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  1. #1
    Newbie javonhorvath's Avatar
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    What if I become an affiliate directly with the merchant??
    I am a newbie so please excuse my lack of terminlogy or if I have posted on the wrong forum...

    I am just going through ABW for the last few days to acquaint myself with affiliate marketing...and on the other side I am also trying to set up my site for the same....

    I even found out some Affiliate marketing networks (thanks to ABW) but i also found some merchants with whom i can be a direct affiliate by subscribing on their site....

    What is better??? I mean say for example there is this affiliate marketing network which pays me when i get a minimum of 100$?? what about the merchants??? what is their limit before they give out the pay?? ???

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    I would recommend to a newbie to definitely join 1 or 2 of the major networks.

    They offer payment thresholds with all your merchants combined, (instead of only 1), standardized stats/links, etc.

    Actually getting a check can be a big motivator.

    That doesn't mean you can't make money with an independent tho...

    What is better??? I mean say for example there is this affiliate marketing network which pays me when i get a minimum of 100$?? what about the merchants??? what is their limit before they give out the pay?? ???
    You have to read their terms and decide...

  3. #3
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    is it a network or a merchant that holds your money until it accrues to $100?

    a network (many merchants) should be able to pay before that.

    I know of one merchant that does that and only pays 3%, also . . . but if you do very well with them you might feel it is OK.

    So it depends on the product line, your success with it, and your business model.

  4. #4
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    Yep - each merchant will have different terms for minimum payment unless you're looking only at merchants who are on the same network as one another.

    From program to program and network to network there are many similarities (for example $25, and $50 are common minimum payment amounts amongst the various programs) but each merchant who runs their program in-house has the ability to set those terms to whatever they choose, and each network has theirs as I'm sure you're finding. One is not really better than the other, it's just a matter of preference really.

    I would think that as a newbie, having to reach a minimum of $100 before getting a payment would not be very motivating. Your first few commissions might only be a few bucks here or a few bucks there, but you have to start somewhere.

    In the meantime, focus for now, should be more on developing a quality piece of online real estate to call your own that is of interest and use to a particular segment of the consumer market and also on where your traffic is going to come from - less on the payment threshold. It's important you keep in mind that Affiliate Marketing is not a get rich quick scheme by any means - even though people still often confuse it with one when just starting out (just in case you were thinking it might be).

    That said, the question was valid, and I hope you got the answers you were looking for.

    Many in-house programs are run well, but as a newbie I'd stick w/ the major network programs for now unless you know the in-house program is run by a dedicated manager. You'll just be more likely to get help when you need it that way, and you may get paid more regularly (but again first you have to build your targeted traffic before you worry about that).

    Of course if an in-house program's products/services really interest you and are of relevance to your site visitor's interests, and you're not sure about whether they'd be a good program for you to join, then all it takes is a quick call or email to the merchant to see who's running it on the other side, and see what kind of service they offer up front, and get your questions answered, before you do anything.

    Joining programs is free, so even if you do join it doesn't cost you anything except maybe a moment of your time to fill out the sign up form.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
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    As others suggest, it's usually wise to start with just one or two affiliate networks (such as ShareASale and AvantLink), because as a new affiliate, you don't yet know which merchants might perform well for you, and you might not meet the payment threshhold for individual "direct" merchant programs before deciding they aren't working out for you.

    However, it really does depend on your web site (your niche, your content, your product focus, etc.) -- often, it makes sense to join the Amazon Associates program because it's much easier to persuade folks to buy from Amazon than from unknown merchants. But Amazon's commission rate is very low (4% to start).

    For an analysis from the "merchant perspective," see my articles
    Last edited by Trust; July 8th, 2008 at 03:24 PM.

  6. #6
    Newbie javonhorvath's Avatar
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    @ simcat...thanks for your reply....got the point...

    @ e-gazer..... i do agree with what you have written....thanks a lot for the detailed explanation...i needed it...talking about getting rich scheme...well i have kept myself a target of 4 months to earn my first commission cheque...m not in a hurry a bit....as of now i am just concentrating on visiting as many affiliate marketing networks as possible and reading their terms and conditions to familiarize myself with the concept of affiliate marketing.... and comparing different networks.... and as far as the traffic flow is concerned...are their any tools on the net that can help me understand which sector will give me the maximum flow??? or do i just have to rely on my gut feelings??

