What is an affiliate program?  These are programs that allow you to make a commission when you send someone to their website and that visitor makes a purchase.

Amazon has an affiliate program and some people make very good money from it.  They started the industry.  I became an Amazon affiliate or associate as they call them way back in 1997 or maybe 1996.  It was their first month to offer it.  I didn’t think too much of it at the time but I signed up and made some money.  It was easy to do back then.  Now some of the techniques I used are considered spam.  They were not then.

If you decide to offer products via your own website, it is very important to match the products you offer to the content on your website.

I recommend that you avoid affiliate programs that are self hosted.  By that I mean affiliate programs that are run by the company that offers the product.   I’ve even had some larger companies shave sales off.   When an affiliate program doesn’t give you credit for your sales, it is called shaving.

I don’t participate in adult marketing any more but I use too.  They are notorious for this.  I once even saw my sale count go down.  I had 19 sales and then I had 18 the next time I looked.

Usually you wont know when shaving happens.  Avoid the self hosted ones and you will not have these kinds of issues very often.  A few of the larger affiliate networks are

Most, if not all, of these sites are going to require you to have a website.  Some people call this an approval instrument.  If you don’t

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The more specific your site is to the product you offer the more successful you will be but only if people are searching for those products.  Lately, I’ve seen people setting up websites and articles with the model number of a product in it.  If you can get a page like that to rank well, you’re likely to do very well.

People that are searching by model number have usually decided to buy it and are looking for prices at that point.  I’ve strayed abit from the original topic now.  I will write more on how to market your website in a follow up article.

The biggest points I wanted to make in this article are:

  • Use affiliate networks.  Avoid self hosted affiliate programs.
  • Match your products to your content.

If you are new to affiliate marketing, you have a lot to learn.  Don’t expect to make a lot of money fast.  It will take time.  The most important thing to do is get started and keep working on it.  If you spend an hour a day, you can begin to make money online.

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