Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Inside Affiliate Marketing

While work at home moms are often the favorite target for Internet scammers, website owners are a close second.

You own a website and are possibly paying a bit of money to keep the site running. Do you not wish you could make some money with the website you work so hard to maintain? Imagine how wonderful it would be if you could you’re your hobby into a real business that would not only pay for itself, but even offer you a few extras that could be put to good use for the kids, or your family.

To a webmaster, affiliate marketing is almost always the answer to this dilemma.

In and of itself, affiliate marketing is a wonderful opportunity share in the profits of a reputable company by displaying their links and banners, and allowing interested parties to visit those sites and perhaps purchase a product. When they do so, the company will often offer you a small percentage of the sale as a finder’s fee.

But, there is a seedy underbelly to the affiliate marketing industry that will actually jeopardize your good name as a webmaster and will also result in payouts that are pennies on the dollar.

For example, have you ever been surfing the web only to suddenly stumble across a website that touts an amazing nutritional supplement that does it all?

Weight loss for the overweight, hair growth for the bald, an increased sexual stamina for those lacking it and a host of other items are cured or corrected with a pill after breakfast, lunch and dinner. These miracle cures are touted on the website via a long list of testimonials, and you can almost always recognize the feel of these sites simply by the long list of text they sport, the varying fonts employed, and also the different colors these words are written in.

You may simply shrug your shoulders at such a site until – about halfway down – you see a copy of a commission check the webmaster has posted and suddenly he or she has your undivided attention. The check is small enough to be realistic yet big enough to have you consider what you could to with the money and how it could ease the tension at home from lack of disposable income.

When you are hooked, the spiel usually involves a site owner who is so successful that he or she has decided to take on two or three qualified novices and train them to do the business as well. This involves selling the miracle product to your friends and neighbors and then just sitting back and waiting for the money to roll in. Additionally, you will need to post banners on your website. What has just happened, in a nutshell, is an affiliate scam that ties your success directly into a multi-level marketing scheme.

While your links will attract more interested parties to the originator’s website, you might end up meanwhile alienating your friends and families.

Let's be clear: This is not what affiliate marketing is all about, and it is important that you understand the implications of your putting links or banners of any business on your website before you get started.

There are some very good affiliate programs out there. By doing your homework and picking good solid companies, you can see some positive revenues and good results coming your way.

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