by Tash Hughes of
There is a lot
of talk in marketing and e business circles about
affiliate programs. You can find any number of web sites
and books (both paper and electronic styles) telling you
how to make your fortune as an affiliate on the net.
It takes reading
a few of these to really understand what an affiliate is
Ė and probably a few more to decide if itís worth a shot
being an affiliate is likely being a traditional
salesperson working for commission. As an affiliate,
you sell other peopleís products to as many customers as
you can find and in return, you get a percentage of the
traditional a salesperson, however, affiliates can
Work for multiple
retailers at once successfully.
You can be an affiliate for a number of people and sell
the products together or separately.
Do most of their
selling via the internet with little foot work or
customer contact. Most of the books and sites mentioned
above will teach you skills of web promotion, sales copy
and automating responses.
Usually set themselves
up at no expense Ė selling via the internet means you
donít have to carry stock.
Avoid all the sales
administrivia as the parent company usually accepts and
fills the orders and money.
Do this as a sideline
to their main job or attached to their main business
The system works
quite simply. A client looking at your web site will
follow a link to an affiliate site or product. The link
includes a code which enables some software to track
that client as having come from you. Each successful
sale (or whatever the commission is based on) is
recorded and a commission listed for you.
retailers reward you differently.
From the customers you recommend via your link, you may
get paid for the actual site visit, a sign up process, a
product or service purchased or some other desired
outcome. Getting more affiliates for the retailer may
also earn you some commission, either directly or via a
percentage for each of their affiliate sales.
Due to the
technology called cookies, some retailers will include
sales made for some time after the initial contact;
this usually is in terms of months but it may extend up
to ten years in rare cases.
have their own affiliate system, whilst others use
affiliate networks. Affiliate networks are similar to a
warehouse in traditional terms as they manage a
number of products for a range of clients. Some
advantages of these affiliate systems for affiliates are
One sign up process
gives you access to a number of products and retailers
Commissions are pooled
so you are more likely to get a pay out each month, and
have fewer deposits to monitor
The affiliate network
company monitors the retailers for prompt payments so
there is greater security
You donít need to do as
much searching for products
There is often a
greater flexibility in deep linking to specific products
There are many
affiliate programs available now, offering a great range
of products for affiliates. It is up to you which
products you are comfortable selling and which are
It is not hard
to be an affiliate, but making a lot of money out of
affiliate programs will take work and time. For those
less motivated, offering a few affiliate products on
their own business web site is an effective way of
serving customers and making a little extra money.
networks in Australia are:
Clix Galore (not exclusively Australian links)
To protect your affiliate links,
or those of your affiliates, try
Affiliate Defender from
Save Time Online and Jimmy D Brown.
Tash Hughes is
the owner of
Word Constructions and is available to solve all
your business writing problems! From letters to
policies, newsletters to web content, Word Constructions
writes all business documents to your style and