Monday, July 22, 2013

8:35 AM

Before widespread broadband internet connections allowed people to telecommute to work and create robust, Internet-based careers at home, affiliate programs were the primary way that people earned income online. Though times have changed and a number of other options have become quite popular in the present decade, affiliate programs remain an excellent way to earn either a primary or secondary income with little to no effort.

Despite their relative ease, though, affiliate programs do come with some unique quirks that most be conquered early on. By learning more about affiliate programs, and working with things like ad placement and promotional strategies, those who participate in these programs can maximize their monthly and annual revenue levels. That means more overall income for less work, and it's generally a win-win for affiliates. Here's how it's done.

Don't Stress Over Ad Placement: Try an Ad Rotator Instead

One of the problems that many people new to affiliate programs often face is that they just don't have enough room to place all of their ads near the top of their page. As has been shown time and time again, advertisements attract more clients when they're above the fold. Those click rates increase as the advertisement's vertical position increase toward the top of the page itself.

The problem, of course, is that affiliate ads are big and the above-the-fold space is small. To ensure that each affiliate advertisement, and each affiliate program, is getting the right exposure, participants should use an ad rotator script. This script actually maintains the ads for each affiliate program, and it will randomly load one of those ads each time the page is refreshed. By using this script, it's possible to effectively place each affiliate ad at the top of the page. That increases clicks and revenue, and is a major game changer for participants.

Compare Clicks to Purchases and Adjust Accordingly
Like many occupations, the key to maximizing the revenue enjoyed as part of an affiliate program has a lot to with the two M's: Math and monitoring. Many affiliates provide tools that allow website owners to see how many clicks produced a completed sale, as well as how much commission was earned from each of those sales. Using link tracker scripts on the website itself, affiliate program members can see which affiliate ads were the most popular and effective.

These two metrics should be monitored monthly, with regular adjustments being made. If an affiliate program's ads just don't inspire clicks, then it might be time to consider eliminating and replacing that program with a different one. If one of the affiliate programs is inspiring small sales or underwhelming commissions, website owners might want to consider a different type of program or a different type of advertising that might inspire purchases with a higher average dollar value.

Remember that revenue, at least for affiliate programs, comes from a combination of two things. The first is the actual click through rate and purchase rate, but the second is the commission rate. Make sure that these things are in line with expectations, and everything else will likely fall into line.

Mix Advertising Types and Styles Throughout the Website

A famous adage encourages people not to "put all of their eggs into one basket." Essentially, this phrase encourages people to diversify so that their life isn't as fragile as a deck of cards, or a dropped basket of eggs. This saying is absolutely vital when it comes to maximizing the revenue that can be earned as part of an affiliate program.

Upon signup, most affiliate programs offer several different types of advertising. Website owners are typically drawn to just one banner size, or one advertisement type, based on their design preferences or how that advertisement could be easily integrated into their website. The problem with choosing just one ad size or type is that it quickly becomes monotonous to visitors, who will then find it easy to ignore.

Instead of betting the entire website's revenue on just one type of advertisement, be sure to consider other ad types and sizes that could be placed throughout the site. A prominent banner advertisement near the top of the page might be a good start, but it should not be where the advertising ends. Feature longer ads in the sidebar, or contextual ads near blog posts. By shaking things up visually, it's easier to inspire clicks and earn higher commissions each month.

Don't Leave the Product Swinging in the Breeze

Being an affiliate does not, under any circumstances, mean that a banner ad should be placed in a website's design and then forgotten. Affiliates are more than mere advertisers. They're promoters and talkers, influential people who earn trust and turn that trust into revenue for their own needs. When participating in an affiliate program, remember that the advertisement is part of a larger strategy that includes building trust with an audience, discussing the product, and coming off as more passionate than promotional.

With a well-monitored approach that is honest, passionate, and diverse, affiliates can maximize their revenue in a few easy steps. Pursuing those steps consistently, day in and day out, will lead to an upward trend in income. With diverse advertisement formats and diverse visual appeal, those affiliate advertisements will become an indispensable part of the site's fabric that users click on without even thinking about it. That's the kind of intrigue, trust, and revenue, that can last website owners well into the future.

Sarah has been writing for the last few years now and is passionate about internet marketing. . She enjoys writing about online marketing and uses many different resources like and many other similar ones.