Joining an Affiliate Program is a great way to start earning a sizeable income on the Internet without many of the hassles that come with running your own business.

But the problem is… there are so much affiliate programs out there for you. In this article I will guide you to choose the most suitable and profitable Affiliate Program for you. I recommend you to follow this rule before choosing an Affiliate Program.

1. Find a great quality product or service

Remember that any recommendation you make will reflect directly on you. If you recommend a great quality product, the people you recommended will always trusted you and be interested in future recommendations that you make. If you recommend a bad quality product, and I'll guarantee that they will likely hesitate to act on any offers you recommend.

Don't get greedy. Only recommend products that you truly believe in.


2. Look for a program that offers top commissions.

I think it's perfectly reasonable for you to expect to be paid 30% to 50% of the profits on each product sold. 5% to 10% is very low. You should look for companies who understand the "lifetime value" of new customers you refer and appreciate your efforts.

Only consider joining programs that show a similar level of respect for their affiliates.

3. Make sure they have a high sales conversion ratio.

Make sure that the affiliate program is turning a reasonable number of visitors into sales. If not, then your efforts directing traffic to their website will be completely wasted. A 1% conversion ratio (1 out of every 100 visitors) is quite good, 2%+ is better.

4. Be sure you'll be credited for every sales you make.

You should find out what kind of tracking software the Affiliate Program that you're interested in joining uses. You MUST look for a program that uses quality affiliate tracking software that is reliable and tracks ALL (online, by phone, fax, mail orders, etc), because there are many companies only track online orders, and this means that you will never get credit for anywhere from 5% - 10% of your affiliate sales!.

Make sure they have a high sales conversion ratio and a good tracking software.

5. They should allow you to access your sales statistics real time.

What I mean is that the Affiliate Program you join should give you a special username and password that you can use to access your own personal affiliate sales information right on their website. Many affiliate programs have done this, you don't have to worry about that, but incase they don't, you should reconsider to join them.

6. Look for a program that teaches you to maximize your affiliate sales.

A good affiliate program will provide you with everything you need to be successful. They'll provide you with traffic-generating banners, text-links, and recommendation letter templates. They'll tell you which techniques work well in which circumstances.

Find an affiliate program that is similarly dedicated to educating their affiliates.

7. Make sure they are reputable.

I still feel I should mention the importance of doing business with a reputable company. I know many people who have worked really hard, made a lot of sales for a company, but then they have never been paid or forced to wait months and months to get their money, I've been there too. If you have any concerns about a company that you are thinking of doing business with, ask for references and do some checks on them before you join them.

8. Be sure to read all contracts and agreements.

Before you join any affiliate program, just make sure that you read all contracts and agreements very carefully. Pay very close attention to exclusivity clauses in the agreement. Be careful that any affiliate agreement or contract you sign does not restrict you.

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Affiliate programs can be a great way to make money online. You don't have to spend time developing your own product, worry about taking orders, or take care of customer service.

If you already have a high traffic website or run an e-zine you can stand to earn a steady flow of commissions every month without a lot of extra work on your part.

To help you get started promoting affiliate programs, I've provided the following 5 tips to help you choose the affiliate programs that are right for you.

1. Choose affiliate programs that match the content of your site. If your site targets a niche market than choose affiliate programs that offer products to that niche market.


2. Choose affiliate programs that pay a high commission. For example 30%-50% on your direct sales.

3. Join affiliate programs that pay two-tier commissions. This enables you to not only earn commissions on your own sales but also on the sales of people who you introduce to your affiliate
program.

4. Join affiliate programs that offer a line of products so that you can earn commissions when your referrals come back and purchase other services or products.

5. Join affiliate programs that offer their affiliates great marketing support. Many affiliate programs offer their affiliates pre-written ads to use or get ideas from, sales letters, marketing courses, and articles to use in promoting their services.

Remember, the best affiliate programs will see their affiliate program as a partnership with you and combine high commissions with excellent support so that you can start earning money
promoting their products as quickly as possible.