    @markwelch...agree with the amazon thing you told me...

  7. #7
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    JH - Just keep reading forums like this one and you'll begin to pick up on trends etc. in due time. That said, the product or segment of the market that is the real money maker for one guy may not be a money maker at all for the next guy. It really varies from person to person depending on each person's interests, knowledge and strengths - in addition to each affiliate's ability to understand each key segment of the market. You may understand some better than others and so target the ones you understand and/or identify with better.

    Re: 4 months. Give yourself LOTS of time. I don't want to discourage you but sometimes, new affiliates can work on the development of their new site for a year before they see any real commissions (think writing pages of relevant content each day, adding new links, new products, new offers, new features, etc.). Your expectations need to be realistic or you're going to be frustrated, disappointed and want to quit when reality doesn't match your expectations.

    It can take a while to get your pages indexed in the major search engines just so they can be found when someone is searching online for whatever information and products you feature, which might benefit them. Just as with any business endeavour, you have to really invest in your affiliate marketing project - not with overhead so much in this case, but time. If your website is quality - not just speaking to aesthetics here but to the level of "usefulness" to a particular segment of the market, it will gain traffic over time. I'm not sure if you'll be focusing on content sites or not, but that is a popular business model and it works.

    The best advice I can give you is to find a topic you are passionate about and develop your sites around that. Target an audience you understand. If you're a huge sports fan, make a site that targets sports nuts, etc. Knowledge is power, people love information. Content sites are great. PPC is a good tool - learn about that (Google Adwords, etc.) - and remember to find ways to advertise your own site in places that make sense too. If no one knows it's out there, you won't see much traffic OR conversion.

    But yea, just not sure 4 months is realistic. It can happen, but I wouldn't bank on it unless you plan to become a PPC expert in that time (or already are one).

    Still - good luck - there IS lots of money to be made - just be patient and focused and read read read some more. Keep plugging away and you'll see results in time. Another tip - many people start out doing this part time while keeping a full time job until they see commission checks begin to start rolling in well enough to keep them afloat full time. That can take a few years but many have done REALLY well for themselves this way.

  8. #8
    Newbie Chris R Motive's Avatar
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    I would suggest signing up to a few of the Medium sized networks, usually you can get a Affiliate Manager that can give you some insight on how the AM world works. In my personal experience signing up with a large network as a Noob you will just get lost in the shuffle. Also remember that with any network you sign up with if you dont like your Affiliate Manager just ask to change him/her for another.

  9. #9
    Newbie javonhorvath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-Gazer

    Re: 4 months. Give yourself LOTS of time. I don't want to discourage you but sometimes, new affiliates can work on the development of their new site for a year before they see any real commissions (think writing pages of relevant content each day, adding new links, new products, new offers, new features, etc.). Your expectations need to be realistic or you're going to be frustrated, disappointed and want to quit when reality doesn't match your expectations.
    i had thought 4 months was a reasonably realistic time....but from what you say...I am ready to wait for a year....i guess 1 year can be pretty realistic

    Quote Originally Posted by e-Gazer
    It can take a while to get your pages indexed in the major search engines just so they can be found when someone is searching online for whatever information and products you feature, which might benefit them. .
    point taken.....floated my website with some relevant keywords too....but that website could come at the top of the listening when i gave out my website name and a proper noun used in the article... (it was not in the top 20 with the relevant keywords that i had put)....guess i need to change my strategy....

    Quote Originally Posted by e-Gazer
    I'm not sure if you'll be focusing on content sites or not, but that is a popular business model and it works.
    i didnt get you.......


    Quote Originally Posted by e-Gazer
    Still - good luck - there IS lots of money to be made - just be patient and focused and read read read some more. Keep plugging away and you'll see results in time. Another tip - many people start out doing this part time while keeping a full time job until they see commission checks begin to start rolling in well enough to keep them afloat full time. That can take a few years but many have done REALLY well for themselves this way.
    ...i guess till i get my first pay check i will be having to put this quote to motivate me...

  10. #10
    Newbie javonhorvath's Avatar
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    @chris....thanks for your tip too....

  11. #11
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    Stick to your guns son......
    Quote Originally Posted by javonhorvath
    @chris....thanks for your tip too....

