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The Past, Present, and Future of Affiliate Marketing
Date: Tuesday, December 13 @ 06:17:43
Topic Affiliate Marketing



The Past, Present, and Future of Affiliate Marketing

Author: Marissa Ranello ==================================================

Article:
The Good Old Days

Remember the good old days? You'd purchase a domain name, set up
your site (with a few swear words here and there), and place
some banner ads (while crossing your fingers for the best banner
ad click-through results). This all worked great--for a while;
until people managed to avoid our banner ads like the plague.
Life got more complex. What were us internet marketers to do? We
had to become more savvy. Fortunately for us, the affiliate
model was introduced.

Ah, the affiliate marketing model. It never hurts to get a
little help from your friends, right? Affiliate marketing
networks offer a wide range of advantages to businesses. In
short: it's a booming business with dollar signs all around it.
Sure, affiliate marketing can be a profitable business, but it
can also be very aggravating, time consuming, and antisocial. So
here's the big question: Why the heck do we keep putting
ourselves through all of this pain? The answer, although
seemingly complex, is quite simple: easy money.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The average person thinks of affiliate marketing as a "get rich
quick" scheme for geeks and nerds. Actually, it's the farthest
thing from the truth. Nowadays, you're just as likely to find a
High School dropout behind an affiliate marketing operation; as
you are to find a computer science major.

Despite the revenue advantages, many successful affiliate
managers are weary of transparent affiliates. After all, there's
a lot of trickery out there. You have to be o要 the lookout for
the 'Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.' That's right folk, if you're
the good guy, beware of the bad and the ugly affiliates. They're
out there right now placing infectious adware o要 an unsuspecting
consumer's computer.

As a marketer, it's your responsibility to investigate your
affiliates use of adware. Don't turn your head and look the
other way. It's OUR consumers that may receive unwanted and/or
destructive ads. Can you blame them for becoming angry at the
marketer who (perhaps inadvertently) funds adware infections? Of
course not. Destructive ads shouldn't even be considered a
marketing strategy. It's completely unethical.

The New Guy

In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is a great starting point. If
you experience success--run with the ball. Explore additional
performance compensation structures. But before you even
consider jumping into the game, you should ask yourself the
following questions (to avoid business pitfalls):

1). Will affiliate marketing assist you in reaching all of your
business targets?

2). Will affiliate marketing have advantages over other types of
online marketing?

3). Do you have the time and commitment to run a developing
affiliate operation (which will require time to flourish and
succeed?

4). How flexible is your budget for affiliate marketing?

Here's some background information for the 'new guy': Time and
commitment are essential to your success. While running a
network of affiliates doesn't require a college degree, it does
require your attention for details. Perhaps this is why
merchants find outsourced providers offer a very appealing
solution. In addition, the new guy should realize:

* Not everyone will make five figures a month with affiliate
marketing. There's a lot of marketers out there. You're the new
guy, remember? Find some successful companies that use affiliate
marketing. Research them. What did they do to become such a
success? Can you duplicate that plan?

* You're not going to make any money eating potato chips in
front of the television. If it were that easy--I'd be doing that
instead of writing this article o要 affiliate marketing. Be
prepared to devote a lot of time to your business and your
affiliate relations.

* Don't take blind referrals from anyone! You'll discover the
best affiliate opportunities through your own research.

The Future

In just the last few years, affiliate marketing has become a
very powerful force o要 ecommerce. Every day thousands, if not
millions, of merchants rely o要 affiliate marketing to drive
their businesses. But is affiliate marketing all just a big
hype? What ever happened to customer service? What strange times
we live in; as the value of business is no longer placed o要 the
customer--but o要 the relationship with whoever facilitated the
connection.

This just goes to prove that affiliate marketing is o要ly as good
as the people who run it. Remember, there are ways to get your
affiliate program noticed; just make sure that you get it
noticed for the right reasons. If you value internet based
businesses and you'd like more job leads, educational
information, and tools to aid your internet entrepreunership,
than visit: http://www.ebyro.com (a Vertical Portal for Internet
Entrepreneurs).

About the author:
Marissa Ranello is an independent marketing consultant with
clients in the United States and Canada. As an employee of href="http://www.ebyro.com">eByro, a Vertical Portal for
Internet Entrepreneurs, Marissa devotes her time to internet
business, performance-based marketing, and affilate programs.


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