Every affiliate needs to define its user groups. Interests, product needs, products they probably already have (with potential for upgrades), favorite activities, income – describe the typical visitor as you would a person. Then describe the focus of your site or primary products. Then the easiest way to begin is to review and add a few highly relevant sites from Affiliate Marketers, such as Linkshare and Commission Junction. Then go to the sites of brands and products you know appeal to your market. Look for a link to their affiliate program and join them individually, once you are satisfied with the site quality and the quality of the products.
Decide where on your pages you want to put affiliate links and banners. You may not want every page to be a selling page, and the best positioning on each page will depend upon the content. Links at the end of an article are a natural, following the flow of the reader’s eye. Links or banners on pages that are transactional, with buttons and boxes, work better near the action.
Once your site visitors have had the opportunity to shop at your merchant sites, take a hard look at what is working and what is not, and make some adjustments. With knowledge of what your visitors want, make a wish list of companies and products that will round out your merchandise offerings. Then search the web and identify the sites. There’s no problem if their sites don’t make reference to affiliate programs. Approach them anyway, and negotiate an agreement. You’ll know the range of commissions customarily paid for their categories of goods and services from your relationships with other merchants. And if you are polling your site visitors you’ll know products, product features and accessories they are ready and willing to buy.
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