Saturday, January 17, 2009

Affiliate Streams of Income and related points

Making my official "entre" into Internet Marketing, my first affiliate network to sign up with was an easy choice. With the sea of a zillion programs and products to choose from, I think it's best to choose one you know about. For me this meant signing up with Plimus to be an affiliate for Holly's Book Honest Riches.

Since signing up to be an Honest Riches affiliate, there are a few points I've learned along the way to take into consideration:

1. The affilate commissions will vary, from very low to very high commissions.
2. The payout can be a one time commission affiliate program or a lifetime commission affiliate program.
3. When starting out, it helps to choose programs or products to represent that you can use and market from a 1st hand experience. (Notice I didn't say "sell"?)
4. Start with a program or network that you know is legitimate. You can discern this by what you read in blogs, forums and online. Try searching for the name+review in your Google search and see what types of feedback you find.

The temptation to sign-up with any affiliate program you read about and lots of affiliate networks can be a big mistake...think about it, how many things can you do at once? Or, do well anyway.

Once you decide on an affiliate program to represent, you will have access to marketing links that you can use in text or banners to market your product. When you start posting your links, keep in mind that there will be sneaks online who will try to "steal" your commissions from you. The best way to prevent that happening is to "cloak" your links. Once you have a website there are a lot of ways and products you can use to cloak your links, but before that, there are a few free products that I have found. Not only can you gain the benefit of protecting your links, but with many programs you receive statistics for the number of clicks as well as where the clicks came from. After trying Addme.com, URLFreeze and Clickfire.com, the free link cloakiing program I use is ViralURL.com. One word if warning: before you sign up for this progam, consider getting a free e-mail account. Right after I signed up I did receive some spam mail as part of the marketing program they offer for their members who have upgraded to the paid service.

Speaking of free e-mail programs, I'm a total gmail.com believer. I really expect to eventually convert all my e-mail addreses to gmail so I'll never have to change again! (I know, never say never.)

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