affiliate programs golden opportunity or waste of time

Any more that the abstraction of doing bag over the internet has been firmly established, abounding abeyant internet businessmen are searching for the ace road to accomplish bag. Usually the choice comes down to whether you appetite to set up your own bag and online store, or sign up for an affiliate program.

Aboriginal of all, let’s define what we beggarly by an affiliate program. An affiliate program is basically an internet bag set up by someone else. They could be selling physical goods, education, advice or any other products that can be sold online. By signing up as their affiliate, you are helping them advance their bag or store. In return, they will pament you a commission for each sale you bring them. The amount of commission varies between altered affiliate programs. Examples of affiliate programs accommodate and Wordtracker, which you can appointment at:


So how does an affiliate program differ from starting your own online store? Let’s alpha by looking at the abeyant earnings. (After all, the main astuteness everyone wants to alpha an internet bag is for the almighty dollar). When you sign up for an affiliate program, you will be paid a commission for each sale you consult to the online store. This commission can scope from 5% to 15% for physical products, and possibly up to 50% or added for virtual products such as subscriptions and ebooks.

On the other hand, if you alpha your own store, your profit can be much higher. For virtual products, your profit can be 100% of your selling price. After all, once the newsletter or ebook is created, you accomplish not charge to spend any added accomplishment. When someone buys your ebook, they aloof download it from your website. If you are selling a physical product, your profit depends on whether you are manufacturing the product yourself, or buying from a wholesaler or dropshipping company. Your profit in this position could easily be added than 40% or 50%.

So, if you alone accede the abeyant earnings, starting your own bag is added lucrative than joining an affiliate program.


However, almighty dollar isn’t everything (Or so they add). When you are starting your own internet bag, there are a figure of logistic issues you charge to attending at. Here are a few things you would charge to booty affliction of:

a) Actualize your website
b) Architecture your product (if you are selling advanced products)
c) Actualize your product (if you are selling advanced physical products, or any virtual products)
d) Set up an online store
e) Set up a merchant statement or payment gateway
f) Set up a warehouse or storage space (if you are selling physical products)
g) Accept procedures and staff ready to fulfill orders
h) Set up an affiliate program to amuse others to marketplace the products for you
i) Detector for fraud
j) Detector stock levels

As they add, “No affliction, no accretion”. Having your own store pays actual able-bodied, but requires a substantial age investment from you.

On the other hand, if you sign up for an affiliate program, all you charge to accomplish is set up a website to advance the program. All the ads, banners, marketing content etc will be provided to you by the affiliate program. Your alone responsibilities would be to amuse bodies to appointment your website, and hopefully click on the affiliate links to buy the products that you are promoting.


Whether you accept your own bag or are promoting an affiliate program, the bottom line is the conversion percentage, or the percentage of visitors that actually buy something from you. A figure of factors access this conversion percentage. Factors as affection of the product, affection of the website, customer abutment are all big. However, I personally accept that the most big agency is assurance.

When a abeyant customer arrives at your website, he will charge to assurance your site enough for him to be ready to buy from you. After all, on the internet you are aloof a faceless salesman. He doesn’t apperceive who is actually running the site and whether he will actually amuse the goods that he orders.

Having said that, one of the answer methods of garnering assurance is by advocacy and referral. If a store is being referred to or recommended by another website, the abeyant customer will air that the store is trustworthy. After all, if the store is not trustworthy, why would the other website recommend it?

This is where affiliate programs shine. When you consult a abeyant customer to the store for which you are an affiliate, the customer will air added relieved, since the store is being recommended by your site, a 3rd affair. The customer will be added likely to buy from the store, benefiting both the store, and you as able-bodied.

There are both pros and cons to joining an affiliate program. You might earn less with an affiliate program compared to starting your own store, but I accept the benefits of not having to be amenable for the logistics makes affiliate programs are actual applicable “passive” source of income.

For added advice on affiliate programs, accomplish appointment

About the Author

Steven is the webmaster of – Your Adviser To Internet Bag. His website contains assorted resources on affiliate programs and internet marketing advice to advice you succeed in your internet bag.

Originall posted October 10, 2012