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2. Are you promoting the PROGRAM instead of the PRODUCT?
Over and over again, affiliates join a two-tier affiliate program and then create a page telling other people to join it. I've done this myself with LifetimeCustomers.com. However, that site is not my core business. It's just one page, which I created fairly quickly.
Feel free to try that technique, but don't pin all your hopes on it.
Unless you're really skilled at signing up key people in key places, or know how to sign up many thousands of affiliates, you're not likely to get rich on second-tier commissions.
The people you sign up will tend to copy you and try to sign up more people... Whoops! That sounds like the worst aspects of multi-level marketing. Who's going to actually SELL something and earn commissions?
I once read a report which claimed that my success with the SiteSell affiliate program is due to the fact that I've signed up thousands of sub-affiliates.
That suggestion was just a silly guess - and it's utter rubbish.
Only a tiny percentage of the thousands of dollars I earn each month from SiteSell is from second-tier commissions. I succeed because I promote the PRODUCTS. They're incredibly good value, I believe in them, and I succeed by telling people so.
Here's proof that "affiliate programs" is a tough, competitive field.
Try typing "affiliate programs" into Google. You're competing with 8 million other pages. Try the phrase without the quotation marks and you're competing with about 28 million other pages. That's a mammoth increase on the pages found a few years years ago. [UPDATE: Those are September 2009 figures.]
Promote the PRODUCTS.
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Learn from an affiliate veteran.
Your host, Allan Gardyne, has been earning a good living from affiliate programs since 1998.