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Thoughts On Affiliate Programs


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I've been tossing around the idea of joining one of the affiliate marketing programs with the hopes of offsetting some of the cost of staying online, pay for the chatroom, maybe adding more features to my site and being able to donate to some boxer rescues. Of course, reading through the information on the affiliate sites, it's all good and one can make thousands of dollars... ya right!


I've looked at LinkShare & Commission Junction so far and wonder if anyone has dealt with either of them and will share their opinions.


Any recomendations for other programs?


I will not bombard my members with emails & popups and irritating banners. My thought was to create a shopping forum and provide links to the various stores I want to promote (primarily pet related) and invite members to shop from the forum.


Any advice on making an affiliate program work?



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With literary journals, I know "store" pages that are basically a list of affiliate links to Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com don't tend to generate much revenue, because readers (even regular readers) aren't going to visit a journal site just to go browse Amazon--they go straight to Amazon instead. (I don't have numbers on this--but I have talked to a couple editors and they all say the same thing)


However, some of the editors DO make money off affiliate links, and they say it tends to come from specific, targeted books. For example, they have a "Book of the Month" club with ongoing discussion in their forum. Or if they review a book, they add an affiliate link on the review page--if their review is good enough, people want to buy the book--so they click the affiliate link right then before they forget the title. Or they add affiliate links on people they publish, if the contributors have also published any book-length collections--there again, they're catching readers who are interested in a particular author and click the affiliate link for a specific book.


General "store" pages don't seem to work, but targeting specific products and continuously updating the targeted products DOES seem to work. And takes work.


Your situation may or may not be similar, but it's something to think about--by all means, have a the store forum you're talking about, because it can't hurt anything, but also look for ways to integrate specific products into your site's regular content.

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