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Affiliate Selling

by Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

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 for you.

Essentially, 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 sales.

Unlike a traditional a salesperson, however, affiliates can

6       Work for multiple retailers at once successfully. You can be an affiliate for a number of people and sell the products together or separately.

6       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.

6       Usually set themselves up at no expense Ė selling via the internet means you donít have to carry stock.

6       Avoid all the sales administrivia as the parent company usually accepts and fills the orders and money.

6       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.

Different 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.

Some retailers 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

6       One sign up process gives you access to a number of products and retailers

6       Commissions are pooled so you are more likely to get a pay out each month, and have fewer deposits to monitor

6       The affiliate network company monitors the retailers for prompt payments so there is greater security

6       You donít need to do as much searching for products

6       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 complementary.

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.

Some affiliate networks in Australia are:

Commission Monster

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 satisfaction.

This article is available for free use on your web site or in your newsletter.

It must be acknowledged as written by Tash Hughes of www.wordconstructions.com.au and copyright remains the property of Tash Hughes.

Please notify us of your use of this article or to request information on commissioned articles.


© 2003 - 12, Tash Hughes