When beginning your affiliate marketing career, you’ll want to cultivate an audience that has very specific interests. This allows you to tailor your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the likelihood that you’ll convert. By establishing yourself as an expert in one area instead of promoting a large array of products, you’ll be able to market to the people most likely to buy the product.

3. Paying for leads. Some merchants benefit by paying affiliates on a lead basis. For example, an insurance company might pay affiliates a fixed bounty for each potential customer who signs up for an estimate. Alternately, a car dealership might pay affiliates for each customer that requests information on a specific car, and perhaps an additional bonus if the customer schedules a test drive.


Arlen: Yeah, there definitely are models like that. And I've dealt with a lot of different customers of our that are in the organic food space actually. And this is something, I don't know if it's something that's customary in that space that are selling organic super foods and a variety of different, kind of niche products that they have a distinctive presence online. 

So you want to really establish a solid relationship with people that are going to referring you business because you could just be guessing. You could be pulling incentives out of a hat and just kind of guessing as to what's going to excite someone, but 30%, even though that may sound good on a commission, that may not excite one of your affiliates.

The “matchmaking” service–offering access to a pool of merchants–is the role of a network that likely comes to mind first. But the administrative workload handled by networks can’t be overlooked; they handle all the tracking, reporting, and payment processing that arises during the steps shown above. While that might not seem like much, it can add up to a significant amount of time each week.
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Bonuses: Some merchants will offer bonuses for reaching certain sales thresholds, creating another opportunity to generate revenue for major affiliates. For example, a company may offer a $500 bonus to affiliates that generate $25,000 in sales in any given month. While only a very small percentage of affiliates will ever hit this target, it can translate to a higher effective commission rate (the extra $500 on $25,000 in sales is effectively an additional 2% commission). Here’s an example of a bonus commission offer (in this case, $625 for hitting the $25,000 mark and $1,250 for generating $50,000 in monthly sales):
Recurring affiliate programs are definitely the way to make serious income online. If you can add high paying affiliate programs, then you will notice a big increase in your monthly revenue which will allow you to go full time if that is your ambition. Harsh has a good list of programs in the internet marketing field but there are residual programs in many other niches such as health and beauty. So no matter what the topic of your blog/site, look out for some form of recurring income otherwise you are really missing out.

For sites looking to monetize their existing traffic through affiliate marketing, a major determinant of success is picking the right offers to run. The difference in earnings from a bad offer and a good one can be enormous. Unfortunately, finding the “right” offer isn’t exactly easy; if you’re using an affiliate marketing network such as Commission Junction (now part of Conversant), SharesASale, or LinkShare, you will have literally thousands of affiliate offers available to you.
Email is a relationship-builder with your potential customers. You want to send them a balance of useful information related to your niche, perhaps an email newsletter, as well as marketing messages, like a sales email, asking them to buy a product on sale. The free information you’ve provided helps them come to know, like, and trust you… which makes it more likely they’ll buy a product.
New traffic to your site and company is a huge benefit. The affiliate lead will bridge trust between you and the customer which is vital for a consumer to take the next step and buy the product. The customer will more than likely return to the site and spread the information to others about your product.This is a win because the potential customer might not have otherwise had access to the product if had not been advertised and marketed through the affiliate’s website. In addition, with the ever growing and changing market of the internet the company may need to be looking for new affiliates to work with to match their target demographic. So, the method of marketing is constantly growing and adapting to match the current customer.
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