By Ronda Suder
Affiliate programs can give your business an added sales boost, or they can be a great way to start a new business. Whether you're new or established, here are some basic steps to effectively selling your products through an affiliate program.
- Do Your Homework. A great way to understand affiliate programs is to become an affiliate of another company. In most cases, being an affiliate does not cost you anything, and it can give you a insight on what you like and dislike about other affiliate programs. Also, you’ll get a feel for what percentage of the product sale price affiliates offer for different types of products.
Do your homework to understand your market. Who’s buying your type of product? Why? Where do they go to find it? What search engines are used most? By being able to answers these questions, you’ll be able to strategically work to attract the right sellers, or affiliates, for your products.
- Develop a Policy. What type of affiliate program will you have? A pay-per-click program? A pay only on purchase/sale program? Will you work with an affiliate network program? What percentage of the sale price will you grant to sellers of your products?A policy that answers these questions and has clear guidelines and expectations, as well as the percentage granted to affiliates for selling or representing your product, is important. It will aid in the unfortunate event of any future legal issues. If you show you have a policy, and you’re consistent in administering it, then it can help protect your interests. In addition, if your company has an internal policy, it can aid in organizing and implementing your business practices.
- Advertise. If you’ve done your homework after deciding what product to sell, then you should know which markets and Web site interfaces are best to solicit affiliates. Blog sites or message boards with content or topics related or specific to your product are great places to look for affiliates. Also, a Web site to promote your product is another must when setting up an affiliate program. Be sure to increase your knowledge on keyword placement and search engine optimization (SEO) to maximize the traffic coming to your site. You may also opt to use an affiliate network program, like Google or LinkShare.
- Be Prepared to Adjust as You Go. By using Web site analytics, you will be able to understand your customers and the traffic coming (or not) to your site. As you begin to understand what’s working and not working for your product sales, then you can make the appropriate adjustments to improve your business.
Affiliate programs can be a short- or long-term way to achieve passive income for any business. These tips can help you focus and move forward to set up an affiliate program to increase your sales quickly.
About the Author
Ronda Suder has more than nine years of experience as a professional writer. Her company, RRS Communications, provides creative and technical writing services, including consulting and writing services to Internet marketers and businesses with a focus on articles, keyword, SEO and Web site content. She has a Master’s in Human Resources and Industrial Relations and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with extensive training in writing and editing.