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"My $3 Check"

By Jim Daniels

This morning I cashed a monthly commission check for $3.00. It was from an affiliate program I joined over three years ago.

At the same time I made that deposit, I cashed two more monthly affiliate checks. The others were in the amount of $2620.00 and $4610.00.

Now before I continue, I want to make one thing clear. This article will NOT try to drag you into my programs. I won't even mention their names during the article. And I do not mention the checks to brag. Heck, I consider those just the beginning of things to come. I mention them only to prove that real money can be made with affiliate programs.

You just need to understand what makes the difference between those $3 checks and the fatter ones.

This article will reveal that answer. It will also teach anyone interested in affiliate programs how to secure an ever-growing flow of income, using the very same techniques that have been bringing me affiliate success.

Let's jump right in...

The first reason most folks make tiny (if any) commission checks from the affiliate programs they join is because it's one of the first things they do online. And it can put them in blinders.

Take it from me. When I was a newbie, the first thing I did was sign up with a few affiliate programs. (Yes, one of them still sends me tiny checks like the one mentioned above.)

So there I was, a newbie with dollar signs in my eyes...

I found my way to my first affiliate site and signed up. Their commissions calculator had me excited when it revealed my first million would be made before the Y2K bug hit. (Little did I know, it would be closer to the Y3K bug using $3.00 commission checks to get there!)

But I was green. And there's nothing wrong with that in itself. Everybody is green online when they're first starting out. But the problem was, I had no idea what it would really take to make money as an affiliate. So I floundered. Until I learned the things you MUST do in order to grow fat monthly commission checks.

Here they are...

1. Forget about marketing that free site they give you when you sign up.

What's that? Don't promote the affiliate site they build exclusively for that purpose?

Right. See number two.

2. Build your own website and promote it first.


The top affiliates in every program are promoting their own website first. And it's not just because those mile-long affiliate URL's are ugly. The fact is, people respond more positively to affiliate programs when they find them through a real web site. If you build a website that looks attractive and trustworthy, you'll clear the first hurdle to making money online. (Whether it's through affiliate programs or not.)

Now I'm not saying you have to build a giant affiliate directory site. On the contrary, a simple site that focuses on YOUR area of expertise is the best starting point. Once you've put together an attractive and informative site, you can link strategically to a few select affiliate programs.

Which leads us to the next key...

3. Join the right program(s).

Remember that $3.00 commission check? That was earned from a program where I managed to sign on a network of 1000 other marketers. Yet I never earned a commission check over fifty bucks.

The reason is simple. The commissions were 5% or less on each level. Too low to earn serious bucks.

When you're considering joining an affiliate program, use this short list of requirements:

               well-known and established company

               related to what your site is about

               25% or more commissions on sales

If you can get the following two features as well, you'll have a better chance at success: recurring commissions (like hosting or autoresponder services where customers pay monthly.)  two tier programs (where you earn from sales of sub- affiliates)

Once you've found the right affiliate program and you've built a site of your own where you can link to it, put together a basic plan like this...

A. At YOUR site, don't just pop up the free banners the affiliate programs offer.

Every other affiliate is using them too! Instead, actually "recommend" the products, services and program(s) you're in.

B. Tell your visitors why the product or service is so great and how it has helped you grow your business.

C. Once you've earned some decent checks, tell your web site visitors how much you're making with each program.

That's what they want to know! If you've yet to earn money with the program, at least tell them why you joined and the great people behind the program.

Tip: If the program is two-tier, remember that selling the product or service will earn you more in the long run than signing up other resellers. Consider signing up other affiliates only AFTER you've marketed the services.

D. Write a personal welcome message for all your new customers and email it to them the day they sign up.

E. If the program is two-tier, write a personal welcome message for all your new sub-resellers and offer the facts on affiliate marketing to them.

The above plan of action works. I use if with my top afffiliate programs and the commission checks grow every month.

And remember, affiliate marketing can present a tremendous income generating opportunity, if you do it right. Take this knowledge and grow your own fat affiliate checks!

Article by Jim Daniels of JDD Publishing.  Jim is a major contributor to the Internet Marketing Challenge, a free weekly Ezine from the pioneers of Internet Marketing.  Click here to subscribe for free

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