Affiliate programs are great way to create a sustainable passive income for the entrepreneur, and there are several different types of affiliate programs available.
Affiliate Marketing is defined as a revenue sharing relationship between advertisers or merchants and online publishers or affiliates. It is a low cost way for merchants to sell their products and services.
In this type of online business, you don’t have to take any risk because you only have to pay the affiliate once the result is achieved. Once a customer is gained, a portion of the profit from that customer will be given to the affiliate as commission. Usually, an affiliate gets a commission for referring clicks, leads or sales to the merchant’s website. The said affiliate income can be a fixed dollar amount or a fixed percentage.
From this simple commission-based referral system, some affiliates become experts on this field. In fact, some of them are gaining more than five figures every month. However, among the thousands of marketers, only 1 to 5% of them reached this level. And if you’re among the lucky ones who achieve this so-called elite level, you can now be aptly called a “super” affiliate.
This means you are capable of achieving noteworthy percentage of sales or traffic on your merchant’s website. Super affiliates are not only experts on search engine optimization; they are also great in newsletter marketing, email marketing, reciprocal linkages, keyword optimization, link exchanges, advertising in forums and other methods to advertise and promote their products and services.
The Different Types Of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing programs has never been as popular before as it is today. Why? There can be a number of reasons. The most probable reason, however, could be the fact that the benefits of affiliate marketing have become clearer to a lot of people now than they were before.
Today, both the merchants and the affiliates can see clearly that affiliate marketing can work for both of them. The merchant sees affiliate marketing today as the chance to advertise their products at a lower cost. The affiliates, on the other hand, sees affiliate marketing as an easy way of earning profits online by doing what they like most, and that is by creating websites.
Just as the popularity of affiliate marketing has shifted into greater heights, so has the people’s outlook about it changed. No longer is affiliate marketing considered today as an alternative method for the merchant to advertise his products, or as a source of additional income for the affiliates. For merchants and affiliates alike, affiliate marketing is now considered as a main source of profits and revenues.
So the question now is what type of affiliate marketing will work best for you? Are all affiliate marketing programs the same? Are the benefits the same? Or are there affiliate marketing programs that work better than the others?
There are actually different types or classes of affiliate marketing, and the number of types will depend on how one will classify them. The most basic affiliate marketing programs, however, falls under two categories: pay-per-click (PPC) and pay-per-performance (PPP).
- Pay Per Click (PPC) — PPC is the most popular type of affiliate marketing for affiliates with small websites, and probably the easiest way for them to earn money. In this affiliate marketing type, the merchant pays his affiliate whenever a visitor is referred to his site, that is whenever someone clicks through the merchant’s banner or text ads. The affiliate gets paid a certain amount even if the visitor he referred does not purchase anything from the merchant’s site. However, typical fees for PPC affiliate programs are small, usually not exceeding a dollar for every click.
- Pay Per Performance (PPP) — PPP affiliate marketing is the most popular among merchant and is also the most lucrative type for the affiliates. In this type of affiliate program, the merchant only pays the affiliate whenever his referral translates into an action—that is whenever the visitor he has referred actually buys something from the merchant’s site or when the visitor becomes a lead. This means a lot of savings for the merchant. On the other hand, it becomes the most lucrative type for the dedicated affiliate, for commissions in PPP affiliate marketing usually comes in the range of 15% to 20% of the actual product sales. Pay-per-performance affiliate marketing can be further classified into two popular types: pay-per-sales (PPS) and pay-per-lead (PPL).
- Pay Per Sale (PPS) — In a pay-per-sale type of affiliate marketing, the merchants pay the affiliate a certain fee whenever the visitor he has referred to the merchant’s site actually buys something from the merchant’s site. Affiliates are often paid on commission basis, although other merchants would opt to pay a fixed fee. But no matter what the basis of the fee is, it is generally higher than the fee paid to affiliates in a pay-per-click affiliate program.
