Q: If I have $300 to spend on learning materials for how to run an effective affiliate program, where should I spend it?
A: Let me preface this by saying that I am not the most objective person to answer this question, since I produce learning materials for affiliate managers.
That said, here is a breakdown of how I would suggest spending $300 to assist your efforts in running a quality affiliate program.
First, pick up a copy of my book, Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants. It’s a how-to launch and manage an affiliate program guide. You can get it in paperback or digital format for less than $20 on Amazon.
Next up, get yourself a subscription to Revenue magazine. The one year subscription will cost $20.
Another useful magazine is Internet Retailer. You can get a free subscription to this great, monthly magazine at internetretailer.com
Then there is Dr. Ralph F. Wilson’s Report on Affiliate Management Software, which was updated recently. The report details the many options out there for affiliate tracking and reporting, and makes some suggestions, depending on your business. This sells for a little more than $20.
One thing I would suggest, in order for you to develop into a more efficient and well versed affiliate manager is to become an affiliae yourself. So pick up a domain (less than $10) and a one year economy hosting plan ($60) from GoDaddy.com, and start up your own site.
The last purchase I’d suggest would be my AffStat 2005 Report. More than one-hundred and thirty affiliate managers from a cross-section of the industry were surveyed on their overall statistics, as well as a number of issues about their affiliate marketing channels, such as staffing, recruiting, and management for this report. This report costs $130.
Also, be sure to invest time in the affiliate marketing message boards. They can be great places to learn and ask questions.
So you’ve spent the following:
- Successful Affiliate Marketing book – $20
- Revenue magazine subscription – $20/year
- Ralph Wilson’s report – $20
- Domain name – $10/year
- Web site hosting – $60/year
- AffStat 2005 Report – $130
Total – $260
Spend the balance on pay per click search engines to recruit new affiliates for your affiliate program. Be sure to constantly test and tweak for best results.