When promoting affiliate programs, many people make the common mistake of linking directly to the urls they are promoting. Yes, this can and will earn you commissions if your advertising and the site's sales copy are effective.
However, by placing your ads (and your affiliate partner's url) all over the web, you are building link popularity ONLY for your partner. This, of course, does YOU absolutely no good at all beyond the potential sales.
If you've placed their url in 20 places, they now have 20 links pointing to THEM... and you have NONE pointing to you or you can go on www.greatpromotionsite.com. It's just not fair. That's allot of work, and if they go out of business, or change their affiliate link format... your links are DEAD.
If you have a site of your own, you are far better off to create a folder and use a simple redirect to the affiliate urls.
Instead of... http://www.ppc-profit-marketer.com
The index.htm file in your "some site" folder redirects to the affiliate urls.
Now with the same effort, you have 20 links pointing to YOUR site, and only one link pointing to theirs (the one in your redirect file). Yet your promotion still functions the same. The link gets clicked, the promoted urls gets a visit, and you get paid if the site makes the sale.
This is a much better option as it not only increases your own link popularity, but it gives you control. If your new partner goes belly up while your ads are still floating around, you can change your redirect and point it to a similar program with very little effort.
Now, being the intelligent marketer that you are, I'm sure you are tracking your links... right? Of course you are. How else would you measure your results? How would you know if the ads you are running are working, or they are just a waste of your valuable time?
Since you are tracking ads, your affiliate partner isn't gaining link popularity from your efforts. If you are using link tracking software hosted on your site, YOU get the link popularity.
BUT... many marketers use an online ad tracking service, and in this case the ad tracking service get the links. And once again, YOU get the headaches if they close their doors.
Fortunately the fix is nearly the same. Now you setup your redirect files to point to the ad tracker, which then links to the url you are promoting.
Keep in mind that by doing this you will also have to set it up so you can tell which ad sent the hit by creating multiple redirect files (one for each ad).
You can either use a different tracking link for each one or add a key to the link in your redirect so the ad tracker can accurately measure the results of each campaign (read your ad tracker's instructions for ad key setup).
Yes, it does take a little time and effort, but it's worth it if/when the affiliate program owner OR your ad tracking service decides to pull the plug.
Total control = no wasted advertising.
This is even more important if your links are in viral ebooks and articles that can circulate for years to come.
Note: This also gives you the ability to go back and add a page to grab the visitor's contact info on the way to your partner's site. But that's another article.
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