So you want to know about affiliate programs and affiliate marketing?

Let me ask you to think about something for a moment. Why is it that a bunch of people are much more successful working together rather than working as individuals, be it a football team or an army or a commercial company!

The answer you may be thinking of is “teamwork”. What makes a team? A group of people with *complementary* skills that work towards a common goal or objective. Now teamwork becomes a really powerful concept when you think about it that way.

**The online version of this concept is known as an affiliate program**

By the way, other names for affiliate programs are associate programs and referral programs.

Basically the idea is, you as a marketer become an affiliate for a product vendor known as an affiliate merchant or merchant for short. This means you promote the merchant’s product or products and for every sale, the merchant pays you a commission.

It is critical that you carefully study any merchant’s terms and conditions before you start promoting their products. Firstly there are certain promotions that the merchant does not allow and secondly you need to know about your commissions and how you get paid.

Some merchants pay for every sale to a customer that you refer others pay you for every referral even if the customer doesn’t buy anything immediately. The latter is not as common as the former but does happen in very competitive markets.

Now you may be a business or product owner yourself. Then it is extremely important that you set up your own affiliate program – and don’t worry that does not mean you have to do anything technical like write computer programs. There are plenty of ‘point and click’ systems that help you get set up very quickly and easily.

The important factor for you is that your affiliate program will attract many affiliates to promote your products. These affiliates will in turn refer many thousands or often tens of thousands more people to your products and services that you would never have come across. Just one promotion by one of the affiliates can significantly boost your website visitors, sales and profits.

I want you to note something. Affiliates continuously build up a “following” on the Internet. You should do this because building a relationship with your followers gives you major influence and therefore the ability to generate sales by recommending products that you have researched and believe in.

This following can be a healthy number of regular (and increasing) visitors to your websites or most often a highly productive mailing list to keep you in touch with your followers, known as subscribers.

Let me tell you, this use of affiliates is one of the top 3 secrets of the world’s most successful online vendors. So whether you become an affiliate or a merchant, affiliate programs are critical to your success.

I hope you’re beginning to see how this relationship between the affiliates and merchants works for both parties. But this also works extremely well for the customers too. The reason is, the customers get to find out about products that they’d never have discovered by themselves. More importantly, the customers see useful analysis of a pre-vetted product from a professional (the affiliate) that the customer may not be equipped to do, even if they had the time!

Even if you’re just starting out as an affiliate, within days you can surpass the knowledge of your subscribers in your chosen field and you can therefore be classed as a professional compared to your subscribers. This is because most subscribers don’t have the time to focus on the subject. But this scenario actually makes the relationship work very well. They look to you to save them time and effort by distilling and filtering out poor products and sending them information about relevant and useful products. You look to them to give you a nice (commission) income for your efforts, as long as you put their interests first.

Naturally, the affiliates have to be genuine with their recommendations or they’ll lose the trust of their subscribers very quickly indeed. Being honest with their subscribers and looking after their interests sometimes means recommending better products that offer smaller commissions. Such affiliates build a large and very responsive list of eager subscribers. The affiliates will therefore have the opportunity for many repeat sales over the long term. The profits per customer with this approach are significantly larger than a one-off large commission if they betray the trust of the subscriber.

So you see, affiliate programs provide a partnership between the affiliates, affiliate merchants and customers that help everyone win in a very efficient way. Make sure you learn more about affiliate marketing either as an affiliate or an affiliate merchant or both to profit from your online presence.

Dr Sami Fab has been an IT professional since 1982. He has more valuable information for you free at the address below.

Learn more with Affiliate Marketing – Tips For Beginners .

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