Here’s a few tips to help you select a great affiliate program that can help you earn a solid full time income.
The Pay-Out — What You’ll Earn
The money you will receive as an affiliate, called the affiliate payout, is one of the first things you should look at when deciding to join an affiliate program. A pretty standard rate of commission is close to 50% on digital products like pdf or audio downloads. This means that if a product sells for $40, you’ll receive $20 for each one you sell.
Higher-priced items will increase the amount you receive per sale, so if the affiliate program is offering a lower percentage commission, it wouldn’t mean that it’s a sub par affiliate program. For example, if a product costs $500 and the affiliate program for that product pays you only 30% per sale, you’ll make $150 for each sale. Not bad at all.
Keep in mind that the more a product costs, the harder it will be to sell. If you’re just starting out, you might want to sell products under $100.
Once you’ve mastered the techniques of selling with a moderately priced item, you can increase the challenge and start selling some big-ticket items that make huge incomes possible.
Multi-Tier Affiliate Programs — Commission Levels
You’ll frequently find the word “tier” in affiliate marketing. A tier is simply a level of commission.
In my experience, one and two-tiered programs are the best way to go. With one-tier you rely only on yourself to make commissions. With two-tiered, you get a few extra bucks when anyone you have referred also makes a sale and that’s a nice bonus incentive.
A single-tier affiliate program will pay out a certain percentage on each sale you make. A two-tier affiliate program will pay out a certain percentage on each sale you make plus another percentage of any sales made through your referral “sales team.” In a two-tier affiliate program, for example, if you make a sale to Bob and Bob makes a sale to Joe, you will be paid a percentage of both sales. In most affiliate marketing programs, the second tier commission (and beyond) will be less then the first tier. Keep your eyes peeled for programs that offer second-tier commissions that are the same as first-tier to further increase your profits.
I wouldn’t count on second-tier affiliate commissions being a prime source of income. If you rely solely on second-tier affiliate income, you’ll be counting on someone else to make your paycheck for you and it’s just too risky.
A multiple-tier affiliate program simply goes deeper then two-tiers. You would normally see a multiple tiered program in multi-level marketing (MLM) programs. These programs can pay out commissions over 10 levels deep.
Single and Recurring Commissions
A single commission affiliate program pays you once for every sale you make. If you are selling an item such as an ebook, you’ll get a commission when a consumer purchases it. To earn another commission, you need to sell another ebook. But with recurring commissions, you need only to make a sale once and you get paid for every purchase a consumer makes. It’s more money for less work.
Recurring commissions are usually paid in programs that sell services or products with a recurring fee, like monthly subscriptions or website hosting. The downside of recurring commissions is that the commission can be pretty low. But even though the commission may be just $10-$20, you get paid that commission as long as they continue to buy that product or service.
Website Quality and Support
In affiliate marketing, looks and site functionality count. The website should look professional. If the owner takes pride in his website and affiliate program, then chances are that you’ll have an easier time selling the product. And the process of joining an affiliate program should be a smooth process too. Look to see if the website has support information easily accessible. Phone numbers, email, and help forms should be easy to find and easy to use.
This is just affiliate marketing basics. There is a lot more you can learn. My main goal was to give you a simple foundation and to steer you away from the common pitfalls. In the next lesson, you’ll get some high-octane tips for making sales fast.