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Join an affiliate program

If your web site is not there to sell your own products, you can still try to make some money by selling products for someone else. If you have been browsing through other web sites, you may have seen a few sites that sell books for amazon.com. Actually, there are so many sites now, that it is almost impossible not to encounter a site that sells books for amazon.com. Do these affiliates make any money ? Some of the better sites are, but most won't make more than a little pocket money.

Intermediary programs

If you want to make some real money, you will in general not be able to dedicate your whole web site to just sell books or just sell cd's. The result is that you may have to deal with several different affiliate programs, each with their own rules and regulations. To complicate matters even further, each affiliate program will also set a separate minimum amount of money that you have to earn before they will send you a check.

If you are just starting with a new site, you probably don't want to deal directly with every company who's products you plan to sell. Fortunately, there are several other companies willing to act as an intermediary. So if you choose the right intermediary program, you can sign up for several affiliate programs but only deal with a single company. With the right intermediary you will be able to offer several different products on  your web site, but end up getting paid with a single check.

One of the best intermediary programs I found for small web sites is Commission Junction. They are continuously expanding their program with top merchants, so every web site owner should be able to find several merchants which suit the topic of their web site. As soon as the combined income from all the merchants you use is above the minimum amount, your check is on the way.

How to make money

Now that you have decided on what you would like to sell, You need to learn how to sell enough to make a living. Without visitors to your web site, you will never have any sales, so the first rule of successful e-marketing is to make sure that you promote your site continuously.

If your site does not have any real content, your visitors have no reason to come back and you will have only a single opportunity to sell them anything. As a result, your success rate for each customer will only be low and you will have to put in an enormous effort to get new customers to your site all the time. To improve your chances you really have to make sure that your visitors come back regularly or that you have a way to contact your customers.

To make your visitors come back you need either lots of interesting content or regularly updated content. If you have neither, you have to convince your visitors to give you their email address, so you can gain their trust through regular communication. Most successful sites use a combination of these two methods.