This article will focus on the running of an affiliate program instead of the initial software needed and the affiliate directories you should submit your program to. This article is for people that are past this stage. If you need that info, visit my site.

These are the basic steps any webmaster should take once their program is set up. If all you do is install some good affiliate software and submit your program to a few good affiliate directories you will begin to make sales with just about no other effort. That's pretty powerful and it's also a testament to the power of affiliate programs. However, if you want to make a lot of sales and serious profits, keep reading.

As with all marketing programs, you will need to put the time and energy in to building your affiliate program. But, as you'll find out, just about no other online marketing campaign can achieve the same substantial return for your time or money.

One of the great advantages to running an affiliate program is that, although it does take an effort, it takes very little money to successfully promote your affiliate program once it's set up. With some effort, it has the potential to be very profitable. By the very nature of the program, you do not pay for sales until they are made and then you do not pay the commissions until the cash for the sale is in your bank account. For this reason, it is the best way for new sites to begin competing.

The most basic activity in running an affiliate program is looking for new affiliates and continually growing the rank and file of affiliates. This is easy and can be done in an hour or two a day achieving good results. You simply search the web for sites that you think have relevant content to your site and are sites that your potential customers are likely to visit. Once you find a site, you should decide how much effort the site is worth. If it is a decent site, but not incredible, you can send them an email about how they can make money by displaying your banners and text ads. In your email, include a link to your affiliate program's sign up page. This way they can go and sign up without any further effort on your part. It's quick and easy so you can hit a lot of sites and send a lot of email.

When you find a dynamite site that is worth more of an effort than normal, then skip the initial email and try this... send the site owner a letter, follow that letter up with an email and if they do not sign up from those two communications then give them a phone call. You may find that it might take creating some custom advertisements, possibly a reciprocal link or simply personal attention to get them to sign up to your affiliate program and begin promoting your site. Great sites consistently get quite a few affiliate requests. So, to get them to pay attention to yours, and to get them to put the needed effort in, you might have to differentiate yourself. The letter and phone call will do this while telling them that you care and you are serious.

Without fail, if you put an hour or two a day in to recruiting affiliates you will see some results each and every month. The key is be consistent and not to get discouraged. You will probably only sign up one affiliate for every ten to twenty sites you visit and emails you send out. This may not seem worthwhile but as the affiliates you do sign up begin making sales you will realize that this efforts builds month by month. The effort may not seem worth it in the first month. You may only get a few sales. In the second month, again, you may only get a few sales but this month you will be adding a few sales generated from last month's affiliates to this months sales. By the third month you have some new sales from new affiliates and two months of past affiliates generating sales this month. You can see that this pattern will continue month by month. Within six months you will not only have a nice base of affiliates making sales each and every month you will also have learned a lot about recruiting affiliates and you will keep getting better and better and keep closing more and more new affiliates each month.

Once you have a base of affiliates, you should begin a weekly affiliate newsletter and blog. Both of these can have the same text about a new sales theme and/or new materials each week. Tell your affiliates how to sell your product and what they should promote. This will not only give them new materials but it also keeps your site on their mind.

The newsletter will go out to the email address that they used during sign up. This will usually be one they check consistently so they will see your name weekly even if they do not act on the offers you send. The blog is important because it allows affiliates to comment. You can choose whether to makes the comments public or not. Even if you keep them private, they will give you a lot of insight in to what your affiliates think.

So, for the basics, that’s it. Keep a daily recruiting routine, begin a weekly newsletter and set up a blog. Nothing too difficult here. It only takes a few hours a day and it will have a better return than just about any other online marketing plan available to small businesses.

Being in the Holiday Season now, I am short on time and my blog will suffer. But, please keep an eye out for more affiliate building tips. I have had more interest in affiliate marketing lately than just about anything. So, I will try to keep a consistent push on writing for this subject. As I have said many times, affiliate marketing is great for the new and/or cash strapped entrepreneur. I have sold millions through affiliate programs. You can too.