term weight loss, not counting any other related search term. If you can present your visitors with content highly relevant to the targeted keywords, you will stand a great chance of referring quite a few customers towards an affiliate program.

Well thought out linking strategy

You need to figure out how to obtain your links, and if your keywords are likely to be accepted as anchor when submitting your website to web directories. If you are using any type of blog software, you should tag your posts with care; the right tags can really help you achieve good results in the search engines.

Well converting affiliate program

Last, but not least, you need one or more well converting affiliate programs. As with any popular niche, fitness and weight loss affiliate programs are many in numbers, and choosing the right one may not be as easy as you might think. Look for well respected trademarks, and be careful when joining newly founded affiliate programs. If you feel at all insecure, going with any of the major affiliate networks – and any of their weight loss programs – will lower the risk of getting ripped off. If you find a program offering commissions to good to be true, this might be a reason not to join them – or at east not to send them too many visitors until they have proven themselves to be honest and reliable. You are better off by joining a few affiliate programs, evaluating them as you go, then to send all visitors to the same place only to see them go out of business with your commission still pending.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Earn affiliate commission from your off-line experiences

What many struggling webmasters forget is that pretty much any experience could be a solid ground for a profitable site. Writing about personal interest also adds other advantages; it’s much easier to write interesting content in an area you feel comfortable with and you - as you already know your topic - get much for free, no need to research for ever before you can make your site.

A very good example of a topic familiar to most is vacations. Almost everyone go on vacation, and everyone has opinions in regards to that very vacation. No matter if you had a good time or a bad time, sunny weather or two weeks of rain – people will find it interesting.

Due to the high competition for travel sites, booking you airline tickets, hotel or car rental is often cheaper using the web. This is why the market for travel related keywords are so broad, thus making it more than possible to find a few good keywords to target.

Writing about vacations is obviously a good topic for a blog, but you can easily make a full site about it. Even if its only one vacation, one destination – you can add information about sightseeing, shopping, night clubs or attractions.

How would this generate an online income?

Any site with visitors is possible to monetize, it’s just a matter of how. If you are running many sites of different niches, finding a good versatile affiliate program might be a good alternative to the obvious; contextual advertising. If you – on the other hand – are running one, or a few sites similar in nature, you should really try to find the best paying affiliate program you can. If you can send many potential customers to only one affiliate program, the importance of high commission is naturally higher.

In this case – with a blog or website about travel and vacations – the potential revenue is good. You have the opportunity to advertise expensive products, often with high commissions making the niche more lucrative than most.

Just as most people have opinions and experience from traveling, many travelers try to find as much information of a destination before going. This is an excellent opportunity to present them with products related to that destination, or to vacations in general.

If you are lucky enough to attract people looking for the information to choose destination, you will have the possibility to present them with even more – on target – offers. The potential commission on a flight and two weeks of hotel for a family of fours is very high. If you choose your affiliate program well – and offer low airfares, cheap bookings and interesting information – you will no doubted earn quite a bit of money.

Promoting travel related affiliate programs give you an excellent opportunity to pre-sell the products you are advertising. Many affiliate programs have a wide range of products, ranging from expensive all-inclusive packages to small guided tours on a particular destination. Take advantage of your knowledge and experiences. If you have been on a spectacular trip, a major football tournament or just have an odd vacation memory, be sure to write it down, join a travel related affiliate program and you will be sure to make at least a little bit of money.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The good samaritan affiliate marketer

While the number one priority for any affiliate marketer should be making money, there are ways of combining this with being in aid of others, giving you that good, warm and fuzzy feeling.


The most obvious way of giving something back is by charity. You can either set aside a portion of your revenue to a charity of your choice, thus giving more and more the more successful you get, or you can find an affiliate program, itself giving a part of its proceeds to charity. Combining them both will, of course, double your efforts and make that warm, fuzzy feeling last even longer.

Promoting the right affiliate program

When promoting an affiliate program, you can make sure the companies involved in all aspects of the process (such as manufacturers and transportation) all are conducting their business in an ethical manor, avoiding products manufactured by the use of child labor or other inhuman work environments.

In a similar way, you can try to look at the environmental aspects of the business; even though all physical products sold over the internet will be shipped, thus contributing to global warming, finding affiliate programs selling products manufactured nearby will make the transportation go only one way.

The list of things possible to look closer at grows long, you can easily spend an eternity trying to find the perfect affiliate program to promote. Try to focus on the things you feel are most important, at least you are doing something.

Helpful websites

Another way of being helpful to others is to present them with useful information about serious issues in their lives. Even though most successful websites are helpful to their audience (otherwise they wouldn’t be successful, right?), some topics may help people with far more important issues than others.

Making a helpful website about serious issues (such as diseases or similar) isn’t something to take lightly, but if you do your job you might end up helping more people than you could imagine.

Of course, there are many less serious issues that still pose as huge problems for people. Look at the huge problem with over weight; this is clearly a way to combine helping people with the possibility of making money using weight loss affiliate programs. If weight loss isn’t your niche, there are many many more niches you can try.

Hair loss is, while not a life threatening disease, a big problem for many men. Similarly the recent boom in alternative health has given affiliate marketers a few herbal alternatives to promoting diet pills and traditional health products.


No matter how you choose to go about with your website and your affiliate programs, the single most important factor is honesty. If you say you are giving part of the proceeds to charity - make sure you do. If you are giving people weight or hair loss tips – make sure you actually help people.

There are far too many websites exploiting peoples weight issues or similar, only trying to make as much money as possible. Do not forget the fact that if people are following your advice, you have a moral obligation to actually give them correct and useful information.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Affiliates, think of your pension

For people working with affiliate marketing, it is important to remember putting money aside. There will be a time when you no longer wish to work with affiliate programs – either due to old age and retirement, or due to some other reason. When that day comes, those who have put money aside will find themselves smiling all the way to the bank, while those who have nothing saved will have to make a living some other way.

For many, affiliate marketing is a way to be your own boss, instead of working nine to five for someone else. Just as you are in charge over your time, work and money, you will have to look at your potential pension and savings. There day when you no longer wish – or can – work with affiliate marketing will be sure to come. The question is: When?

In many countries, people who work full time have a pension plan already. Often it is the government making the decision for you, in other cases it’s the company in question. For these people, thinking and planning for your pension may seem odd when in your thirties, but for people not automatically included, it is highly important.

Some people work full time and use affiliate programs only to make some extra money, while others work only with affiliate marketing to make their living. People having a day job will often be part of a pension plan, but would be wise to save some of the affiliate commission for the retirement.

Depending on where you live, there are many possible ways of saving for your pension. If you have an interest in the stock market and investing, perhaps you can set up your own, private pension fund. If not, the companies willing to aid you are numerous. Just make sure you look at all the options.

The key factor is to start saving early. The impact of interest over time is greater than most people imagine, getting a head start will make your pension so much easier to live on when the time comes.

People working with stocks, bonds and other kinds of investments would tell you that the average rise in stock indexes is 7 percent a year. Of course this isn’t necessarily true each year, but over time this is what one should expect.

To calculate how much your savings will grow, an easy rule of thumb is that the money invested will double in 10 years. Invest a thousand dollars today, have two thousand for your pension – if you retire in ten years that is.

When saving money on a regular basis – most often a monthly deposit – you will see your money grow to a very nice amount over the years. Saving $100 every month will end you up with;

After 10 years, you will have over $17.000 saved for your pension

After 20 years, you will see yourself with over $50.000

After 30 years you will have saved up the nice amount of $117.000, not bad at all.

No matter how you do it, saving for your pension is essential if you are working solely with affiliate marketing. The sooner you start, the better.