| Are Affiliate Programs Sensible?
By Denise Hall (C) 2003
Have you ever wondered how "the big guys" earn so much
money on the internet? Sure, some of them have huge
advertising budgets, which puts small business owners at a
But some of the biggest names today started out just like
you and me. They had low advertising budgets and fumbled
their way around the internet trying to get visitors to
their websites and sell their products.
Even though they had terrific products, they couldn't sell
them if no one knew about them. They put on their thinking
caps to find the easiest and least expensive way to get
visitors and make sales.
They finally came up with a plan that would benefit not
only them, but others as well. If they could get other
people to promote their products and websites, they could
earn more money.
And so, Affiliate Programs were born! What a concept! A
better way to get visitors to a website and sell more
They offer their visitors the opportunity to "partner" with
them, often for free, to help sell their products. And many
of them offer two-tier affiliate programs.
So if I sign up as an affiliate I can get others to sign up
under me as my sub-affiliates. I earn a commission for
sales I make directly to my customers. But I also earn a
smaller commission for sales that my sub-affiliates make.
It's a winning situation for everyone! The "big guy" made
money because he sold his product. However, he might not
have made that sale if it wasn't for my advertisement. And I
made money because I advertised his products.
The concept of affiliate programs is really not so new. It's
similar to selling cosmetics or other products for many
For instance, I have no idea how to invent a new cologne,
but I know how to sell it. Therefore, I could sign up as a
representative for a cosmetics company. They, in turn,
would pay me a commission for selling their products.
Why would they do that? Because they can't possibly reach
all the potential customers by themselves.
By becoming an affiliate for someone who knows much more
about computers and digital products than I do, I have the
advantage of selling quality products that I can't create
And they have the advantage of their affiliates doing some
of the "leg work" for them because they can't possibly reach
all the potential customers in this vast internet world.
A few of the large companies on the internet today that
offer free two-tier affiliate programs can be located at
the following links:
(For this last one you sign up for ListFire and get your
free copy of Web Army Knife. Then you can sign up to become
an affiliate for free.)
The next time you visit a website offering products you
like, check to see if they offer an affiliate program. Even
if you don't wish to place an order for a product at that
time, you can sign up as an affiliate.
In the future when you do order you may be able to use your
own affiliate URL and give yourself the commission. Most
companies allow this procedure.
In the meantime you can let your customers know that you
have new products available, as well as affiliate programs
for them to join. It's a great way to get backend sales.
So there you have it! The reasons for affiliate programs and
why it makes sense for people to sign up. By offering
well-known products on your website or in your ezine you
are in a win-win situation and can potentially earn big
money like the "internet gurus."
About the Author
Denise Hall is the owner of Home Business on a Budget which
specializes in tools and resources for your home business
needs. Visit http://www.home-business-on-a-budget.com today.
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