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Affiliate programs (also called Referral Programs or Partnership Programs) are essentially commission-based sales schemes.

Joining an affiliate program is a neat way to make money from your users. But just as you can join someone else's affiliate program, so you can set up your own program and invite webmasters to sign up. Here are my top 3 tips to succeed with your own affiliate program.


1. How to attract affiliates

One of the biggest fears new Affiliate managers have is in finding new affiliates. This fear is a stumbling block that stops many site owners from getting started with affiliate marketing. Interestingly, with a proper marketing strategy, getting affiliates may not be very difficult. Given below are some tips that may help in attracting new affiliates.

Find complimentary sites - "Complementary" sites are sites that sell products or services that compliment your offers. If you sell "gardening tools", a site that sells books on "gardening tips" would be a perfect affiliate.


Find content sites - There are many sites that do not sell any kind of product or service but are mainly content oriented sites. Such sites promote an idea, concept, study or belief. Content sites that are used as a resource for your target market are ideal affiliates.

Finally, there are several sites on the Internet dedicated to listing affiliate Programs. Get your program listed in these directories.


2. Classifying Affiliates for Better Management

The hardest part of administrating an Affiliate Program is deciding what your affiliates need to help make the sale. But, by carefully categorizing your affiliates, you can easily determine what their needs are and how to accurately meet them.

The first step is to pick at least three types of affiliate. Take a look at your affiliates and try to determine one outstanding characteristic that can easily be compared across the board and choose at least three types of the characteristic.

The Second Step is to determine the needs of each type. Each of your affiliate types will have different needs; some of their needs will overlap, but you should find a distinct difference in many of their needs. If you find that all of them have the same needs, go back to step one and re-think your types.

The Third Step involves the process of creating and compiling linking methods for each group of affiliates. Based on the needs you identified in Step two, create and compile linking methods for each type.


3. Safe Guarding Against Spam

Any time you run a program where your affiliates rely on other signups to generate profits, you will eventually have a problem with spam. One of your affiliates will inevitably get it into their head to blitz the Web with unwanted garbage.

When this happens you need to be ready to take action otherwise it will cost you! Your Internet company can boot you off your server and you can find yourself blacklisted. Not good for business. If you get an email from someone claiming they received spam with your URL, then take it as an early warning.

I am not advising you to immediately terminate the affiliate's account, but be sure to contact them to follow up on the complaint. Let your affiliate know you received a complaint and advise them to remove this person from their list.

If you only get one or two complaints, it's probably not spam, the complainants might simply have signed up for an email list and forgotten all about it. You will know when one of your affiliates is spamming, because you will get anywhere from 10 to 100 complaints in the same day all regarding the same URL.

The best thing to do in this case is to immediately terminate or disable the account of the affiliate URL that was spammed.

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Advertising doesn't have to wipe out your bank account to be effective. When you learn to negotiate, know when smaller ads are as effective as large ads, ask for discounts, and create an irresistible offer, you're on your way to skyrocketing profit margins!

1. Negotiate
Have you noticed that some people seem to always get the best deals? Yeah, you pay full price and think you did OK until they show up with the same thing, only they paid several hundred dollars less. It really get your goat! How do they do it? They're not afraid to ask for an extra discount.

Yep, don't sell yourself short because you didn't ASK the next time your advertising rep makes an appearance! Even if you're already getting a discount, ask for a bigger one. You have not...because you ask not.


2. Trim
Bigger is always better...or is it? When it comes to advertising, don't be surprised if some of your short ads meet with more success than larger more expensive ads. Trimming down on the size and cost of advertising doesn't mean you'll be trimming the results!

3. Exploit the Freebies
What's the difference between advertising and publicity? ...who's doing the talking. Yeah, when you sell yourself, it's advertising. When someone else is selling you, it's publicity...and it generates credibility and interest that you don't want to miss out on.

