How to Evaluate an Affiliate Program

There are numerous affiliate programs present on the internet that offer benefits to the affiliate marketer. Every program claims that it is the best and can provide the best opportunities to affiliates, but not all affiliate programs are reliable. Several things should be considered before selecting an affiliate program, here are some important factors that should be considered.

Products

Every affiliate program must have a product to sell. These products may be physical products which require delivery or some e-products which allow instant download after payment. A good affiliate program will offer a wide range of products to the affiliates to choose from. A good affiliate program must offer products of different categories, so that an affiliate doesnÆt feel the need to look for another affiliate program if he wants to promote some other type of product.

Organization’s Track Record

Try to learn as much as possible about the track record of the affiliate program you are considering joining. It is very easy to do by using search engines for this purpose. Just type the name of the affiliate program and all available information will be in front of you. Also look at the testimonials present on the website of the program and look for the number of years that it has been in business. Also try and look for the top merchants and affiliates that have joined the organization and what are their reviews about the program.

After finding out this information, you can easily decide which programs you should or should not join.

Support Available to Affiliates

Many affiliates are new in the field of affiliate marketing and donÆt know much about the business. They need guidance and suggestions to overcome the possible difficulties and how to find their solutions.

If you are an affiliate and want to join an affiliate program always see if they are willing to provide you good support. It is very likely that you will face some difficulty during your time promoting a program and if you cannot get proper support it can waste your time and money.

Payment

Always check to see what the available methods of payment are offered to affiliates. If they are only offering the payments in limited ways then check to see if you can use that method. Many affiliate programs pay through PayPal which is available in most countries, but there are still countries that have many affiliate marketers that cannot use PayPal so just be aware of this.

Conclusion

Don’t join affiliate program in a hurry. Do proper research and gather all possible information about the organization you are going to promote. The most important things to consider are their products offered, their payment schedule, their support and previous track record. You can gather all of this information by using the search engines and by searching the official website of the organization. If the organization has been in business for many years, if they have thousands of products to promote, offer good support service, have a good payment schedule and options, then you should be happy to promote their products. Avoid the organizations that are new in business and are not offering a good number of products to promote.

Two of the most respected affiliate marketing organizations that have been in business for many years are ClickBank and JVZoo. They act as third party payment providers for a large number of product vendors and by dealing with this sort of organization you are fairly certain to get paid for your efforts.

Designing Your Website for Affiliate Marketing

Designing Your Website for Affiliate Marketing

If you want to start marketing as an affiliate then you need to have your own website. This is the main requirement to start your online business. Your website does not have to be loaded with graphics, but it does need to be informative, simple and professional.

To make your website you will need to do three things.

1) Purchase a domain name – When purchasing a domain name try to find one that is in some way relevant to the market you are targeting. Domain names that contained the products title used to be desirable but with the latest in search engine algorithms this is not really that important any more. What is more important is to have a domain name that is easy to spell!

2) Purchase a hosting service – When selecting your hosting company, look for reliability. Hosting companies will be responsible for the storage of your files and to keep your website up and running. There are many well known and reliable hosting companies with ones like Hostgator and Bluehost being very competitive in pricing and services.

3) Design your website – Site design used to be the most difficult aspect of getting a website up and running as there were limited options available. These days there is a little more choice, here are the most popular.

Use the supplied files – For many affiliate products you may get a set of site files that need simple customization before uploading to your site hosting. This is a quick and easy way to get started but you do have to bear in mind that many others affiliates will be using exactly the same site design, which makes it difficult for you to stand out from the crowd.

Use a Site Builder program – Many hosting companies have a site designer built into your hosting control panel. This can be a good way for you to get started as very little knowledge of site coding is needed to make a presentable looking site. All this will take is some of your time, and possibly a bit of swearing when things do not go quite the way that you want them to!

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Hire a designer – For a more professional looking site you may want to hire a designer to do the work for you. This can be expensive and you may end up with little control over the finished design.

Or if none of these appeal to you and you want a site that looks professional, is totally under your control, is easy to maintain and edit and, more importantly, loved by the search engines then the advice is to use WordPress to build your site.

This is not the hosted version of WordPress at wordpress.com but the version that you can install on your site and which uses your domain name. All good hosting companies offer a quick install version of WordPress which can be found in the control panel. There are thousands of different design themes available as well as many thousands of add-ons that add further functionality to your site. With a few hours spent learning how to use this system just about anyone will be able to create a site that they will be proud of!
Characteristics of a Good Website

Simple and Professional

Your website is meant for business, so it must look professional. It should not be over loaded with heavy graphics and lots of flashy banners. Simplicity is best. Try to use light colors. Make a nice header to display your company name which complements your theme colors. The site navigation must be simple and easy. People should not have any difficulty in searching for a specific page or information otherwise they will probably leave and not return.

Provide a Search Facility

Your website should have a search box on every page of your website. This is a great help for the visitors that want to search for specific information on your website.

Build Your Mailing List

Add autoresponder facilities to your site so that you can capture visitor details. There is a well known saying amongst affiliate marketers, ‘The money is in the list’. There is more than a grain of truth in this as in many cases it will take three or four exposures to your product before someone buys. If you do not have a mailing list than you have no chance of putting your offer in front of a prospective purchaser.

You may need to give away a free report on your site to capture a visitors details but this is a vital part of site design.

So to summarize, your own website is the key requirement for affiliate marketing. The overall look and feel of your website should be attractive and the site must provide the information for which people are looking for. Provide easy navigation and search facilities to make it user friendly.