Every month, I get checks in affiliate commissions from other companies that pay me to promote their services to my clients.

You have to realize that I hate doing sales and wouldn’t lift a phone to make a cold call, so making more than $1,000 a month from these affiliate programs is especially satisfying.

Mind you, I’m making this money by subtly mentioning these offers to my customers, blog readers and in ads to people who wander around my website. I don’t spend more than 10 minutes a year doing this — and the money rolls in.

The surprising thing is that not all my clients are buying these products or services. In fact, not one iota of one smidgen of one scintillion of the people who visit my site or read my writing do anything that produces money.

Yet, the few people who do buy are enough to generate more than $1,000 a month in income that I don’t have to lift a finger to service. All the product delivery and service is handled by the companies that are selling the products and services. So even if I only sold one thing one time, it would still be a money maker.

I don’t get involved in a lot of affiliate programs, but the ones I select have to meet a few criteria:
1. They must be high quality. I don’t want my reputation to suffer if I recommend a bad service.
2. They must relate to my business and my clients’ needs in some way. I’m not about to promote a mortgage brokerage service. That wouldn’t make any sense, even if one of my clients should one day be in the market to buy a house.
3. They should (not must) offer a payout for the lifetime of the customer. In other words, each time they bill my clients, I get a piece of the action. It doesn’t have to be a big piece, but it has to be something.

Here are a few of the services I recommend that meet those criteria:

1. SpeakerMatch — helps speakers and meeting planners find each other.
2. AudioAcrobat — easy way to post audio on your website, and offers podcasting services.
3. Alex Carrol’s Radio Publicity — I don’t do radio PR and he doesn’t do print PR. So it is a perfect fit.
4. Google AdSense — Make money from people clicking on ads in my blog and website. See http://www.prleads.com/ for examples of these ads on the side of the page.
5. MyFreeTeleconference.com — Not everyone wants to pay me to record their teleseminars. This service lets people get their own conference lines for free. You’d be surprised, but more than 600 people have signed up for this service from my Great Teleseminars website in six months. There are lots of people who don’t want to give me a penny, so I make money when they choose the free option. I have the last laugh and they get a great service.

When I first starting doing affiliate marketing, I was making so little money, I wondered “Why bother?” Then the $10 checks turned into $20 and $40. Well, you get the idea.

Yet, I feel there must be more to affiliate marketing than what I’m doing.

I’m heading off to the Affiliate Summit in Orlando today. This is the biggest convention of affiliate marketers in the U.S.

I’m trying to see what I’m missing. There must be a lot of things going on that I’m not even aware of. So it is time to readjust the paradigm and see what’s out there.

I’ll keep you posted of anything interesting that might help you, via my blog. So stay tuned.

If you are new to affiliate marketing and are wondering what it is all about, you can read an interview I did with Shawn Collins, the head of the Affiliate Summit and author of a book on affiliate marketing.

You can read about it at http://www.prleads.com/club06-collins.htm

Here are some of the topics we discussed:

1. Should I launch an affiliate program for my site?
2. What are the next big trends in affiliate marketing?
3. What is the history of affiliate marketing?
4. What are examples of the best affiliate programs?
5. How about examples of some of the top affiliates?
6. What are the biggest issues facing affiliate marketers?
7. How can I recruit affiliates?
8. Most of my affiliates are inactive, how do I get them to promote me?
9. What is the criteria you use to accept/decline affiliate applications?
10. Should I use a third party technology or built it myself?

Dan Janal
Your Fearless PR LEADER
PR LEADS Expert Resource Network
www.PRLEADS.com