Writerpreneur—Writers Using Technology: Become an Affiliate

October 2007 Family Fun Magazine By Gregory A. Kompes

Affiliate programs enable people to become marketing channels for each other’s products and services-earning financial rewards for referrals that lead to sales. Widely available online, these programs offer ways to diversify your writing career income streams.

Here are three ways to become an affiliate.

1. Join individual affiliate programs

One of the most recognized affiliate programs is Amazon Associates. It’s free to join and by inserting links with your affiliate code into your newsletter, blog, website, or emails you get credit when someone clicks the link and buys. The nice thing about joining Amazon Associates is that Amazon isn’t just about books. They offer lots of different products through their web portal. A few other examples of individual affiliate programs include Peter Bowerman’s program for his Well Fed book series; Vista Print, and Café Press. As you surf the net, scan the list of links on most product sites and you’ll probably find one that says “Become an Affiliate.”

2. Join an affiliate clearinghouse

If you discover that affiliate marketing is helping you grow your income and you want more options with less paperwork, consider signing up for one of the affiliate clearinghouses. LinkShare and Commission Junction both offer hundreds of affiliate programs from a single location. How it works: you sign up for their program and then choose from their long lists of affiliates. All the sales commissions are combined into one account and you receive a single commission sales check. It’s worth noting that some companies like Walmart do have affiliate programs, but they only offer them through the affiliate clearinghouses.

3. Develop a personal relationship with someone who offers a product or service

Not every company or individual has an affiliate program. If there’s a product or service you feel passionate about promoting, you can contact the individual or company responsible for the product sales and create a mutually beneficial affiliate sales agreement. This may take a little more time and effort than signing up for an established affiliate program, but personal relationships in business are often where the best profits exist.

You can promote your affiliates in many ways. One of the most profitable involves reviewing and recommending the products and services offered by your affiliates in your newsletter, blog and on your website. Within your review or recommendation, include your affiliate link. When your readers click through and make a purchase you receive an affiliate sales credit and later a check for that commission.

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Gregory A. Kompes, author of the bestseller 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live and the Writer’s Series, speaks at conferences and teaches Internet self-promotion courses online. Gregory is editor of Queer Collection: Prose & Poetry, Patchwork Path, The Fabulist Flash, and Eighteen Questions, a Q&A series that collects published authors experiences (chosen a “101 Best Websiteby Writer’s Digest ). In Las Vegas, he hosts the Writerpreneur Workshops and co-host’s the Writer’s Pen & Grill. Gregory holds a BA in English Literature from Columbia University, New York, and a certificate in Online Teaching and Learning and an MS Ed. from California State University, East Bay.

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