Much has been written about joining affiliate networks like Clickbank, and finding lucrative affiliate programs that pay well.
However, there's more to monetizing your sites with affiliate programs than just programs that are lucrative. Although the overall topic of your site should influence the type of affiliate programs you decide to join, you should also consider combining different types of programs to increase your commissions.
When thinking about monetizing your business with affiliate programs, there are five factors you should consider that can help you more easily increase your commissions.
These factors are important regardless of whether you are an affiliate wanting to increase your income, or a business owner selling your own products and wanting to increase your backend income.
Although I'm sure there are more, these factors can help you increase your overall commissions when you implement them in your affiliate business.
1. Two Tier
Internet marketer Mike Merz once said that he would only promote two tier programs, so if you wanted to joint venture with him, you have to have a two tier affiliate structure.
I didn't quite understand why he said this until I studied two tier programs.
With a two tier, there are actually two ways you make money. First is through referring others to the merchant. The second is through referring other affiliates. By referring other affiliates, not only do you earn on your sales, but you also earn on their sales.
This is a major form of leverage. It allows you to earn from the efforts of others. You can create a long term passive income when you use this strategy.
2. Members' Only Affiliate Programs
With members' only affiliate programs, which can be any type of affiliate program, your biggest advantage is competition, or a lack of it.
Most members' only affiliate programs are usually memberships, and most usually have a monthly fee. Once you refer someone to the program, you can continue to earn income for as long as the person is a member of the program.
Again, what makes this type of referral more lucrative is not only do you have recurring income, but you have less competition on your referrals.
3. Recurring income
Not all membership sites require you to join. Some will allow you to join their affiliate program without joining the actual program.
Again, you have the opportunity to earn as long as the person stays a member. Let me caution you on this one though: be careful about promoting affiliate programs you don't own. A bad referral can cost you money.
4. Lifetime Commissions
With lifetime commissions, you make the referral to the website, one time, and the visitor is permanently "cookied" to your affiliate ID. What this means is that each time the visitor purchases, you've made a sale, and you get credit.
This type of commission is usually paid on membership sites, but there are some sites that offer lifetime commissions on all of their products, so you can get paid for new sales on individual products.
5. VPM Sites
Viral Profit Machine (VPM) is a new model of affiliate marketing invented by internet marketers Jon Leger and Alok Jain. What this model allows you to do is to offer to share your commissions from your sales of products from programs like Clickbank, PayDotCom, and $7 ebooks.
In other words, it's revenue sharing on steroids. Site owners can allow you to be "cookied" for your referrals for longer periods of time, and affiliates can earn commissions on email promotions, as well as site referrals.
Instead of making one sale, affiliates can make multiple sales from the same referral.
The advantage of this type of system is that it adds a viral marketing aspect to affiliate marketing that was previously missing. It also allows affiliates to earn more from customers.
A major advantage here that's lacking in other affiliate program models is that sites that sell affiliate products can share revenue with visitors. This model allows affiliates to create an affiliate program for their sites and blogs and share revenue from referrals.
What's important to remember is that each of these factors can be combined. These are simply elements you should consider when joining affiliate programs. By considering these elements in marketing affiliate programs, you can avoid leaving money on the table.