If you have a website that sells a product online, and you’ve built in a fair amount of room into your price for it, then you have an opportunity here to use a GREAT free traffic source.
In fact, running your own Affiliate Program helps you in more ways than one. By signing up affiliates to go out and sell your product for you, you’ll not only build a huge salesforce, (assuming you make your offer tempting for them) but you will also be building hordes of one-way, targeted links back to your website as they advertise in the various places.
Drawbacks? You must be very persuasive to get an interested following to do serious selling for your product. To overcome this issue, simply build more room into your price so that the monetary gain for your affiliates is too tempting for them to refuse. 50% commissions are quite standard these days on informational products, with some products go all the way up to 100% commission structure, so that the seller can build up a newsletter list.
I would have to say that, especially when dealing with Clickbank (the #1 infoproduct marketplace for affiliates) 75% commissions to your affiliates is the way to go. That’s just because there are so many products out there competing for an affiliate’s attention… So since 75% is the maximum that clickbank allows, you’ll soon learn that affiliates will swarm to these products first and you’ll build up a sales force (and incoming links) quickly. –And you can always turn down the commission later.
Naturally, if your product is not available for online delivery (i.e. software only) then the ability to attract affiliates will be much more difficult for you… Not impossible though, because some affiliates understand the importance of offering their readers a full range of products built around a central niche theme. Having an affiliate program that offers multiple tiers helps as well. There isn’t an affiliate marketer alive who wouldn’t like to earn residual income from the work of others. There are two different ways to get started with your own affiliate program. Both can be free, and of course you pay your affiliates out of sales afterwards.
The most common form of affiliate program is when a webmaster loads software, usually some form of PHP or Perl script onto the server, integrating it with the website. These have been sold for years to webmasters and lately have even been offered for free. The second type is a service run off-site, through providers such as ClickBank.com , Commission Junction, or PayDotCom. (There are many other, non-free ones too.) They do the added work for you of helping your products get found by more affiliates, and they even feature your product in an online marketplace of theirs. Naturally, they want their cut of the product’s sale too, usually in the range of 4% to 8%. (Some let you even split that fee with your affiliates.) These services may be more effective in the long run for the average infoproduct seller, but quite often they do not offer the flexibility that many webmasters need to best promote their own product line. In those cases, using server-side software scripts is the only way to go.
Finding a free copy of your own Affiliate program software to load onto your web server is quite painless, as there are now several different scripts to choose from. To find your own script, simply google the phrases “free affiliate program software” or “free affiliate management software.” They should both return helpful results for you. Naturally, you’ll have to investigate each one in depth to see if it runs on your particular server in your software environment. No matter which way you go, there will be plenty of research involved; this is not something you can start up in the next 20 minutes. (More like 2-7 days.) Once it starts though, assuming you make your offer attractive enough, this could really bring in hordes of traffic immediately.