Affiliate programs as a way to gain leverage
One of the keys to a successful business is finding ways to leverage your time, so that you aren’t trading time for dollars on a 1 for 1 exchange.
There are many ways to do this.
As many of you know, one way is to set up an affiliate program. This is easiest to do if you have products to offer (another excellent leverage strategy).
I’ve just set one up on my own website at http://www.itprosuccess.com, in case you want to see an example. My web designer (a frequent poster on Sitepoint) set it up for me for a couple hundred dollars, which will easily pay for itself in a couple of weeks. That’s because I set this up after a few people had asked me if they could be an affiliate, so the market has already told me this will work.
The example on my website is the do-it-yourself approach to setting up an affiliate program.
I also have a serious web publishing venture in process, where do-it-yourself is not an appropriate option. In this case, we will use a third-party company to manage affiliate programs. For an example of how this works, go to http://www.southbeachdiet.com and click the affiliate link at the bottom of the page. They use Commission Junction (www.cj.com), which charges a monthly fee for administration of the program. In addition to their management of the process, the other benefit of using a third party is that they establish a marketspace that attracts people looking to set up affiliate programs.
Many of you have significant experience with affiliate programs. Please post any advice or lessons learned here….