In order to make money from promoting affiliate programs, you must select a correct affiliate program. This article reveals some criteria for your reference, e.g. affiliate tracking software, commission structure, affiliate program type, etc...

Affiliate programs are a great means of earning some handy cash; but not all affiliate programs are profitable. Some will only take up your time and energy and some others may even spoil your website reputation. This is why you got to carefully select your affiliate marketing programs and make sure that they work for you same as your work for them. Given below are a few points that will help you make better decision in choosing an affiliate program that works for you rather than working only for the affiliate merchant.

Points to take into consideration before selecting an affiliate program

1.) Your website and your visitors

If you already have a website, make sure to go for online affiliate programs that jell with your website theme. If your website is about cars then promoting cycle related products is going to have very less or no impact.

Secondly finding and scrutinizing your visitors and your target market is a good idea. In any affiliate program, your visitor is the one who is going to get you returns. So primarily get to know your visitors. Analyze your visitor behavior using your website statistics before deciding on which affiliate program to go for. Your objective should be to find out what your visitors are looking for and then promote products of their interest which also match with your existing products or services (if any).

2.) Affiliate merchant's website

Most affiliates don't give much importance to the affiliate merchant's website, forgetting the fact that here's where the actual sales conversion is to take place. It's very important that the affiliate merchant's website is designed to sell. So check and make sure that the merchant's website is free from unwanted banner advertisements/pop- ups and focus on the affiliate product.

Other important things to check out are the sales copy, privacy policy, product guarantees, after sales service and special discounts/offers available with the product/service. Your main aim must be to find out if the product/service features would actually prompt the referred visitor to make a purchase.

Some affiliate merchants promote more than one product/service on a webpage which can dilute the conversion rate. It is best to go for affiliate programs that focus on a single product/service per webpage.

3.) Quality of goods/services

Just imagine how you would feel, if you were referred by a website to a product that turned out to be of inferior quality? Your visitors will feel the same way about your website if you promote inferior or overly priced goods/services. Always make sure to know about the product/service you are planning to promote. Check for testimonials and references from existing customers to find out about the quality of goods. If possible you can even plan on using them yourself to be on the safer side. In addition, also make sure to compare similar products available over the internet for features and rates.

There are many products that have trial periods or return policies associated with them. Products having return policies can increase the conversion rate but may also lead to debiting in case of a chargeback. Promoting products sold on a trial period basis requires cookie detection to track sales at the end of the period which is very unreliable. So it's better to confirm with the affiliate merchant the tracking method used or the affiliate payment scheme, in case the products have trial periods.

4.) Reputation of the affiliate merchant

The reputation of the affiliate merchant is important because the odds are against you. There are chances that some affiliate merchants may not payout or make deductions to your actual payments. So make sure to find out using references about the affiliate merchant's history of making proper payments.

Already existing affiliates of the affiliate merchant are your best source of information. In addition be sure to read their business literature to get an idea about their history of past and present operations.

5.) Commission scheme of the affiliate program

There are many different types of commission schemes that affiliate programs use to reward their affiliates. Some of the most popular ones are pay per click, pay per lead and pay per sale schemes. Some others even offer two tiered and multi tiered commission schemes. Some commission schemes can even be a mix and match of the above.

In case of a pay per click/hit scheme the minimum commission that you can expect is $0.5 to $0.10 per click. For pay per sale a good commission rate would be 15% to 50%. Some companies even offer lifetime commissions, but as most of them are based on cookie identification, they may not work out well.

With the competition increasing almost all merchants have started offering two tiered commissions, some even offer multi tiered ones. Joining these schemes can give you a chance to get paid for the direct sales you make and also for the sales made by affiliates referred by you.

6.) Tracking software used

Tracking software is used by the affiliate merchant to track individual affiliate sales. An affiliate merchant can make use of in- house tracking software, join an affiliate network or use services of an ASP in order to track leads.

In case the affiliate merchant makes use of independent tracking software or ASP services, make sure to find out if the software is reliable and has the ability to track all kinds of sales. If the software uses cookie tracking, find out the duration of the cookie. Although using cookies to track affiliates does not always work fine as the cookies can be deleted by the buyer.

