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Starting an Online Business - Affiliate Programs Simplify Things

Starting an Online Business - Affiliate Programs Simplify Things

Maybe you’ve thought about starting a business online, but you’re just not sure what you can sell. There is so much competition on the internet that you may fear sinking a lot of money into something that will just never be successful. What are your options?


Affiliate programs are possibly the easiest type of online business to start running. Why?

Well, in order to start any online business you need a product or service to sell. First, you need to create the product. Then, you will have to create a website, write advertisements and set up a marketing plan. If it’s a physical product you are selling then you’re going to be limited by the amount of time it takes to make or buy the item, package it and ship it. Then, there’s the issue of accepting payments and filling orders. We haven’t even started talking about refunds and returns!

This is a daunting task especially if you’ve never run an internet business.


So, what ARE affiliate programs?

Affiliate programs allow you to be the “sales force” for someone else’s product or service and earn commissions for each sale. You may be pretty internet savvy without ever noticing that many companies offer you the ability to become an affiliate. Check for the “affiliate program” links which are placed in a discreet manner on many sites. One big advantage is that you do not need to build a website (though you can) or handle the transaction or fill the order. Your job is to drive traffic (customers) to your affiliate link. When a sale is made, the affiliate will send you a commission!

Signing up to become an affiliate is usually a pretty simple task. It usually involves filling out a web page providing some basic information about yourself. In turn, the company will give you an affiliate link. This is a special URL code that will identify that a customer came to the company's site from your advertising. It is usually the website address with a code attached to the end.


There are several factors to consider in choosing an affiliate program.

1. It should be free to join.

2. It should be a high quality product or service.

3. The product should pay you a good commission. Unless you are selling a big-ticket item or one which offers residual income, you should look for commissions of 25% or more. Note: Often you will find electronic products and services will offer the best commission rates due to the low overhead of this type of business.

4. The affiliate should have a professional looking website with effective sales content.

5. Do they provide marketing resources for you? Some affiliates will offer a wealth of marketing help including banners, product feeds and more. Some will even include a ready-made web page for you!

You will probably want to pick a few popular affiliates in the general area of your interest. You don’t want to be affiliated with too many products because you probably won’t be able to effectively market all of them.


Affiliate programs are great for beginners since you can focus all your energy on marketing. As you gain experience and learn the internet marketing business, you can make adjustments and start building a wonderful income!


About the Author

Dave Keegan's web site,, offers resources to help you build a successful internet business. While visiting, don't forget to sign up for his *free* 5-part newsletter entitled "Online Advertising for the Completely Clueless".


Web Marketing

Search Engine Optimization, SEO Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Marketing, SEM Search Engine Marketing
Website Promotion Website Promotion
Affiliate Marketing Affiliate Marketing
Link Popularity Link Popularity
Web Traffic Analysis, Web Stats Traffic Analysis
Google AdSense Google AdSense
Google AdWords, PPC Google AdWords
Pay Per Click Advertising, PPC Pay-Per-Click Advertising

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