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Maintaining an Effective Affiliate Strategy

Image courtesy of Missyward

Image courtesy of Missyward

Affiliate programs are part of the lazy income that many internet marketers like to boast.  This is just the process of being able to sell another person’s product or services for a commission.

There are individuals that may advertise an affiliate sales program for their product or service as well as companies that represent a number of brands and products online. While there are some that offer compensation for pay-to-click (PTC) or have visitors to sign up for email alerts, most affiliate programs use this method to build their customer base with hopes that it will lead to sales.

New bloggers and other online businesspeople sometimes make the mistake of signing on for as many of these as they can.  This is due to the fact that the majority of these programs are happy to receive leads from what may be a new source of leads.

However, popular programs like Commission Junction have a rigid approval process and will drop anyone that does not provide a steady source of sales for its clients.

For bloggers that have not yet found their unique voice, the best way to go about this is to align yourself with products that complement your brand.

Some established bloggers may find themselves inundated with offers to join a new affiliate program but over time they may find that their site looks like a flashing billboard.

Choosing Wisely

If you are a new blogger, you may want to look into Google programs first.  They have a number of advertising programs that range from AdSense (PTC) to an affiliate program that offers many options for campaigns to join.  Also, Google has a great reputation as well as variety.

As you network with others, they may attempt to entice you with joining their program.  If unsure, you can ask about the history of the product or service being sold before agreeing to do anything.  Or, you can find out the company’s history and make a decision based on your findings.  Try not to jump into anything blind because like anything else, if it sounds too good to be true…it is!

Placing For Marketability

You may have visited a site where many affiliate ads sat grouped together…at the bottom of the page.  Chances are that no sales were ever generated and probably if you clicked any ad, there would be a message stating that the blogger is no longer part of the program or that the company is no longer in business.  This type of negligence can hurt a brand even though they may have innocently forgotten.

Advertisers really appreciate it when their ads are placed as close to the top of the page as possible.  This way, the ads are within eye level of the viewer.  Also, it is important to choose the right size so that images do not overlap into text.  The best guide is to stick with ads that are 125×125 or 250×250.  These are simple squares that seldom extend into the body and do not take a lot of time to upload.

If you have limited data space or bandwidth, you may want to steer clear of placing video ads, animation or anything that may cost you traffic.

Reading Statistical Data

In this case, this process is easier than it sounds.  Once you register for an affiliate program, you will receive your account information as well as a tutorial on how to set-up and navigate.  In most tutorials, there is a demo on how to read tutorials so that you can easily see how to view the number of clicks an ad has and how many of these clicks convert into sales.  This is known in the internet marketing industry as CTR, or click-through-ratio

Neil Napier is an online entrepreneur, who conducts Marketing case studies on Online Marketing Laboratory. If you are interested in finding marketing ideas that work, hop on over to read more.
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