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Budgeting for the Successful Affiliate Business

It's true that it doesn't cost the affiliate anything to sign up with an established program of a merchant or advertiser. But just because the cost of this mechanism – the cookies, links, banners, specials, check payments etc – are paid for by the merchant, that's no reason to treat the affiliate role as if it's cost-free.

An affiliate needs to devote resources to keeping up a site that's current, relevant, informative, fun etc. and to promoting the site so the greatest number of s ...more

Affiliate Merchants and Mystery Shoppers

Retailers routinely pay mystery shoppers to evaluate their stores on a specific set of criteria. They rate their experience in everything from the availability of sale items to the cleanliness of the changing rooms. What do you, as an affiliate, want to know about your merchants? Have a contest and recruit some mystery shoppers from your target group, give them an assignment to buy a product in a certain category at several merchants or and have them tell you specifically about their exper ...more

Affiliate Auditions

Why should a site visitor buy from your site and not just go directly to the merchant or vendor site? Because you provide value added services. You don't just slap links on your site, you carefully review merchants to make certain they're appropriate and that they remain so as both your sites change and grow. You perform affiliate auditions.

Before you join an affiliate program, roam around the company's site, evaluating the environment, products, advice, articles, ease of use, shopp ...more

Affiliates Re-evaluate Your Merchant Relationships

Just because affiliates aren't charged in order to place merchant links on their sites doesn't mean that they're free. They occupy valuable space on your site and need to reflect the interests of your site visitors to earn their keep. It's a question of opportunity costs, and an affiliate needs to make sure that the individual merchants and the merchant mix overall meets the needs of their site visitors. It's simple to see if they are voting with their dollars, and make changes if certain ...more

Private High-End Affiliate Relationships

If you have a niche affiliate site that reaches a select, documented high-end demographic, you have a market ripe for marketing to select merchants and advertisers. Instead of offering this group access to existing, established products and services, you have the ability to negotiate special product purchase arrangements and exclusive service arrangements.

Start by understanding what your market wants. Ask and observe. Are they the super-wealthy who want access to the most exclusive ...more

Internet Crimes Complaint Center – What Affiliates Need to Know

Affiliates can do a lot to protect themselves from those who would take advantage of them by dealing with companies that have good reputations in the offline world, and carefully doing their research on the online-only ones. Affiliate Networks have also put into place strong regulations for the purpose of thwarting and blacklisting serious offenders. But where there's easy money to be made, the unscrupulous flock.

No matter how they attempt to protect themselves, it is still very poss ...more

Affiliates and Blogger Safety

We've all heard stories about teenagers meeting dangerous people in chat rooms. The scary crossroads where people take web conversations and relationships to the offline world. But people who are now beginning to add postings to blogs often forget that over time, they might give out too many personal details about themselves that once combined, could put themselves in potential danger.

What does this have to do with affiliate sites? Many affiliates are in the process of setting up ...more

Where should an Affiliate Begin in Finding Merchant Partners?

Every affiliate needs to define its user groups. Interests, product needs, products they probably already have (with potential for upgrades), favorite activities, income – describe the typical visitor as you would a person. Then describe the focus of your site or primary products. Then the easiest way to begin is to review and add a few highly relevant sites from Affiliate Marketers, such as Linkshare and Commission Junction. Then go to the sites of brands and products you know appeal t ...more

SEO Copywriting for Affiliates

SEO copywriting or Search Engine Optimized Copywriting is the writing (or re-writing) of text – articles, product reviews, comparisons, how-to's etc. in a way that they rank high in a search engine search. That is, if a person is searching for a particular keyword, ("swan") or key phrase ("mute swan signet") and one or both are keywords/keyword phrases for your site, that you will rank well in a search. The first page or two are what counts, because most people won't go any further.


Affiliates, Style Setters and Merchant Agreements

Are you among the cool group in your city (usually in cities)? Are there others like you or who want to be like you? Are you an acknowledged style setter? If so, you're in the position to not only craft a website to communicate with like people, but you stand to effectively monetize your position, without the cloud of crass commercialism that would turn off the members of your group.

Think about it – What did the athletic shoe makers do to make inroads with the inner city kids who ...more

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