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Become an Affiliate Yourself and Earn Income

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Become an Affiliate Yourself and Earn Income

Consider this: Joining an affiliate program, in addition to offering one, can be a big benefit to your company. Not only can you add valuable content to your site that will keep consumers coming back to you, but also your offers will be there in front of consumers whenever they are ready to buy.

Shoppers do not live on commerce alone. They go to the Web for information as well. By joining selective content affiliate programs, you can add free valuable content to your company's site—and get paid for it in the process. Why would a content site give you free information and pay you to do it? For the same reason you create an affiliate program—to acquire customers and increase revenue. So why not capitalize on your site traffic and gain additional revenue in the process? In addition to your company becoming an affiliate, it should be mandated that members of your affiliate team create their own sites and become affiliates so they can have a 360-degree understanding of the industry.

As the old saying goes, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander." Your affiliates—both content and community sites—are outsourcing their commerce to you, so why don't you outsource your content to someone else by joining their affiliate program and add value to your site? And here's the best part—you get paid for it! You can capitalize on your site traffic, offer valuable content to your shoppers, and gain additional revenue in the process.

DO

DO join content affiliate programs to add valuable content to your site and earn additional revenue at the same time.

There are a number of companies on the Web today that offer all kinds of content that could fit well on your Web site, and many of these companies will pay you to place their content on your site or link to their content from your site.

Why would they do this? For the same reason you create an affiliate program—to acquire customers and increase revenue. They do this by creating tiny content packages that you place on your Web site, and in return, you feed traffic back to their site. Their give-away content is a link back to full content hosted on their site. And here's the best part: This valuable content is FREE and there is no cost to join their affiliate program.

These affiliate programs come in many flavors, and there's a very good chance that one of them would fit your e-commerce site. You can find content sites that provide

  • News of all types

  • Articles on many subjects

  • Web search services right from your site

  • Local news, weather, entertainment, and events

  • Sports and stock information

  • Downloadable music, photos, and Webcasts

  • Auctions

  • Even consumer reviews and opinions

Quality content can help you attract potential buyers to your site, but quality content is a lot more expensive to create than most people realize, and maintaining a quality Web site is an even more expensive proposition. If you can reduce your content costs—and even make money doing it—the viability of your e-commerce site may come down to how well you can manage content costs. That's why joining content affiliate programs will help you add quality content to your site and get paid for doing it.

News and Features

If your eBusiness serves a local market, you could consider joining an affiliate program that offers local news, weather, entertainment, and events. AOL Digital City's affiliate program (home.digitalcity.com/chicago/) (see Figure 3.1) lets you offer guides to local restaurants, clubs, attractions, live music, museums, art and cultural events, movies, and more. You just add one of its local content boxes to your site and every time someone clicks on that box, you get paid $.03.

Figure 3.1 digitalcity.com offers local content for your Web site.

For more general news, affiliate programs from InterestAlert! and Strategy.com can fill the bill. InterestAlert! (interestalert.com/remote/siteia/affiliate.html) (see Figure 3.2) lets you put news headlines and summaries on your pages. Categories include top news stories, women's news, political news and commentary, sports news, a stock index, and a large variety of industry news. Your site gets paid $.0025 per paid view on the news pages they serve.

Figure 3.2 InterestAlert! lets you put news headlines and summaries on your pages from a variety of categories.

Strategy.com's affiliate program (http://www.strategy.com/Features/WWV.asp) enables you to deliver information to your site to visitors whenever and wherever they are via Web, wireless, and voice.

DO

Do join content affiliate programs that allow you to customize their content to your site.

By becoming an affiliate, you can offer your customers personalized finance, weather, and news information. When your shoppers subscribe to these services (co-branded with your logo and your Web site's look and feel) through your site, they can choose what information they want (earnings reports, local severe weather alerts, top world news, and so on), when they want it (if a stock moves by 12%, only when rain is in the forecast, Thursdays at 10 a.m., and so on), and how they want to receive it (via e-mail, mobile phone, pager, and so on). Your business receives 15% of the net revenue generated by your site and 5% of the net revenue generated by other sites you refer.

Another free news feed affiliate program is EchoFactor (http://www.echofactor.com/affiliate.html). If your company sells music, you can have a news feed on Britney Spears. If your company is involved with travel, choose a news feed on a specific city or destination. EchoFactor pays $2 for each news feed you place on your site.

Moreover (http://www.moreover.com/associate/) provides breaking news from 1,800 sources, and it pays a commission every time you refer a new Web site owner who puts a Moreover headline Web feed onto his or her site. Moreover pays $1.30 for each unique visitor who completes the three-step Web feed builder, and $2.00 for each unique completion when the visitor is referred from the Moreover news feed on the front page of your site.

There's also an affiliate program for one of the biggest content providers on the Web. When you join About's affiliate program (http://affiliates.about.com/index.htm), you can take advantage of a wide range of quality content from over 700 of its expert guides. Each guide specializes in one area and provides in-depth information on his or her subject. You can link to an individual guide's content that is relevant to your company's interests. You can also add the ability for shoppers to search exclusively within your topic area, or search the entire About network. About will pay a standard rate of $0.01 for each qualified click-through from your site to About.

Some niche affiliate programs offer content as one of their linking options (see Figure 3.3). ClubMom (http://www.clubmom.com), a free membership organization created exclusively to reward and celebrate moms, makes a new article (with affiliate links) available to affiliates each month. Similarly, the One and Only Network, a matchmaking and romance site, offers a number of articles to affiliates that are integrated with affiliate links. These niche affiliate programs provide the valuable content to affiliates to improve the caliber of their sites and to reach a very defined-target marketing audience.

Figure 3.3 About offers affiliates access to hundreds of thousands of pages of content in more than 800 categories of information.

 

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