How to Set Up an Online Affiliate Program to Sell Your Products and Services

I consider to be the Internet pioneer for establishing affiliate programs. Their strategy to permit others to sell their products for a commission on affiliate websites has single-handedly help them become an Internet powerhouse and has resulted in becoming a household name.

As an online business owner, you, too, should be offering your own affiliate program. Affiliate marketing is so much less expensive than to take out a banner ad or text ad on other websites or in email newsletters, and the results tend to be better. Imagine that you have a staff of people working for you, and they have agreed to work free of chargeĀ what is high ticket affiliate marketing until they successfully make a sale. At that point, they are paid when their sales reach a predetermined volume (as outlined in your affiliate agreement) at a certain interval. You’ve instantly created a fast and almost free sales force with very little money.

Even though you may not have the monetary resources available to, you can create this sales phenomenon as well for your professional service business.

Here are the steps you need to consider to create your own affiliate program:

1. Find affiliate tracking software. Trying to manually track all of the sales of your affiliates is simply too labor-intensive. Instead, you need to find a software program that will help you manage your affiliate program. I recommend the one bundled with my shopping cart,, which assigns each affiliate a unique affiliate ID that they can use in their websites to make referrals back to your website, where the actual sale occurs. Each affiliate is also assigned a unique log-in and password so that they can log into their affiliate account at any time and check on their sales volume. Best of all, once you’ve set up your affiliate program, the setup for each affiliate is completely automated.

2. Determine your level of tiers. Typically an affiliate program is limited to no more than 2 tiers. After two, it begins to take on the persona of a pyramid scheme. The first tier is comprised of the affiliates who are directly signed up for your affiliate program, and the second tier are affiliates of your affiliates. For simplicity, I tend to use the 1-tier affiliate structure.

3. Determine your commission structure and rules. Many online business owners spend countless hours wringing their hands over how much to pay in commissions. If you offer too little, no one is interested in promoting your products and services because the payoff isn’t large enough to motivate them. If you offer too much, you feel like you’re giving money away. I’ve discovered that first-tier commission amounts typically range from 25%-75%, with most in the 35-50% range. Second-tier commissions seem to range between 10%-30%, with most landing in the 20% range. You’ll also need to determine if you’ll pay commissions on products that people buy for themselves through their affiliate link. Many people join an affiliate program solely for that reason. However, if that’s the only reason they’ve joined your affiliate program, they probably won’t be making additional sales for you.


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