Setting up an affiliate program is a great way for a merchant to make money. There isn’t any real risk for them because they only pay out when a sale is made.
But how is that useful to you as an affiliate? Well think about how normal manufacturing businesses sells their goods.
You have a manufacturer who makes the goods. Then you may have a few intermediate parties like agents, brokers and other wholesalers. These guys are all middlemen basically. Finally you have the retail outlet where members of the public walk into the store and buys items one by one. Every seller in this sales chain makes money.
Affiliate networks make money in the exact same way. They broker sales of the merchants product. Then they keep a percentage and pay the affiliate the rest of the money.
You can make money as an affiliate by extending the above sales chain. You can work with smart merchants and set up a similar process.
Let me show you how I did this.
First of all I needed to find a merchant that understood their numbers. You know a merchant understands their numbers when they pay an affiliate commission which is more than the price of the initial item for sale.
These guys are only willing to spend money when they know for definite that they will get a new customer. They know that a certain percentage of new customers will go on to order more things from them because they have a strong back end.
So if the product sells for $10, they may offer you an affiliate commission of $15 per sale. After that the merchant keeps 100% of any possible future back end sales.
It helps your case if you choose a product has a ‘mysterious/unknown’ type appeal mixed with a strong promise of user benefits.
I used a high quality and low priced dating product which paid 200% affiliate commission.
At a $20 selling price I got paid $40 for every sale I made.
Next I set up a mini affiliate network of my own. To do this I used a free service which you can find at:
(if you feel like using a paid version that you host, go to www.groundbreak.com – they sell a script that professional web hosting companies use to manage their affiliate program, and it’s only a couple of hundred bucks).
I used hasoffers and inserted my affiliate link as a base affiliate link. Now I can sign anybody up to my mini affiliate network and give them their own affiliate link. This new affiliate link will go through my hasoffers system and get tracked. Then it will redirect through MY affiliate link for the $20 dating product.
What this means:
I can now give anyone their own affiliate tracking link for the $20 dating product I chose. Each time they make a sale I get paid $40. All I have to do is split my earnings with them.
This way I can make a profit with zero risk. I’m basically a middleman in the product sales funnel.
How I advertised this:
I used Adbrite.com to find websites who had advertising space. I only picked websites that appealed to young males between the ages of 18 and 35.
(Quantcast.com will tell you/estimate the demographics of most websites you choose, and so will Google Adplanner).
Then I contacted these websites and told them to run ads for my dating product whenever they had unsold advertising space. I also did the same with websites who did email blasts. I asked them to include an ad for my dating product if they had any unsold space in their email blasts.
I also found a bunch of amature video makers with videos that appeal to my audience. Sites like YouTube, Google Video, Daily Motion and Viddler all have loads of these types of users on them. And most of the time they’re not too savvy about affiliate marketing. So these guys will usually jump at the chance to make money from their videos. It’s a win-win for all.
This is no risk to them. This is no risk to me. If the idea doesn’t work nobody loses anything. If it works we both make money.
I would give the advertiser between $15 and $30 (of my $40 affiliate commission) for each product sold. How much I gave depended on how much traffic/video views they had.
This meant that each time a dating product sold I would receive a risk free net profit of between $10 and $25.
By following this exact affiliate marketing plan, you can generate 100’s of sales a day which can mean $1000’s of risk free, pure profit each and every month for you.