Sunday, 15 December 2013

How to Sign Up for Affiliate Marketing Programs

Taking off from where The ABCs of Affiliate Marketing left off, we now turn our attention to how to join some of the major affiliate programs on the web.

To begin with, we should first understand that the internet is chock full of hundreds of possible affiliate marketing programs for you to join. What’s important however, is that you select the ones that are most appropriate for your situation and that you feel most comfortable with. Note: though every affiliate program out there will promise you good returns, only a few can actually live up to their word – so browse wisely!

Major Affiliate Programs

For example, if you run a website or blog about pets, then the ideal way for you to go is to
choose affiliate programs that let you promote pet-related products like pet food, pet toys, clothing for pets, furniture and miscellaneous equipment for pets or even pet vaccinations and medical check-ups. On sites like Amazon and eBay alone, you have the potential to market one or more of their over 1 million products in over tens of thousands of product categories. Therefore, you should first focus on relevant products that fit smoothly with your content and niche to begin with.

The next step is to sign up for a good affiliate program. As previously mentioned, you have hundreds of programs to choose from but you should narrow down your selection to include only the most relevant ones. Before clicking the sign up button on the website of your desired program, be sure to read their terms of service and conditions very carefully. Understand how they track your website, credit your sales and what commissions they offer before diving in. After all, you don’t want to get ripped off and be used cheaply now do you?

For some affiliate programs, joining takes as little as a few minutes. There are no mounds of forms to fill up and private details to give away. I have personally found affiliate programs like DreamHostHostGator and VigLinks to be near instant – taking no more than 5 minutes to fill up. In fact, when I recently signed up for VigLinks, it took me less than 2 minutes to enter my name, email and password and receive their confirmation email all within that time. The best part about such programs is that apart from the quick sign up, you can start pasting your affiliate links and banners right away on your website or blog without being hassled over “waiting periods” or “qualification criteria” like large affiliate networks like ClickBank and Commission Junction who require detailed information about your websites/blogs like traffic, conversions and even your tax information too.

Once you sign up to a program, it is all about placement of the affiliate program’s links, code and banners onto your website or blog. Sometimes, it's as simple as copying their code and pasting it into your site's HTML. Be creative, be sensible and most importantly, be considerate of your readers. Cluttering your web page with ads or stuffing commercial content unnecessarily into your blog posts and articles will do nothing but annoy readers. You need to build trust and rapport with them.

The best solution is to write up product reviews relevant to your affiliate program and then discreetly promote it – but be sure to be factual and genuine when opting for such a move. But as already mentioned before, it’s best if the products that you are promoting match well with the topics and themes covered in your website/blog.

In future articles, we’ll start reviewing some of the major affiliate programs out there as well as how-to guides to make the most out of affiliate marketing.

Until then, stay tuned!

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