Let’s say you start a new job. On your first day at work, your trainer puts you in a chair and says, open your computer and start to work. They list things you need to do, lay them down before you, and expect you to get started. How long would you stay at that job? Internet affiliate marketing is sort of like this. You decide what you want to promote and then what? Where do you go from there? One of the things you will need to know is how to join affiliate programs.
If know you want to become a successful affiliate marketer, then knowledge is important. The more you know, the further you will go.
Let me dive right in with an overview of Affiliate Marketing and how you can join affiliate programs to make an income online from home.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is a 4 part system to make money online.
- You, the affiliate marketer- promote products sold by someone else like Amazon, Walmart, ClickBank, or any company that sells digital or physical products. You are working with a company, and you are their free advertising. In return, you make a percentage commission. Example: You are interested in mattresses, so you put different mattresses on the internet, and you link to the place that sells these mattresses.
- The customer or consumer- The consumer goes to the internet looking for mattresses and finds your mattresses that you linked to the company you are affiliated with. They click on one. It takes them to the site that sells the mattress, and they place an order.
- You make money– You make a percentage of 1%-75% for each sale according to the companies agreement.
- Everyone is happy -The customer is happy because you solved their problem. You are happy because you made money.
What Is An Affiliate Program?
An affiliate program is formed around an agreement between you and the developer of a program or product. Such as Amazon, Nike and Adidas are examples of products. In addition, software, plugins, and themes are examples of programs. There are millions of companies in the world that have affiliate programs.
Companies set up an affiliate program on their site or through a network that you can join. They give you advertising banners, information and let you know what percentage of a commission their program will pay for a sale. Affiliate programs have many rules and regulations, but all are spelled out clearly in the fine print.
How Do You Find Affiliate Programs?
This is the easy part. You can search for affiliate programs with Google Search Engine.
Head over to Google or your favorite search engine and put “affiliate” along with “the product you are promoting” into the search bar. If we are promoting mattresses, it will look like this: “mattress affiliate programs” Many different affiliate programs will result in your search. Here is a screenshot of 4 programs as an example.
Once you have found affiliate programs, click on the link, and it will tell you if the company manages its own program or if a network manages it. A network is a company that manages many different affiliate programs. ShareASale and Awin are examples of networks.
Overview Of How To Join Affiliate Programs
The process to join an affiliate program is basically the same whether it is individually managed or managed by a network. I will give a basic overview of each one. The most important part of joining a program is to read the fine print. Each program has guidelines and rules to follow. If you go outside the rules, they may kick you out of the program, or worse yet, it can lead to legal issues.
Individually Managed Programs
Individually managed programs are more personal. The company sets up an affiliate program you can join. Usually, you are approved by someone directly in the company.
Many of the questions may be the same and run along the same lines as a network-managed company.
It may be more beneficial to join a network-managed program at first because you can apply to many different companies within the network. But if you have a product you are promoting, and the company is individually managed, then, by all means, do apply to their affiliate program.
Network Managed Program
When you sign up to become an affiliate for a network-managed program, you will need to apply to the network and then to each company individually. A network manages many affiliate programs under one roof.
How To Prepare For Your Application
Before you apply to most programs, you will need a branded established website or a link to a social media page that is also well established.
The affiliate wants to know that you are not a fly-by-night marketer who will not stick around. A branded site will help prove that you are serious and want to promote the companies product.
What Is A Branded Site?
Branding is the process of preparing your website or social media page.
- A professional looking site requires some visually esthetically items.
- a logo
- consistent colors that your followers will recognize as you on a post or page
- consistent typography
- When you own your site it says you are serious.
- purchase a domain that fits what you promote
- get a professional email address that aligns with your website title. You can get an email through Gmail or you can get one through your hosting company
- Content that promotes the product you promote
- A product review published for the product. Write a review for the product the company has and publish it on your website before you apply. In the beginning this freaked me out because I was writing an article and linking it without my affiliate link. But it is well worth it to give away a couple of commissions to get an affiliate to approve you.
Branding a social media page or group is the same in some ways. You won’t have a domain, but you can use the other suggestions above.
- place a logo in your FB cover
- Use the colors you choose in your cover and in each post
- Own your media page
- Get your page certified if it is offered
- increase your followers daily
- Post on your media page often
- post interactive engaging content
What Information Will You Need?
To join a network-managed affiliate program, you will first need to apply to the network. It is necessary to give the company some information.
- Personal information- Information such as your address and your tax ID # or your Social security # if you are not making money yet and you are in the US. I do not know the laws of other countries.
- Website URL or a social media URL-the network will want to look at your site or page
- Method of promotion- in most cases this is an optional area but it is very iportant to fill it out. Write a piece on how you will use your website or social media page to let your followers know what you are promoting. Give as much detail as you can within the word count allowed. You are pitching yourself and your brand to the company so they will accept you.
- Marketing plan- do you market with content, SEO optamization or social media? How do you plan to get the products out into the world of internet?
After you are accepted to the network, you will follow the same requirements as above to apply to the affiliate account for the product you are promoting. Again you will have an “optional” area to fill out. I highly recommend your fill this information in to help your chances of acceptance.
What If You Are Rejected?
Your rejection is not always a reflection of you or your work. Sometimes the affiliate is not accepting new marketers. And other times, the affiliate may not have the money to accept a new partner.
Many affiliate programs will give you a reason why they denied your application. If you don’t get a reason, always email them and kindly ask why you were denied. Never argue with an affiliate. But if you feel the reason is not true you can petition the program.
One time I had to petition for affiliate programs. It was my fault for the denial because I did not take the time to give enough information. Once I gave a much better description of why I would be a good fit for their program, the affiliate program approved me.
To petition, you email the person who sent you the denial. If you do not have an email, you can look for contact information at the bottom of the affiliate’s website and notify them that way.
What To Look For In An Affiliate Program
Just one more thing before I close. How do you know if an affiliate program is a good one?
I look at five main areas. These areas will give you the best overview of the program. Not to mention these are the areas that will provide you with the best information for you to decide what programs you can benefit from and what to look for in other affiliate programs within your niche. The five areas are:
- How much will you make-what is the percentage of commission?
- When will you get paid-do they pay monthly and is there a payout threshold?
- How long is the cookie life-Is it 15 days, 6 months, a year or a lifetime?
- The ease of filing an application-Do they make the process so complicated that it is not worth your time?
- Do they provide adequate marketing information-Is there banners and a personal link that will mark your commission? Can you easily market their product with what they provide?
Wrapping It All Up
Preparation is one of the biggest steps when you apply to an affiliate program. Have your branding in place so the affiliate can see who you are.
Be prepared to give personal information and go into detail about how you will promote their product. The affiliate does not have time to figure it all out, and unless you give the information, they will not approve you.
Always be kind. The affiliate is your partner, and you are their free advertisement. You work together for the better good of both of you.
And above all, do not give up if you are rejected. Us the information they give you to improve and try again.
Other articles within this series may also interest you:
My 4 Step Formula
Would you like a website to promote your passion or niche? With my 4-step formula, I can help you learn how to get started and set up a site that affiliates will approve.
Click on the tab or a tab in the box at the top and bottom of this article for more information on my simple 4-step formula to create a business online.