- Pay Per Lead (PPL) — The pay-per-lead type of affiliate marketing is a slight variation of the PPS type and is often used by insurance and finance companies and other companies who rely on leads for their company to grow. In this type of affiliate marketing, the affiliate is paid whenever the visitor he referred to the merchant’s site fills up an application form or any similar form related to the business of the company. Compensation for this type of affiliate marketing is based on a fixed fee whose rates approximate that of the fixed fee in the PPS type. Aside from these three specific types of affiliate marketing, a lot of other affiliate marketing types exist. If the classification is based on the depth of the affiliate network, it can be classified as single-tier, two-tier, and multi-tier affiliate marketing. There is also another type of affiliate marketing that pays the affiliate each time the customer he has referred purchases something from the merchant’s site.
- Single-Tier, Two-Tier and Multi-Tier Affiliate Marketing — These types of affiliate marketing are based on the different levels or tiers in the affiliate network by which payments are made. In a single-tier affiliate marketing program, the affiliates are only paid based on the direct sales or traffic he has referred to the merchant. All the previously mentioned affiliate marketing types (i.e. PPS< PPL and PPC) fall under the single-tier classification. In two-tier affiliate marketing programs, the affiliate is not only paid for the direct traffic or sales that he refers to the merchant’s site, but also on every traffic or sales referred by various other affiliates who joined the affiliate program through his recommendation. Multi-tier affiliate marketing works the same way, although the affiliate gets additional commission for a wider number of affiliates in different tiers in the affiliate network.
- Residual Income Affiliate Marketing — In residual income affiliate marketing, the affiliate gets paid not only once for every customer he has referred to the merchant’s site. Rather, the affiliate is also paid whenever the customer he has referred returns to the site and purchase another product. Compensation for such type of affiliate marketing is based on either sales percentage commission or fixed fee basis.
How to Make a Living as an Affiliate
Your success as an affiliate is determined by you. Ninety-five percent of the people this article will do nothing with it. Five percent of the people that read this guide will put all the pieces in place and start making a living as an affiliate. You have to decide which side of the coin you want to be on.
Ninety-five percent of all affiliates make $0 to $100 a year. I don’t know about you, but in my books, this is not a living. In this quick “How To” article, we’ll take a look at how you can become part of the nine percent who ARE making their living online. This guide does not guarantee that you’ll make a fortune, but it will point you in the right direction if you’re interested in making a living as an affiliate.
- Mindset: Get in touch with your grey matter. Program your mind with positive, committed thoughts. If you can believe it, you can achieve it. It sounds a bit like a sales seminar, but bottom line is, if you don’t believe you can make a living online, you won’t. You have to be committed. Commit to yourself that you will develop an income online — no matter what it takes. Think of your business as a bacon and eggs breakfast. The chicken was involved, the pig was committed!
- Viewpoint: This is your business. Once you’ve accomplished your first hurdle and committed yourself to making this work, you have to look at your business from the proper viewpoint. No rose colored glasses here. This is your business. You are the CEO of your own marketing company. You can choose to offer your services to one or several companies. Bottom line, you are responsible for every action in your company. Every decision you make affects your bottom line.
- Learning Curve: Expect it. Becoming an affiliate is like going to college or university. You start at the beginning, learn the basics and build on what you learn. Take it step-by-step and you’ll build a much stronger business. Think of it like becoming a doctor. One doesn’t decide to become a doctor with the expectation of opening a successful practice one week from now. It takes time to learn the products or services you’re marketing and it takes time to learn to run your business.
- Budget Time and Money: Set a general budget for both. As a business owner, you’ll use plenty of time developing and promoting your affiliate business. Budget as much time as you can each day and make sure you use your time wisely. Set up a budget for your monetary expenses too. You can run a business online with a shoestring budget, just don’t expect a mammoth income in the beginning. The more you can invest in your business, the better. This doesn’t mean that simply throwing money at your business will make it grow. Every dollar that goes out your door, needs to come back in and bring another dollar with it.