Think about the different ways you can get your business in the spotlight. Do you have some news… write a press release? Write some “how to” articles with a short byline at the end and release them to ezines, magazines, newspapers, and other publishers. Why not promote the product of a non-competitor in return for them promoting yours...think of the totally different market they affect!

Yep, there are a lot of ways out there to get free advertisement that will benefit your business. Of course you won't be able to rely solely on the freebies, but hey, you can get a little extra for nothing!

4. Improve Your Offer
Is your deal too good to pass up? If not, you need to improve it. Hey, I'm not talking about cutting prices even more...you've still got to make a profit. You can make the deal sweeter just by increasing the readers knowledge of the value of the product, or adding bonuses that are perceived as valuable, but cost you little.

Motivate buyers with expirations. Yeah, an open ended offer encourages procrastination...which leads ...yep, nowhere. When the customer knows he has until Saturday to purchase an item he'll pay more for on Sunday, he'll make it a priority to head for your shop.

Advertising doesn't have to wipe out your bank account to be effective. When you learn to negotiate, know when smaller ads are as effective as large ads, ask for discounts, and create an irresistible offer, you're on your way to skyrocketing profit margins!

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Simple and effective Business Management

In every enterprise there are, at every time, one or more bottlenecks, which have influence to the commercial situation. Bottleneck-oriented business management has the purpose to early track the bottlenecks and to remove them, to allow an optimum of commercial development. To know at any time, what a business lacks of and to be able to add the missing things, is today a determining competition advantage. Bottlenecks can be, e.g.:

low sales proceeds
high due or overdue accounts receivables
low liquidity (Cash on Hand, etc.)
high amount of liabilities
low number of customers
too many new customers
too high capacity utilization
defective administration or management
and a lot more.


These example show that bottlenecks not only concern negative circumstances, but also can apply to positive commercial development. If an enterprise takes up many new customers, this results in new orders, which lead to other circumstances, like a possible excess in capacity utilization. In case the excess of capacity utilization stays for a longer time, this may result in a lower employee motivation, because of a slump in working atmosphere within the company, which then could lead to less qualtiy of the work performed.

Due to a TIMELY reporting system many companies take care of reaching the desired commercial development. However, a regular analysis of expenses or the annual reports are not enough to control a business today. In the today's dynamic markets these evaluations are too statical, too much oriented on the past commercial development, which had been achieved. Also cost accounting only shows what has happened in the past. The actual direction in which a business is running could not be seen.

Imagine a business to be a car. If you sat down in a car, do you like to receive information from the instruments from the last year or month? Probably not. You would like to have actual information about fuel tank content, coolant temperature and a lot more. Bottleneck-oriented business management should exactly bring the most important and actual information about a business to you, including so-called early warning signals (Screenshot abenetis ERS-Diagram).

Data oriented to the past for early-warning-systems?

A working early-warning-system needs data which are not oriented to the past, like from cost accounting or year-/month-end-closeings. It needs data from so-called early indicators, which has to be gathered from different areas of an enterprise. Of course, figures from the finance and accounting department belong into an early-warning-system, but they only have a subordinated role, because they are oriented to the past.

Nowadays the reporting must show the present situation of a business. In many businesses the expenditure of time for the reporting rose considerably, due to the today's flood of information. Aggravatingly added to this, is the selection of the really relevant business ratios, which allow an appropriate overview of the actual business situation. Too often reports are prepared, which are not perceived by anybody, due to the lack of necessary statements about the business development.

There are already proven business-ratio-systems, that enterprises only need to take over. Get back into the car again, imagine you have only one instrument in front of you, which shows the value "35". What does this signify? It is not recognizable how many fuel exists, how the Temperature of the coolant is or how fast the car is driving, etc.

At this example you could recognize the little expressiveness of only one business ratio. It shows the importance to use the right business ratios, which must have a connection to each other and which have a different temporal origin. Nevertheless, many business ratio systems are mostly based on data which originate from the past.

