It seems as though you can't visit a web site now without being asked to join their affiliate program - they're everywhere! Affiliate programs are attractive, as they offer a means of earning money from product sales without having to actually take orders, ship merchandise, deal with customers, stock inventory or take a financial risk. Post a banner to your web site and you're in business. Affiliate programs do offer a means to make additional income from your site, however, there are a few points to consider.
A Good Fit:
Before you run out and join a bunch of affiliate programs, take a moment to think about your current web site visitors. What types of products and information would they be most interested in? For example, if you have a web site that deals with pets, joining an affiliate program that sells pet supplies might be a good fit. This would be something your average visitor would have an interest in. Joining a program that sells books on How To Kill Your Neighbor's Pesky Pet, may not be such a good fit. That's a bit of an exaggeration, but I think you get my point. If your affiliate program doesn't appeal to your site's visitors, you will not have much success.
More Isn't Always Better:
If joining one affiliate program is a good deal, then why not join 500 programs? Don't stop there, why not post as many different affiliate banners as will fit onto each web page? If this sounds like a good philosophy, think again! Posting too many banners and text links on your pages will not only look sloppy and slow down time it takes to load your pages, but will confuse your visitors, resulting in less click through traffic, rather than more. (Click through traffic - People that actually click on your affiliate banners and/or text links.) It's best to focus on just a couple affiliate programs. And make sure to keep your pages simple, easy to read, and aesthetically pleasing.
Increasing Your Click Through Traffic:
As I said before, your web pages should be simple. Too many banners, especially those that change rapidly or flash, can be very distracting and annoying to your visitors. Also, don't rely just on banners to generate click through traffic for your affiliate program. Adding text links in addition to banners will greatly increase your click through percentages. Banner ads are becoming so common that many people don't give them a second look. By adding simple text links on your web pages which explain a little more about your affiliate program's product(s) you can capture attention of your visitors and increase your click through traffic. Also, placement of these banners and text links is important too. Putting these at bottom of your pages will not result in as many hits as you would have if they were displayed in a more prominent place on your page.
Ask Questions Before You Join:
Doing a little research before you join an affiliate program will pay big dividends later. Find out answers to these questions before making a commitment to join any program:
* Does it cost anything to join? Most affiliate programs offered today are absolutely free to join.
* When do they issue commission checks? All programs are different. Some issue once a month, some issue every quarter, etc. Also, many programs set a minimum earned commission amount which an affiliate must meet or exceed prior to a check being issued.