- Set Goals: s/he shoots – s/he scores! Your goals will get you through the tough times. There will be lots of days when you feel like quitting. If you make your goals tangible, you’ll make it through the tough days. Money isn’t a motivator, but what money can buy, is. Set your goals for a family vacation, a new car, boat, or home. It’s much easier to get excited about a shiny red corvette in your driveway than $100,000 sitting in your bank account. Money is only numbers on a piece of paper or a computer screen, but it can bring you a luxurious lifestyle, and that’s where the fun is.
- Nuts and Bolts: Once you’ve got your house in order, with the proper mindset, you’re looking at your business from a realistic viewpoint, you’ve got an open mind and you’re ready to learn, you’ve set aside some time and money and you’ve got pictures of your dream house, car and vacation plastered on your wall, you’re ready to go hunting. The next step is to find a business that interests you and offers an affiliate program with a reasonable commission. For information products, one of the most popular and profitable online, you can and should expect a commission of 25% or more. Pick a product that interests you. Buy it and use it. Your business is based on your recommendations of a product or service. If you haven’t used it, how can you recommend it? Avoid running around in circles after the newest, hottest selling product of the day, it only leaves you dizzy and broke. Choose a product you’re interested in. If you like astronomy, becoming an affiliate of a star chart company may be a good fit. Selling women’s pantyhose may not.
- Look Before You Leap: Finding a company to represent as an affiliate is one thing, finding a company that respects its affiliates is another. Do a bit of research before you jump on the bandwagon. Send an email to the company as if you’re a potential customer. 24 to 48 hours is a good response time. This shows that someone is actually running the company. It also gives you an idea of their commitment. Generally, the faster the response, the more committed the company is to doing business. The quality of the response is also important.Did the response answer your question? Was it written in a friendly, professional manor? Did they answer your question directly or simply send you to a FAQ sheet? If everything checks out up to this point,then your next step is to take action. Fill out the affiliate application form and get your affiliate URL. Now the ball is in your court. It’s time to get down to brass tacks. If you freeze now, you make no money and flush your goals down the toilet. If you take action, you make it one step closer to your goals.
- If You Build It, They Will Come: Okay not really, but you do have to build it. If you want to maximize your income and be taken seriously, you need to own a website. Just like a brick and mortar business, you need a professional location to offer your products. Yes, you get an affiliate URL when you sign up as an affiliate, but promoting an affiliate link looks amateur and will help you LOSE 98% of your sales. We’ll cover this in point 10.
- Stay Organized and Document Your Daily Routine: The first thing you will need to do is plan your daily tasks and write down your schedule. You might find these organizational tools effective in helping you to work efficiently and productively. Document the start and end time on events like getting ready for work, driving your kids to school, your commute to your day job, gym time and any other weekly commitments you have. Don’t forget to include weekends and family time (this is most important). After completing this exercise you should have a good visual of what your work week looks like. You should see openings in your week. Make your goal easy: try to find two hours you can commit to spend on your business. You should be able to re-prioritize some time.
- Stick To Your Schedule and Re-Evaluate: The next thing you need to do is stick with your schedule. This can be tough because you are creating a new habit. Once you get the hang of your new routine, you should always re-evaluate your schedule. You may be able to find more time to spend on your home business. Sticking with your schedule means you need to discipline yourself to work. This means that you have to find a way after work, after little league games, after dinner and after putting the kids to bed.