    Hey J

    Content Means sell products as opposed to sites that are just informational like blogs etc. etc. Many people simply give away their "Product" & monetise the incoming traffic via google ads. A 17 year old girl made big bucks doing that.

    The reality is, I have done this for 8 years part time. I made a few sales here and there yes. I have since now done a major over haul & have over 400 links to my site including my very first .edu link {YAY !} and in truth, I have made a single sale in 12 months.

    I was # 5 thru 13 in the search engines for my top 5 key words & now I dont even rank in the top 30. I have gone from 1 visitor per day to 3 vistors per day to basically 0 vistors per day.

    My traffic ranking has slid over 2 million points after a 2 million point jump.

    It will take me a while to learn the ropes & gain the big big traffic numbers I need to buy up / donate all the rooms at the affiliate summit or become lead sponsor at the 60 mile walk.. You get the idea.

    Just dig in & stay focused. Make sure that you get to know the merchants that run your programmes etc. They have a vested interest in helping you. People on ABW don't, & won't unless they like you. {I am the lone exception here, I'll tell you everything I know}

    This is a great place. The summits are even better.

    I hope this helps.

    Steve
    Last edited by Steve Williams; July 10th, 2008 at 07:42 AM. Reason: Beacchy. Will you be My Private School Teacher ? I Can't Spell....
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  12. #12
    Newbie javonhorvath's Avatar
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    @steve...thanks dude...

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveWilliams
    Hey J

    People on ABW don't, & won't unless they like you. {I am the lone exception here, I'll tell you everything I know}

    Steve
    thats so selfless of you

  13. #13
    Newbie javonhorvath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveWilliams
    Hey J

    My traffic ranking has slid over 2 million points after a 2 million point jump.

    It will take me a while to learn the ropes & gain the big big traffic numbers I need to buy up / donate all the rooms at the affiliate summit or become lead sponsor at the 60 mile walk.. You get the idea.
    hey steve just struck me...you say your traffic ranking slid....over how long a period did it start sliding?? had you employed any SEO tricks from your end so that it wouldnt slide???

  14. #14
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Start with Shareasale.

    And develop a site with products in something that you are personally interested in. Write your own unique content featuring your own unique experiences with the products you are marketing.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by javonhorvath
    hey steve just struck me...you say your traffic ranking slid....over how long a period did it start sliding?? had you employed any SEO tricks from your end so that it wouldnt slide???

    J

    It slid in like 60 days { 2 Site clawls I think} and I ONLY use SEo at Haikos say so.

    I was like # 3.5m and jumped UP 60,000 in thirty days then jumped UP to like 1.5m in 60 days and then I slid back to 3.5 Million in 60 days after staying steady at like 1.5m for a few months.

    I was not making all that many changes during this period so I was safe there mostly and I have recently begun new things since the slide began.

    The 417 link backs have slid to like 370 in total but seem to change from week to week even though I have not posted any new links in four or five weeks. ~ They still change. Strange.

    The edu link has evaporated & even that did nothing for me. The news ad I put out in a gay oriented news paper landed me one sale. I was right on target with this demographic and I will need 225 USD to develop it over 2 years. The traffic will be junk, and the sales low but it will break even for me despite the fact others have lost money. The intrinsic value is in the word of mouth advertising.

    The gay shows/ events, Affiliate Summit, Cotton Bowl, Saratoga Music Fesival and the fairs will be a way to extend our brand awareness and increase our notability which can be used in our paper ads etc. The tie ins are somewhat down the road but this shows you I am working and researching.

    Doubling my sites ranking did nothing for my traffic at all. Nor did my being way up on the natural rankings for five Keywords.

    In truth I'm kinda lost. I have asked what a fish looks like, but no replies yet.

    Anyway I hope I helped you out before bro.

    Steve

    MODS: Split if Needed Thanks.
    Last edited by Steve Williams; July 13th, 2008 at 09:48 PM. Reason: Texas Spelling Spree Again..... Somebody Recue Meeee... Take Me In Your Arms....
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  16. #16
    Newbie javonhorvath's Avatar
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    @cheesehead...thanks for the tip

    @steve....hey that was a lot of statistics....sort of went over my head....but is "sandboxed"the term for what you r experiencing???

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