In-House Or Outsourcing – Which is Best For Affiliate Program Management?

In order to have quality affiliate program management, your affiliate program manager or team must be detail oriented, have a fastidious work ethic, and the ability to multitask with ease. These qualities will save you time and money in the end. Let one of them go and your entire affiliate program can go down the tubes in a flash.

Affiliate Program Managers Must be Detailed Oriented
It is the small details which sink an affiliate program. Details like not checking to make sure each and every affiliate has filled out and turned in a signed W9 can cost you thousands of dollars in taxes owed. Without this form, a business will be held responsible for the money they paid the affiliate. Essentially, the business will have to pay the taxes on behalf of the affiliate.

Management Teams Must Have a Fastidious Work Ethic
The affiliate program manager or team needs to track each affiliate to see who is making money and why. They need to determine which promotions are working and receiving a decent return on investment (ROI.) Additionally, they need to determine how different aspects of the program are going and what can be done to improve the areas not performing well.

Affiliate Teams Must be able to Multitask
The team must be able to do all the above while new affiliates come and go. They must be able to track all the coming and goings along with the tax information on each new affiliate. All of this work can be daunting for one person alone although it can be done.

Outsourcing Affiliate Management
Since it does take a lot of work to manage an affiliate program, many people decide it is best to outsource this aspect of their company. Many companies specialize in this and are more than willing to help with a fee, of course. However, there is one aspect you may wish to keep in-house for your own personal welfare.

You will want to keep the tax records in-house. This is too important to outsource to someone with no stake in paying the taxes. Ultimately, you will be held responsible for the taxes paid and the only way to ensure that you have the right documents is to do it yourself.

Software to Track W9s and 1099s
The W9 and the 1099 are at the heart of all affiliate programs. Businesses are required by law to have a signed W9 on every contractor they pay. At the end of the year, the business is required to send a 1099 to all the contractors they paid more than $600 to over the course of the year.

Since this can be a lot of paperwork to look after, software has been designed to help the situation. With the right software, you can upload your mass pay file into the software and have it check for W9s. If the payee does not have a W9 on file, then the software will notify the payee and payment will be held until the paperwork is turned in.

At the end of the year, you can press one button and the software will print out all the 1099s you need. Additionally, it will give you everything you need to take to your accountant.

The ABCs of Starting A Business Affiliate Program

The Internet has completely changed the way companies deal with advertisers. In traditional advertising, corporation pays an advertising agency for promotional and marketing campaigns it makes, regardless of whether the campaign flopped or succeeded. In web marketing, however, companies only pay the owners of website for successful leads and sales.

If you think that such deals, usually called business affiliate programs, are not lucrative, you have to think again. According to figures from Internet World Stats, as of December 1, 2006 there are over 231 million Internet users in North America alone, about 113.7% rise from a year ago.

Affiliate marketing is a numbers game. Even when only 1% of the total number of users in North America shops online, that is already over 23 million potential customers. That is why many people have attested to becoming rich with the help of business affiliate programs. If you want to cash in on the huge potential of this online marketing scheme, you first need to know the basics of affiliate marketing.

Overview of business affiliate programs

When you open a website, you will surely see advertisements, either on the header or on the rightmost side of the webpage. When you click the ads, you will be drawn to the website of a company selling goods or services that are related to the website that you have just viewed. Most of the time, website owners are not being paid advertising fees for displaying links of other online stores or websites. Web owners only get paid when a visitor clicked the ad, or secured a lead or sale from affiliates.

Basically, as an affiliate you advertise or sell the goods and services of the manufacturer or company that you are allied with. In return, you get commissions from potential leads or successful sales.

Steps to take if you are interested in business affiliate program

Step 1. You need to ascertain if you are serious and committed in joining a business affiliate program. Such endeavors require a considerable amount of time and effort; thus, if you are unsure of yourself, do not go ahead with your plan. You will not succeed in this business, if you don’t put your heart into it.

Step 2. You need a website to start a business affiliate program. You don’t need to buy a domain name if you are just starting out. You can already earn a substantial sum of money even if you only use a free website or even a blog for affiliate marketing. Although some people become successful in affiliate marketing even when they do not have a website, it is still strongly recommended to have one because many affiliate programs are only available for people or companies that have websites.

If you are not familiar with making websites, do not worry. You don’t need to be a computer programmer or an HTML expert to make your own website or blogs. There are now many platforms, even free ones, that make creating web pages as easy as 123. Domain names and website maintenance has also become more affordable, so if you decide to buy a domain name, you are sure that you won’t hurt your purse.

Step 3. Try to figure out what your website or blog would be about. For best results, you need to target a specific niche when creating a blog or website. Instead of making a web page dedicated for booklovers you could probably narrow down the topic to lovers of science fiction and fantasy novels created for young adults. If you feel that this is still too broad, you can make a website about a particular book or about an author.

Once you have determined what your blog or website will be about, you can now think of the different products or services that your readers or visitors might need or require, in relation to the main theme of your webpage.

Step 4. After you have established a website, you are now ready to join affiliate programs that accommodate the needs and interests of your target market. If your website is about science fiction and fantasy books for young adults, you could probably join affiliate programs that sell books, action figures and toys based on the characters of the novels you are discussing, or even other collectibles related to your topic.

Step 5. In order to drive traffic to your website, you need to provide your visitors with interesting articles, trivia, or even games (depending on your niche market). Make sure that the materials that you put in your website are addressed or focused on the people who are searching for the products or services that your affiliates are trying to sell or offer.

Creating a Successful Business Affiliate Program

In order to be a successful affiliate marketer, there are rules that must be implemented or your success will be limited. With affiliate marketing, anyone can promote a product by posting in blogs and forums. They can use Google AdWords as a medium or even Craigslist. They can build Web sites, write articles and promote almost any product their heart desires. While some may be successful, very few will make it a full time income.

The first thing that is essential when becoming an affiliate marketer is to understand your products. This does not mean to read a product’s page, get ideas and start promoting. In order to a successful affiliate marketer, you must be willing to purchase the product. You will have a better understanding of how the system works and how you can promote the product itself.

The next rule that affiliate marketers must take in considerations is spamming. Spam will always be around as long as the Internet is, and will not create a successful business. Posting in every blog or forum will not generate sales, rather it will produce a bad rap for the product. For example, as an active forum member of over 100 forums, I see products that are continuously spammed. In no way does this make me want to purchase the product or become apart of that product myself.

One of the best rules that should be implemented when creating a successful business affiliate program is to be “REAL”. The more you are yourself, the more people will want to purchase through your affiliate link. I have always learned the more you don’t try to sell the more you will be successful. Remember that behind every sale there is a customer that is ready to dive into a new product. They are expecting to see results, and you must be willing to prove to them that the program is what it is.

In order to be a successful affiliate marketer, take the time to purchase the products you are promoting. Implement the tactics that are given to you and always be open to new ideas. Be real to your customers and in return they will purchase through your link. Do not spam blogs or forums, this will get you nowhere fast, and always remember that there is a customer behind each sale. When you learn these rules, you will see more sales and you will be successful.