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The Promises and Pitfalls of Two Tier Affiliate Programs

Did you know that you can increase your income potential without doing a lot of extra work by actively promoting two-tier affiliate programs? For those who are not familiar with the term, a two-tier affiliate marketing program is one which pays you a direct commission for your sales plus a certain percentage from the sales of your recruits or sub-affiliates.

Benefits of two-tier affiliate programs
The obvious benefit of these programs is that you can continually receive at least part of the fruits of another person’s labor without having to do anything once they have signed up. Income can come in even when you are unaware of exactly what is it for!

The downsides
Of course, nothing good ever seems to come too easy. The commission percentage will be lower than what comes from selling products. While this can be overcome if there are a lot of sub-affiliates generating sales, people who typically sign up are usually not those who stay at it and make great sales. There is also the danger of the network suddenly cancelling the program and not grandfathering people in.

How to choose the best two-tier affiliate programs
Not all two-tier affiliate marketing programs are created equal. To make sure you only get to join the best programs out there, here are some things to consider:

  • Do your homework first: If you hope to find the best two-tier affiliate programs, take some time to look around. Browsing through affiliate directories such as Affiliate Seeking and Affiliate First. It is also a good idea to do a Google search of available two-tier affiliate marketing programs in your chosen niche.
  • Choose the best merchants: The program needs to have merchants that treat their affiliates well, offer high-quality products, an attractive commission structure, high conversion ratios and real-time tracking.
  • Go for programs that offer recurring income: Although getting paid for making one-off sales is nice, getting paid for as long as your customer remains a member is definitely better. A list of affiliate programs that pay lifetime commissions, many of which are two-tier, can be found here.

How to make it workTwo Tier Affiliate Programs
After identifying and joining a few two-tier affiliate programs which will become the core of your campaign, do the following:

  • Add quality content to your website: The only real chance of long-term rankings comes from adding quality content. Make use of what is provided by the merchant and created original, quality content.
  • Optimize and promote your content: Include some keywords in the content and use on- and off-page SEO to optimize it in addition to regular marketing efforts.
  • Be sure to promote high-quality products: Promoting products that you believe in will make your job of selling and recruiting other affiliates a lot easier.
  • Train affiliates: Make it easy for those who sign up to contact you and offer them advice whenever possible.
  • Keep working at it: Results are sure to be slow so two-tier income should be thought of as a bonus. This is very far from a get-rich program.
  • Do not count on it: With the difficulties and lack of guarantees of two-tier programs paying off, they should be looked upon as a possible side income. For continuous income, put more emphasis on products that pay recurring commissions as these have a much higher success rate in generating payments that keep coming in. In other words, promoting products rather than programs needs to be the main focus.

Here are some of the two-tier affiliate programs in various niches that come recommended by experienced online marketers:

AllPosters (http://www.allposters.com/)
AllPosters is primarily a one-stop-shop for wall art that suits all interests, decorating styles and budgets. They pay 25 – 30 % commission on all personally referred sales and an additional 5% commission on the sales of your referred affiliates. AllPosters provides great tools (Single product links, poster store links and product data feeds in multiple languages) to help affiliates promote their products.

Dog-e-Glow (http://www.dogeglow.com/)
Dog-E-Glow specializes in the production one-of-a-kind collars and leashes with LED technology. Their two-tier affiliate program pays 20% commission on all personally referred sales and 2% commission on second tier sales.

Duty Free Depot (www.dutyfreedepot.com/)
DutyFreeDepot specializes in marketing tax free consumer goods. Their two-tier affiliate program pays 10% commission on all personally referred sales and 2% commission on second tier sales. Their 356-day tracking cookie enables affiliates to take full credit of returning referrals.

ePowHost (http://www.epowhost.com/)
ePowHost offers quality yet affordable web hosting service. Their two-tier affiliate program pays $50 commission on all personally referred sales and 10% commission on second tier sales.

Fun Rooms for Kids (http://funroomsforkids.com/)
Fun Rooms for is a retail store which offers fun, unique and easy decorating products for kids’ bedrooms, playrooms, bathrooms and baby nurseries. They pay 10% commission on personally referred sales and second tier sales for every average order amounting to $60.00.

HMS Crown (http://www.hmscrown.com/)
HMS Crown features all-natural anti-aging skin care products and offers lifetime commission (45% on all personally referred sales and 15% commission on second tier sales).

ProSEOContent (http://proseocontent.com/)
ProSEOContent provides professional SEO web services for bloggers, internet marketers, SEO companies and ad agencies. They pay 10% commission on all personally referred sales and an additional 5% commission on the sales of your referred affiliates. This company offers 60-day tracking cookie and allows self-referrals.

StudioPress (http://www.studiopress.com/)
StudioPress is a premium commercial WordPress theme developer. Their affiliate program pays 35% on all personally referred sales and an additional 5% on the sales of your referred affiliates. Performance incentives are also available for top referrers.

USFreeAds (http://www.usfreeads.com/)
This program pays a whopping 40% on all personally referred sales and an additional 5% on the sales of your referred affiliates. Payments are made monthly via PayPal.

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Working full time from home, I am interested in blogging, online marketing, financial topics and technology. My aim is to constantly build my knowledge of affiliate marketing and related topics while help others in the process by creating online resources that enlighten and inform.

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