An excellent way to monetize your efforts online is to join and promote affiliate programs.
This requires a bit of work on your part, and you will need to build up your traffic for it to pay off. But if you stay with it, affiliate programs can be clean and successful part of your local Internet marketing campaign.
There are hundreds (probably thousands) of affiliate programs to choose from. And many thousands of other web marketers promoting them, just like you. So how do you monetize your website as an affiliate?
The first thing to do is to learn from the masters. I recommend the following sources to get you started.
- AffiliateMatch www.affiliatematch.com This website, owned by Chuck McCullough, is a very popular resource for those entering the affiliate arena. Chuck is a first-class guy, and provides lots of valuable information, links and suggestions in how to be successful with an affiliate campaign.
- AffiliateMistakes www.affiliatemistakes.com At this website - also owned by Chuck McCullough - you will find his e-book called Affiliate Mistakes, describing the 15 things NOT to do if you want to monetize your website though an affiliate program. You can download it for $37.00 US. This is must reading for those starting out with affiliate programs.
- AffiliateWorld www.affiliateworld.com At AffiliateWorld, you will be presented with a Top 10, Top 11-20, Elite Showcase, and Beginners Guide, among other things. I like the look and feel of the site, and the orientation toward articles and learning. They even have a "Voting Booth" that allows net surfers to rate various programs.
- WebWorker www.referralincome.com Similar to the websites above, WebWorker offers lots of links, recommendations, and tips to help you make your affiliate program is a winner. This site also has quite a few "tools" for the experienced affiliate. And, a list of "affiliate services" to use if need be. Quite impressive!
- AffiliatePromote www.affiliatepromote.com I am including this website in the subject of local Internet marketing / affiliate programs because it show how creative people can get with the idea of using the web to make money.
What these guys offer is a way for YOU to be the affiliator, and get others to refer to your site for more traffic and profitability. Look into it. As the search engines continue to place value on link popularity in their ranking stragegies, the idea of creating an affiliate network linking IN to your site is very important.
Before I leave the subject of affiliates, I want to add that the use of an "affiliate program" is not the only way you can monetize your site with affiliate links. Another very successful way - and one Ken Evoy of SiteSell recommends - is to place "in context links" on your page, within the body copy of the page itself.
What this means is that the reader is able to click on a link that relates to the subject of the paragraph or page, and the link is embedded in the text. When the visitor "clicks through" to your merchant partner - and buys - you get paid.
All you have to do to make this work is establish the affiliate relationship in advance with the merchant partner. They will then send you the "a href" code specific to your account. You embed that code into the HTML of your page, and shazam! You have monetized the very information you are giving to your interested visitor.
And, quite often, the visitor is "pre-sold" on whatever you are writing about, so they arrive at the merchant site in a "ready-to-buy" state of mind. Very effective!
NOTE: If all that sounds like Greek to you, don't dispair. Send me an email at
firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be glad to talk you through it.