- Follow-up = Sales: Only 2% of your prospects will sign up or buy what you’re offering, on their first visit. Ninety-eight percent of your sales will be made from your follow up. There’s a very simple method for following up and making sales automatically. Check your favorite search engine to locate a free ebook, software program or report that relates to your offer. For example, if you’re promoting a website that sells peanut butter, a free peanut butter recipe book would be a good match. Your give-away must always relate to the product you’re promoting to maximize the results of this system. Build a page on your website to give away your free peanut butter recipe book. Design the page as if you were designing a sales page. Make people’s mouths water until they want the recipes so bad they’d gladly pay for them, but then give it to them free. All they have to do is fill in their name and email address in the simple form and you’ll send their recipe book to them instantly via email. As soon as your peanut butter prospect fills out the form on your site and clicks the send button, they are taken to your affiliate URL where they can buy peanut butter. At the same time, the peanut butter recipe book is sent to their email address. Now your peanut butter prospect receives an email from you each week with new tips and useful peanut butter information. This information positions you as a peanut butter expert and gives you the opportunity to promote your peanut butter affiliate website once a week, to hot prospects. This is where you’ll make 98% of your sales.
Although the above steps may seem like an overwhelming amount of work for the beginner, it’s all very simple. The whole process is run from an autoresponder, a simple piece of email software that automatically sends your pre-written email messages on a predetermined schedule.
Overachieving Your Way to Super Affiliate Stardom
How does a person become a super affiliate and create a sustainable passive income? And how can they overachieve their way to super affiliate stardom? Making your way to super affiliate stardom is not that easy; and it surely won’t happen overnight. Bear in mind that you need to embrace some tactics, carry out effective online business strategies and of course give hefty time commitment. You can’t be a super affiliate without blood and sweat and without the following traits — patience, persistence and thirst for knowledge. Matched with efficient strategy, these three traits provide you the formula towards super affiliate stardom.
Don’t be fooled by all the affiliate program advertisements promoting them a easy home based business opportunities. Affiliate programs are effective home based business income opportunities, but they will not make you money all by themselves. You will need to work your affiliate programs to make them effective home based business income opportunities.
Affiliate marketing strategies are a bit difficult but they are achievable; you just have to work hard on it. First, look for a unique and exceptional niche and focus in it. The reason why most people in the affiliate marketing business didn’t turn out to be very successful is that they try to offer almost everything under the sun instead of giving all their attention in a particular niche market. If you want to become a super affiliate, try not to scatter all your efforts; concentrate on your niche and make it grow by means of promoting, advertising and selling it well.
The next step you must do after you have established your affiliate storehouse is to promote it. Most affiliates resort to pay-per-click engines. But what’s more advisable is to discover how to accomplish organic search results or better yet, hire a search engine marketing company. Through this, you can be saved from losing all your profits on pay-per-click engines.
Then, familiarize yourself with your product and know your audience. Remember that credibility builds trust. And you can only make information that puts up your credibility if you know the products and services your site is offering. If you’re target audience don’t trust you, how could you expect them to purchase from your affiliate storehouse? Moreover, if you take time to learn the products and services you are recommending, it will be way too easy for you to establish a website that converts well, which will enhance your affiliate income in return.
Try to promote and resell products from different merchants. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this strategy because it is just a way of protecting your business and broadening your horizons to be sure that you won’t experience the so-called famine effect. Aside from that, promoting different merchants on the same site provides your site visitors a handful of destinations to choose from. This strategy will also make you aware on what your visitor want to see and it can also help you find out how well various merchants perform against each other.
As mentioned earlier in this page, a super affiliate wannabe should have this trait – thirst for knowledge. It is because this trait can help him or her stay updated and remain on top of the trends. If you are knowledgeable in internet marketing, then you know that what was adopted few months ago may not be applicable at present. So it is important to seek knowledge and make sure that you are updated on what’s new about affiliate marketing daily. Keep in mind that super affiliates take time to read, learn and embrace the changes in online marketing business.
And what’s most important? Never, ever give up. Being engaged in affiliate marketing business is hard, that’s why you must be equipped with patience and persistence. Check your statistics and find out the things that are working and those that are not. Make changes if the situation calls for.
These are just few suggestions and ideas if you want to boost your affiliate income. Let me reiterate, you have to be patience, persistence and knowledgeable. Then, follow the above mentioned strategies and you’ll surely find yourself on the road to super affiliate stardom.