This turns often to the problem, that immediate information are not available, to indicate the actual situation of a business. However, there is still the alternative, to reduce the period of the past. How would it be with one week instead of analysing business data every 4 weeks? This would lead to the fact that you could act a few weeks earlier, if something should run a little bit inclinedly.

Only very few data are needed to receive an informative evaluation. This again is comparably with a car. If you are driving with your car, you only receive a small, well-chosen number of information and nevertheless, have an actual picture of the situation. This is also possible for businesses, as well!

As a motorist we receive only one fraction of the data which is acquired by the system of the car, and just these fraction of information is enough for us to reach the desired destination. When traveling usually we are well prepared, but the principle of the preparations is often neglected in business operation. As it is with traveling, the final goal has to be clearly stated by the business management. This could be done by having planing data available. Only by target/actual comparison divergences of the commercial development will be recognized.

Unfortunately, many small businesses renounce to use plan data. Besides, it is not about, to cut plan data into the smallest pieces, but only to get a rough picture, what the business is going to achieve. It is absolutely possible to run a business on the basis of the figures from the previous year, however, to use these figures, the past commercial development should be taken into consideration. So the figures from the previous year should be improved to fit with the new goals. And finished are the planning data and the basis for an operational risk management are laid. Still if it is most important to know the actual bottlenecks in business operation.

Recognize problems and act!

One of the most important factors in business management is the early recognition of problems and potentials. There are bottlenecks in every business, which could have serious results. Pecuniary difficulties could lead to bankruptcy for example. Therefore symptoms must be recognized early, in order to turn a possible crisis away and to secure the future of your business. Also to use available potentials, regular analyses should be done. Nowadays products and services could not be sold forever, because product cycles become shorter and shorter due to market dynamism. The recognition and development of potentials is exceptionally important, to avoid losing the already achieved basis of a business.

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Who created accounting principles? Who sets and revises accounting standards? What if you don’t follow all the rules, do you go to jail? Is there an accounting police force that investigates and arrests violators? It would seem that there must be some regulatory force to make sure that providers of financial statements conform to the rules. There is, up to a point, and here is how it works:

Mainly, it’s all voluntary and it works pretty well. First, double-entry accounting originated in Italy in the 1400’s, so its been around awhile. Accounting principles have evolved over the years just as have accounting standards. The reason why the system works is that the business community could not function if there was not commonality and consistency in financial statement reporting. It would be chaos, much like if there were no driving rules of the road.


Therefore, in the United States, a body of experts known as the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB pronounced Fasbee) was established in 1973, which superseded another board called the Accounting Principles Board (APB). The FASB members go through a lengthy process of analyzing and reviewing problems in the accounting field that are brought to them. After much thought, they will make a pronouncement as to what they think the new or revised way of approaching the treatment of an accounting issue should be.

They are a non-governmental organization that has private financing. A big supporter of FASB is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Many Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) belong to this prestigious organization and are obligated to abide by its guidelines and principles of behavior. Other countries no doubt have similar organizations that require high levels of accounting professional conduct.

FASB established an accounting code called “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles” or (GAAP). The assumption is that if a business financial statement is prepared according to GAAP, then the user of that financial statement could rely on or trust the information more readily than if not prepared according to GAAP. Those businesses that deviate from GAAP, and many smaller businesses do, cannot say that their statements are prepared under GAAP; in fact, they should inform the reader that they are not. However, let the buyer beware.

One governmental body that has a policing function is the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). It is primarily concerned with public companies because their job is to protect investors from unscrupulous acts. Recently, the SEC has gotten into the act of establishing accounting standards. It has its hands full today.

Since most businesses use their financial statements to prepare their required income tax returns, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may audit those tax returns and review the financial statements upon which the tax returns are based. Not following the rules can get you in trouble with this governmental body.

You can see that in many ways compliance to the principles and standards is a mixture of voluntary and regulatory behavior. Currently, there is an effort underway to set international accounting standards due to the inexorable globalization process. This is a massive undertaking that will take years, but it is obviously necessary and inevitable.

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