When it comes to keeping a business afloat, there is a primary requisite that demonstrates it has earned the right to exist. And that is:
The ability to generate enough income so that the business can maintain a physical location from which to operate from.
Below that we have hope or worse and beyond that, we have profits and all things nice.
A website doesn't take up too much space. The few unseen clusters of bytes that would easily fit onto a CD we could frisbee across the kitchen at meal times for some fun. But still, there are costs associated with getting that bit of data onto the internet and keeping it there. Hosting, back-ups, domain registration etc. not to mention the time spent collating the data you so freely give away.
As your game gets bigger, and a few more people added to your game, you might have a few extra CDs to frisbee around and some wages, phone bills, etc. to worry about and pay. But let's keep it simple and keep with our first example. You have a website, it is good enough that a constant stream of people Google, Yahoo and Bing to your site and are happy for the information and service you provide.
Then your site makes for a good example as being able to generate some extra cash to pay for itself. People are more willing to open their wallets online than they were ten years ago. There are better and more secure ways to swap cash between people as well as countries. Many businesses from a very wide range of specialty fields would like to pay you 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% etc. if you are willing to send customers to their website.
Join an affiliate network, and they will monitor these transactions to ensure you are credited with valid sales and you will usually earn dollars per sale rather than cents. And another good aspect of the affiliate network is that they are able to take all those little sales you may get and combine them into one cheque.
Because you know your website better than anybody, and you are able include advertisements that you know would complement the interests of your readership. You can work the ads in and around your content to assist the reader with the reason they are on your page and can point them to a great product which represents exactly what your are talking about.
Let me give you an example, I am going to reference the black picture-text ad in the column next to this column. Just because I place this ShareaSale advertisement there, doesn't mean you are going to click on it. But I have purposely placed it there as this site is very relevant to the topic of Affiliate Networking (which is probably why you are here on this page). And for whatever reason that you have found this page, I actually do hope you will decide to join up to this free service because if you do sign up, I stand to make a buck and I know you will find many things that will go in well with your site and make money for you too!
And that is the point. This website is about websites and how to administrate them. You will find helpful things all about websites here. Whether you are seasoned Website Administrator or Novice Webmaster. And as simple as this HTML code is, we hope to attract some work from some of you who may need help placing this code into your website or need some SEO work to attract more hits to your website so you can make even more money for yourself. This is our specialty. And your website is about your specialty.
Website owner to Website owner, let me be frank. When you see the various businesses that are linked into the share-a-sale network, you will see that at least some will fit very well into your pages and are worth promoting to your readership. And if you are genuine and do know your stuff, your readers who are looking for those exact products or services will take your advice and by the product you recommend. And you will be commissioned for the sale. You have provided a good service with your specialist knowledge, and you have earned the commission you receive.
And there lies the difference between affiliate networking and pay-per-click advertising. The click which generates the sale is usually worth a few bucks or more for the affiliate and only a handful of pennies with the other method. I have google ads on this site in some places, and i cringe when i see my opposition being advertized on this site when I already know they do not offer a better or cheaper service. So I lean more toward affiliate ads now because I know I am offering a higher standard of product to my visitors.
And perhaps you will or perhaps you wont sign up, but there will definitely be a number of you who do read this page and will understand exactly what i have just said and how this form of advertising is really the best way to monetize your website. If you understand how deciding exactly what company you would like to promote along with your webpage content, and exactly which of the supplied ads would blend in the best, either a text link or banner, (you can also make your own) you are going to end up with an even better and more informative and useful website which even your visitors can then promote to their friends. They can then use facebook to tell all their friends "I was researching that model car problem you were talking about yesterday and i discovered Joe's website, he seems to really know his stuff and fixed that problem, also he even links to a site that sells that model car you were chasing at a better price than Newman quoted you. Check Joe's site out here..."
You see, I have done my home work and I already know this is one of the best and biggest Affiliate Networks sites about. And I do happily lend whatever credibility i have in support of this fact. Because i know that no matter what genre your website falls under, (food, health, arts, clothing etc. etc.) the vast majority of you are going to find numerous high quality business that have products that will compliment your site and that some of your readers will want to buy. And when they do, you will get a percentage of each sale. Even if your site only attracts a few hits a month, you will then stand a chance of actually getting a cheque every once in a while.
(And seriously, if you only get a few hits a month. It is time that you added some more pages to your website or email us your website address and ask for some free SEO advice/tips for your website. If you want us to fix the pages for you, that part is not free, the advice is free. We are much cheaper and much better than many others in this field so you will win either way. Those that need help putting your ads on your pages, we can do that for you too.)
And maybe you'll make 50 bucks or five hundred or five thousand. Only the number of hits on your pages will give a clue? Once you have become a member, and are setup with quality advertising on your pages, you can then stand a chance of making a little extra on the side for your good work.
See also our article Affiliate Marketing for Merchants and Manufacturers which discusses how the Website Administrator is worth more to on-line business than he commonly gives himself credit for.
With Christmas nearly on our doorstep, the faster you get listed, the quicker you will become established and get some returns. But before you join a network, you would be wise to make sure of some key points that enable you flexibility and room to expand and not locked into a deal that prevents you expanding your business.
Who would we recommend?
shareasale.com as they check the boxes in the following list.
and this is how we go about finding a good affiliate to join.
a) When looking for an Affiliate Network to join, make sure the site has many Merchants and Manufacturers already onboard. This way you can set up many pages quickly and easily with a healthy range of products and services with all your payments streamlined from one source. Merchants or Manufacturers listed with other smaller Networks that you like can always be added at a later date. It is a good idea to try and avoid a situation where you need to keep track of many Networks. This can also make it harder to get paid regularly.
b) Make sure the affiliate network is expanding. A good Affiliate Network will keep you informed do recent signup to the program. A and a good Affiliate Network will have new sign ups regularly. This means you can freshen up or add content or add more range to the benefit of your readership.
c) Make sure the Affiliate Network does not demand you are not allowed to use any other advertisements from other Affiliate Networks. A good Network manager will not need to try to lock you into their network alone. It will stand on it's own merit.
d) Can you be up and running swiftly. An Affiliate network is not likely to accept you without ensuring your site meets with their criteria. Most will check your site is family friendly first before accepting you into their ranks. Make sure you provide a valid email and website address when you sign up.