Most affiliate merchants today make use of affiliate network services. Affiliate network services are the safest when it comes to making payments on time, conflict resolution and accurate tracking. Affiliate Networks are also great sources to find good affiliate programs and can help you get payments from different merchants through a single cheque. So make sure to register at some good networks. Some reputed affiliate network services are commission junction, LinkShare, Clickxgalore, and ClickTrade.

7.) Terms and conditions for payment

You do all the hard work as an affiliate and hence you should make sure that you get paid for it. There are chances that the affiliate merchant might have some unwanted rules and regulations in his affiliate agreement; so in-case you don't like to get a bitter shock in the aftermath, be sure to check out the terms and conditions with utmost care. Some things that you got to look out for in the terms and conditions are as follows,

a.) Payment frequency/Payout rate

Make sure that the affiliate merchant makes payments at the end of every month or with- in a few days afterward. Anything above 2 months for making payments is not advisable. Also find out the mode of making payments. Payment gateways are safer and faster as compared to cheques.

b.) Payment for future sales

Many visitors won't buy products on their first visit. They might come back though after some time to make the purchase. Make sure that the affiliate merchant pays you for future sales made by a customer referred by you. Although the chances that you get credit for future sales is low due to cookie deletion possibilities, but it is better to have options open.

c.) Minimum Balance Amount for payout

Most affiliate merchants and affiliate networks have a minimum amount for payout. An affiliate would require reaching that amount to get a payment. Find out the minimum balance and estimate if the target is easily achievable for the given product/service.

d.) Roll over/carry over terms

Roll-overs or carry-overs are related to the minimum balance. If the affiliate fails to achieve the minimum balance within a month (or the set payment date), the payment keeps rolling on. Although this is not a problem, some merchant's may have a fixed rollover period after which the payments will not be issued. Joining such programs is not recommended.

e.) Conditions for Charge-backs on product return

Some merchants have a product return policy which allows the buyer to get full refund in-case he is dissatisfied with the product. The period within which the buyer should return the product to get a refund is called the chargeback period. Make sure to take note of the chargeback period of the merchant and also find out how much of your commission will be debited if this happens. Although products having a return policy will have a better conversion rate they can also lead to the affiliate's cash getting debited or completely taken back.

In addition to the payment terms some other conditions that you got to check out are the 'condition of exclusivity' (which could mean the affiliate cannot promote any other product except the affiliate product/service or that he should not promote competitor products/services) and conflict resolution method of the merchant.

8.) Additional facilities offered

In addition to simply offering banner ads most good affiliate merchants offer other facilities like, real time sales statistics and tracking information, free training on how to promote the products/services, newsletters, affiliate help lines and even website improvement programs. Some affiliate merchants even offer their affiliates a say in their decision making process.

Many good affiliate merchants also have a policy of rewarding better performing affiliates with incentives, over and above the commissions. Joining such programs can really be a rewarding experience.

To succeed in the affiliate marketing game requires knowledge of promoting goods/services not only through your website but also using other online promotion means like email marketing, online advertisements etc. So, make it a point to do lots of reading and information gathering before plunging into the arena. There are many websites that offer quality resources and information on affiliate programs. Some good ones to refer are, and

Source: Articles for Internet Business

HIV/AIDS adalah masalah kita bersama. Penyebaran HIV/AIDS yang sangat cepat dan dramatis di Indonesia mau tidak mau menuntut kita untuk ikut berpatisipasi dalam mencegah dan menghentikan penyebarannya.
Terdapat sekitar 90000 sampai 130000 orang Indonesia yang hidup dengan HIV, dan tentu saja penularan penularan baru akan melipatgandakan jumlah tersebut bila tak segera dilakukan aksi pencegahan.Besarnya industri seks yang terus berkembang, tingginya penularan IMS(infeksi menular sksual/penyakit kelamin) serta rendahnya tingkat pemakaian kondom memicu situasi "genting" ini. Infeksi HIV akibat penggunaan narkoba suntik juga mengancam puluhan ribu anak muda Indonesia yang berusia antara 15 hingga 22 tahun.

HIV, yang merupakan singkatan dari Human Immunodeficiency Virus adalah virus penyebab AIDS. HIV terdapat di dalam cairan tubuh seseoarang yang telah terinfeksi seperti di dalam darah, air mani atau cairan vagina. Sebelum HIV berubah menjadi AIDS, penderitanya akan tampak sehat dalam waktu kira-kira 5 samapai 10 tahun. Walaupun tampak sehat, mereka dapat menularkan HIV pada orang lain melalui hubungan seks yang tidak aman, transfusi darah atau pemakaian jarum suntik secara bergantian.

