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Paul's Guide To Affiliate Programs

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  • Paul's Guide To Affiliate Programs

    I see a lot of the same questions being asked here over and over so I will try to cover the basics of working with affiliate programs. Please note that these are my opinions that have worked for me on different sites in different categories so you might not get the same results, however, these should work for most sites.

    What are the different types of affiliate programs

    CPC - Cost Per Click
    Cost per click is just as like it sounds, you get a certain amount of money for each click that is generated from your site.

    CPM - Cost Per 1,000 Impressions
    This means that you will be paid a certain amount for every 1,000 banner impressions (views) displayed on your site. Some affiliates will pay you based on raw impressions which means that every singe banner will get you paid no matter if its from the same user viewing the same ad on different pages or not. Other programs will pay you based on 1,000 unique impressions which means that 1 impression counts from 1 visitor per 24 hour period (this is the standard but some programs have different time periods).

    CPA - Cost Per Auction
    CPA means that you will be paid a commission on sale or lead generated from your site. The commission is based on the program you sign up for.

    Which is right for me?
    This is a question that no one can answer for you. You will need to do some research on your visitors to find out which will work best. On sites with smaller traffic CPA usually works better while CPM and CPC will perform better on larger sites. My advice is you try each type of ad to see which performs better on your site.

    When using any of the above you should always find a program that will interest your visitors. For example, a site about cars probably won't get very good performance displaying ads for cosmetics. This might seem like common sense, however, you would be amazed. Sometimes what you think your visitors will be interested in is completely wrong or you could find something that performs better. I have seen people that put up a product not really related to the site but they got very good results. This will again require research on your part. Setting up polls to see what your visitors are interested in is always a very good idea. Also, note that visitor interests will change over time because of different sites linking to you and your site appearing on different keywords on search engines.

    When starting to work with any affiliate program you should have some kind of a visitor base. Before spending a lot of your energy on resources spend some time developing your site and promoting it so it gets some kind of visitors. The number of visitors you should have on a site before starting any type of affiliate program all depends on the content of the site. Some sites will get very good return on 10,000 visitors a day while other sites can get the same return on 50 visitors a day.

    Popular Programs
    Again, I can not tell you which programs will work for you based on the above logic, however, here a few programs that can work for many sites.
    This is a rather new program from google that will display targeted banners on your site and pay you on a CPC basis. What's nice about this program is that every banner is extremely targeted toward your visitors so you will get a good click through ratio and a good rate on your clicks.
    Commission junction has been around for a long time. They are probably the largest affiliate program out there and can help you find a advertiser that will work on your site. The key here is to find an advertiser that will interest your visitors as everything is on a CPA basis.

    There are also hundreds of thousands of other affiliate programs that might work for you. Try searching google for a product related to your visitors, once you find something see if they have an affiliate program you can join. If they don't try contacting the company, many times they will be happy to do business with you or make you an offer to display their ads on your site.

    Never stop looking for a program that could make you money simply because you are already making money. You should always try new things to see how they perform and after you have tried a few different programs stick with the one that works best. Feel free to post any questions you may have here and I will try to help you the best I can, however, please don't PM or email me personally as I will probably ignore the message.

    Good Luck,

  • #2
    How to be listed in Search Engine?


    I just learn how to create my own website and may I know how to get my URL listed in yahoo or other search engine?



    • #3
      what if you had a look in the "Search Engine Tactics" forum here at HTMLForums?


      • #4
        Hi Paul, what you reccomend as far as CPA programs go?
        And would they violate Adsense's ToS?


        • #5
          Running other affiliate programs doesn't violate the Adsense TOS in any way, I run many along with adsense. As I said in the post above there is no way for me to make a good recommendation. What you want to do is find a product that your visitors might be attracted to. This can take many tries and research to get right. What I recommend is that if you don't have a good amount of traffic on your site you should concentrate on that first, not affiliate programs. If you find a affiliate program that attracts your visitors you can usually pull a sale for every 300 visitors (this depends on product, cheaper products will be less, more expensive programs will be more than that). So lets say you find a good product that costs $40 and you get 30% commission. Your visitors are interested in this product so you get 1 sale for every 200 clicks. If you can only send out 20 clicks a day you would make $12 every 10 days, so lets say $30 a month. This really isn't that much and it usually won't make the minimum payout for that month. Instead you can concentrate on getting traffic to your site and trying to pull out around 50 - 100 clicks a day which would be around $200 a month. There is also a lot of other factors that play into it, such as where you place the banners, how informative the banners are, etc. I was able to get a conversion rate of 1 out of 200 on some non descriptive banners which got a lot more clicks and on a more descriptive banner I was able to get a conversion rate of 1 out of 50 but it got a lot less clicks. For example, lets take the following examples:

          Click here for computer supplies.
          Click here for a brand new ATI Radeon 9800XT card for only $279.
          If you own a site about computer supplies the first link will be probably get a lot more clicks because it is less specific but it won't make as good of a conversion rate. The second link will get a lot less clicks but the user is informed about where they are going so the conversion rate will be much higher since they are obviously interested in that product at that price.


          • #6
            OK, thanks paul. I think my site's content is especially good for a cpa, and cpc. So I was thinking of using both.


            • #7
              Well good news, I was just accepted into google's adsense. I'll have to see how that works out.


              • #8
                Cool, congratulations. Please let us know how it works out, I would love to hear it. However, be sure not to post exact figures as its against the TOS.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Paul
                  Cool, congratulations. Please let us know how it works out, I would love to hear it. However, be sure not to post exact figures as its against the TOS.
                  Thanks paul

                  Sure, i'll let you know how I'm doing once it's up and running.

                  But for some reason i'm having trouble getting into my account, but I've contacted adsense about it.


                  • #10
                    Well, I just got them up and running on my site. And I must say, the type of ads I'm getting from my content are looking good.

                    Check out


                    • #11
                      Looks nice but I would change the position of the ad. I would recommend you put it in the white content area with a white background to get a much higher click-through rate.


                      • #12
                        hmm...I'm not quite sure where you mean exactly.


                        • #13
                          Currently on this page:


                          You have your ads placed in the right column of your page. This is very hard to see and most visitors won't notice it. What would give you better performance is moving it to the white area above the "News".


                          • #14
                            OK, thanks. I think I'll add one of those 480x60 banners right there. You can have 2 ads on the same page right?


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Josh
                              OK, thanks. I think I'll add one of those 480x60 banners right there. You can have 2 ads on the same page right?
                              No, you can only have one on each page so you will have to move it over.