Friday, 6 March 2009

What is an affiliate network?

Affiliate network - Questions and answers

"Its a question that I asked myself two years ago. I was first starting out in the exciting but elusive world of affiliate marketing.

After losing my job in 2007 (due to the collapse of my employers business) I decided I needed a change from the day to day monotony of Real Estate. Long had I worked in this field and since leaving high school it was all I really knew.

I was introduced into affiliate marketing by a friend of mine Tim Harwood who was always known as a bit of an Internet whizz kid. He had been making money online through a variety of mediums including the usual auction sites like ebay but also making professional looking company websites which he sold for hundreds of dollars. Tim encouraged me that anybody could start making money online and all it took was the correct knowledge to kick start their career. Looking back over the last two years I have to agree, but like most things the knowledge came at a price and it was months before I could rely on my new found income. In the meantime I had been helping out at a local riding school and giving driving lessons to make ends meet!

The reason for making this page is to introduce you to some of the methods I have had the most success with and hopefully point you in the right direction." - Patrick glasshouse.

So for the last time! What is an affiliate network?

To put it simply an affiliate network acts as a middle man for larger companies to deal with affiliates (you) to promote their products.

An affiliate network will introduce you to many different companies and publishers on their books, all who have a product to sell. Your affiliate network will supply you with the tools you need to promote their products and act as an intermediary to pass on commission from any resulting sales. All you have to do is put links and banners on your blog or website which are relevant to your chosen subject. The links and banners all have tracking codes so if they are clicked on and purchases are made later on you will get the commission. This come directly from you affiliate network.

Sounds complicated...Can anyone join an affiliate network?

Some networks only allow members who are already top flying affiliates, when I first started out it was very hard to get anyone to give me a chance. Credibility is the key factor when applying. Most affiliate networks will call you to ask you questions hoping to figure out your level of expertise. This can be quite daunting and you should only really apply to the top networks when you have enough experience.

I have no experience at all where do I start?

The best place to start would be to join moreniche, the moreniche affiliate network approves anybody and everybody and will pay you $45 for the privilege. This is an offer they are running to encourage top affiliates to join, but as a new company they are looking for anyone to start promoting their products and will pay you well to do it! They also have a massive range of guides, videos and ebooks all free to members so you can start making money right away. Moreniche was the second network I applied too and I'm still with them to this day. I typically earn at least $800 a month from the health products they offer.

The great thing about moreniche is its simplicity. Once you join you will need to click on the "get links, banners and resources" tab to choose a product you would like to promote. Don't worry if you do not have a website yet as they will even provide you with templates to get you started free of charge! - Note: you do not even have to use a website, read UsfreeAds section below

Once you have chosen your products to promote you will receive a piece of HTML code that you should highlight, copy, and paste to your site, blog or classified advert. This site itself was free to create using and I can recommend it highly.

Notes on affiliate marketing. You will never need to pay anything to become an affiliate! Do NOT let someone dupe you into parting with your money just to join a network. Moreniche does not charge you a cent and will pay YOU to join their network. Join moreniche and get $45.00

How can I get traffic to my site?

The main way to get traffic to your site is making sure the various search engines can find you in the first place. The practice of enhancing your site for search engine web crawlers is known as search engine optimisation or SEO for short (a simple search on SEO will bring up hundreds of articles on how to do this). Again you do not need to pay anything for this kind of information as you can find it all for free on the Internet.

SEO can take a long time to start seeing results. One of the quickest ways to receive traffic is by writing articles or adverts that relate to your website or blog.

What is the best way to get started quickly?

One way to get started quickly with affiliate marketing would be by creating adverts relevant to the product you want to promote. For example with moreniche I wished to promote the Proactol weight loss pill and created the following ad on UsfreeAds - Pill Slimming | Tablets weight loss

UsfreeAds is free to join but you would be far better off going straight for the $9.99 premium membership. This membership will allow you to create unlimited adverts and let you put all your affiliate links and banners in every advert you make. (free membership does not allow affiliate links).

A list of benefits of the premium membership can be seen in the following table;

All you have to do is optimise your advert as I have done with my example ad, the keyword phrase has been used in my title, sub headings, and content. This means within a few weeks or even days your advert will be found on all the major search engines. Google loves UsFreeAds and as all the ads are HTML they are indexed very quickly.

Your domain will also be listed in the yahoo business directory. If $9.99 sounds a lot of money then you will be surprised to learn that you can easily get your site to the top of the search engines using this method. If you compare the cost of Pay per click advertising which can costs hundreds of dollars a week and still not guarantee first place position, then it really is a very cheap way of doing things. Take a look at UsFreeAds now

Quick tip - Do not copy any of the text in adverts or articles that can be found online, you will be penalised by google for duplicate content. Just read up on the product you are selling and write from the heart.

I want to use a website template to get started, where can I get hosting?

Bloggers will only get you so far and to get the most out of your affiliate marketing you will need to create a few websites to showcase your chosen products. you will be far better getting an unlimited hosting package that will allow you to create as many sites as you want. The most recommended one available online is the unlimited hosting package by Hostgator. This is only $7.95 a month! Again if your serious about being an affiliate this is an offer too good to refuse.

How much can I expect to earn from being an affiliate?

This depends on how much work you are willing to put in. Just creating a good site with good content and putting your affiliate links and banners on it is simply not enough. You will need to advertise your site to start receiving traffic (or customers). I recommend UsFreeAds for a quick and painless traffic spike.

Thanks for reading and good luck with affiliate marketing, more tips will be posted soon.....

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