AIDS kepedekan dari Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome adalah kumpulan dari berbagai gejala menurunnya kekebalan tubuh yang disebabkan oleh HIV. Orang yang mengidap AIDS amat mudah tertular oleh berbagai macam penyakit, karena sistem kekebalan di dalam tubuhnya telah menurun.
Sampai sekarang belum ada obat yang dapat menyembuhkan AIDS. Agar dapat terhindar dari HIV/AIDS kita harus tahu bagaiaman cara penularan dan pencegahannya.

HIV dapat ditularkan melalui 3 cara, yakni:
  • Hubungan seks(anal, oral, vaginal) yang tidak terlindung dengan orang yang telah terinfeksi HIV.
  • Penggunaan jarum suntik secara bergantian.
  • Ibu hamil pengidap HIV kepada bayi yang dikandungnya.
HIV tidak ditularkan melalui jabatan tangan, sentuhan, ciuman, pelukan, menggunakan peralatan makan/minum yang sama, gigitan nyamuk, memakai jamban yang sama, atau tinggal serumah.

Biasanya tidak ada gejala khusus pada orang-orang yang terinfeksi oleh HIV dalam waktu 5 samapi 10 tahun. Setelah periode waktu tersebut AIDS mulai berkembang dan menunjukkan tanda-tanda atau gejala-gejala seperti berikut:
  • Kehilangan berat badan secara drastis.
  • Diare yang berkelanjutan.
  • Pembengkakan pada leher dan/atau ketiak.
  • Batuk terus menerus.
Namun jika ada orang yang menunjukkan gejala tersebut diatas, bukan berati orang tersebut telah terinfeksi HIV. Untuk memastikannya, sebaiknya hubungi segera layanan kesehatan terdekat untuk mendapatkan pemeriksaan tes darah HIV.
Sedangkan IMS (Infeksi Menular Seksual) sering juga disebut sebagai penyakit kelamin, yaitu penyakit yang sebagian besar ditularkan melalui hubungan seks atau hubungan kelamin.
Orang yang mengidap IMS memiliki resiko yang lebih besar untuk terinfeksi HIV, karena luka yang terbuka yang memberi jalan untuk masuknya HIV.
HIV, karena terutama ditularkan melalui hubungan seks, oleh karena itu HIV juga termasuk jenis IMS.
Adapun tanda-tanda atau gejala-gejala IMS adalah sebagai berikut:
  • Ada cairan yang keluar dari penis, vagina atau dubur. Terasa pedih atau panas sewaktu buang air kecil dan/atau melakukan hubungan seks.
  • Nyeri di perut bagian bawah(wanita), buah pelir(laki0laki), serta pantat dan kaki. Pada wanita seringkali gejala ini tidak dirasakan, walaupun sebenarnya sudah terkena IMS.
  • Melepuh, lecet, kutil ruam dan/atau pembengkalan di sekitar kelamin, alat kelamin dan/atau mulut.
  • Gejala seperti itu juga meliputi demam, pusing nyeri otot dan/atau pembengkakan kelenjar.
Jika anda merasakan salah satu tanda atau gejala diatas, segera periksakan diri ke dokter atau layanan kesehatan terdekat.

Adapun Kondom merupakan penghambat atau dinding pencegah terjadinya pertukaran cairan yang berasal dari dalam tubuh. Jika anda suka berganti-ganti pasangan atau terlibat hubungan seks dengan lebih dari satu pasangan, kondom adalah alat perlindungan yang baik.
Menggunakan kondom berarti 10000 kali lebih terlindung dari pada tidak menggunakannya.
Dan pastikan sewaktu hendak menggunakan kondom, bahwa kondom tersebut berkualitas baik, berstandar mutu internasional dan perhatikan pula tanggal kadaluwarsanya.

Berikut tips cara mencegah penularan HIV:
  • Anda tidak melakukan seks bebas yang beresiko.
  • Bersikap saling setia dengan pasangan.
  • Cegah dengan memakai kondom
  • Jangan menggunakan narkoba, terutama dengan suntikkan.
Sumber: Komisi Penanggulangan Aids, Aksi Stop Aids, dll.

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