Earlier this week I started the discussion on Niche Marketing. To make money with Niche Marketing you need affiliate offers to share with the audience you are working with and attracting to your sites.

There are many different affiliate programs out there. How do you know which one is right for you? Before you sign up, you should spend some time checking them out. Here are the things to look for.

Type of Commission

With so many different payment structures available, itís extremely important to decide which one you prefer. There are three models that are the most common:

– Pay Per Sale – When you refer a visitor to the merchant’s site and they buy, you get a cut.
– Pay Per Click – All they have to do is click on the link and you get paid.
– Pay Per Lead – Rather than a sale, you have to get them a lead. You may get paid, for example, when they subscribe to the merchant’s list.

Each of these has its pros and cons. Another thing to consider is the level of commission. Most affiliate marketing programs are single-level, also known as 1-tier. This is the simplest model, where you get a set percentage on each sale made. The percentage is usually around 50%.

A multi-level structure has 2 tiers or more. This means that you would not only sell the product but also recruit other affiliates and receive a cut of their sales. While this sounds profitable, it requires a different set of skills. Rather than simply selling, you have to manage and train others. There are pros and cons to this and it is left to a different discussion.

Customer Support

A good affiliate program offers a real human-being who helps affiliates who need it. The level of support is important because you’re always going to run into problems, and some networks offer basically no support at all.

It’s a little tricky to know about customer support before you’ve used their service, but you can get a decent idea by simply contacting them with a question and seeing how quickly and thoroughly they respond. You can also spend some time on Internet marketing forums to see what people who have used their network say.

Affiliate Managers

An affiliate manager is a person who supports you and manages the overall program. They recruit affiliates and provide them help when they need it. Not all programs have managers and you don’t necessarily need one. Things to consider include how involved they are in the campaign, how easy they are to reach and communicate with, and whether or not they provide tools that you can use.

Payment Threshold and Frequency

There are two important considerations concerning payments. The first is the payment threshold. This is the minimum you must earn before you get a payment. It’s important to look at this carefully because if the payment threshold is too high, it might be hard to get your money. For example, if you’re promoting a $100 product with a 50% commission and the payment threshold is $100, this means you’ll have to sell 2 before you get paid.

The other consideration is payment frequency. This is how often you get paid by the program. It can be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly payments.

Before deciding on any affiliate marketing program, do your homework. Get online and search for reviews, blog posts, forums and other websites that talk about their services. You should also search for the program’s name along with negative keywords such as ‘sucks,’ ‘stinks,’ and ‘scam.’ This can turn up some vital information that you’ll be glad you knew before you signed up.

If you’ve picked a unique Niche I’d love to hear about it. Want to know more about Niche Marketing? Drop me a comment…

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Jupiter Jim - March 21, 2014

Vanessa,
I design WordPress websites for a living, but have been very interested in affiliate marketing for quite some time. I know all the stuff in this article is very basic for someone of your experience. However, for a novice, someone who does very little affiliate marketing, this article is a great overview.

You remind me of the importance of good customer support and a good, accessible affiliate manager, when appropriate.

Thanks so much for this article!

~ Jupiter Jim

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David Ryan - April 28, 2014

Amazon or Clickbank for me. But mostly Clickbank.

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