The first step in becoming an affiliate is determining what product, company, or services to promote. There are some companies/niches who are easier to promote than others. Think about a topic you know about and enjoy already, therefore it will easier to create content and articles about it. Some examples of topics include: dating, dieting, electronics, costumes, parenting, sports, cell phones…topics like this. Once you have picked a topic, it’s time to determine who makes the product that might have an affiliate program for their site. Think of brand names and put “INSERT BRAND NAME HERE affiliate program” into Google to find “in-house” affiliate programs. Make sure that they have an affiliate program but do not yet sign up for it. You may want to go direct with a merchant if they have their own on-site affiliate program, otherwise you can go through a major affiliate network to access banners and links to promote a particular merchant. This is a personal choice, but you can get higher commissions by going directly to a company many times.
The second step involves having a website/blog and web hosting. There are many different web hosting companies on the Internet and most will provide an adequate space to launch your affiliate career. Your domain name should be related to the products that you are promoting. Do not use any brand names or product names within the domain name, as most companies don’t allow this. When you go to apply for the affiliate program they may reject you as well as file a complaint with your web host to recover the domain name. Setup a website that is related to the topic and place some type of content on it. Blogs are a great way to show you are serious about becoming an affiliate. Placing three to five blogs with related content on the website will make whoever is approving applications much more interested. But be realistic with how many sites or blogs you can comfortably maintain. There are also many free blog platforms like Blogger, WordPress, and other that you can host a free site on, so no money needs to be expended unless you want your own domain name.
The third step is submitting your application. Some affiliate programs are run by the company themselves while others will be on large networks known as affiliate networks. Some of the largest include Commission Junction, Link Share, Shareasale and Google Network. These affiliate networks provide the platform that is used to track all the clicks and sales that affiliates generate. Also, they have specially trained staff ready to answer your questions (if you can get them to respond!). When you fill out an application include your website, name and email address. Also, include a valid phone number. Some affiliate programs want to speak with you to ensure you understand their product and also to sent you important instructions before promoting their products. Most affiliate programs process their applications each and every business day. If you do not receive an email notifying you of their decision within three business days, call the company and respectfully inquire about the status of your application. Be proactive with your affiliate managers. Many companies use outsourced affiliate managers which specializing working with affiliates.
Step 4 is actually starting your promotions. Once you have a site or blog live and the affiliate banners installed, you can not start crafting content and articles on your site that talk generally about the niche. Many affiliates create coupon code websites that feature unique merchant descriptions which get into the organic search results and can bring in visitors. Adding tons of fresh content to your site/blog is definitely the way to go to get more pages into the search engines. One you publisher your new articles you can then “bookmark” them to sites like: Digg, delicious, and others which gets them more traffic as well. Also joining article directories like ezinearticles.com as an author can get your articles ranking quickly in Google. They let you link to your main site at the bottom of the article which can bring in visitors and inbound links. Like anything, you have to article production in heavy volume to attain a lot of organic traffic. There are also other great ways to promote as an affiliate which we will covering soon, so check back frequently…Thanks!
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