Many people sign up for an affiliate marketing opportunity, place a few ads, and sit back waiting for that first $1,000 or $50,000 to roll in with their name on it. Of course, only disappointment rolls in when they realize that this wasn’t a get-rich plan; it wasn’t even a make-a-few-extra-dollars plan. In some cases they do put the work in, but the commissions still aren’t coming, or tiny amouns are coming few and far between. Sometimes it’s not the work you do, but the product you’re marketing. There are a number of dos and don’ts when it comes to picking your affiliates that can make the difference between a disappointing venture and a profitable one.

Don’t choose an affiliate marketing opportunity just because other people are making money at it. That may sound like the opposite of what you want to do. You want the programs that are making people money, right, Not necessarily. It all depends on the program. If it’s something that intrigues you, that you think you can promote well, then it’s worth considering. But if a program called “Become a Millionaire Selling Futures Online” is the one that every top Internet marketer is drooling over right now, no matter how much money it makes them, if you know nothing about futures or the people who might be interested in this subject, it’ll take a lot of work for you to make a profit from it. And why not spend that time and do that work on something you already know about, and enjoy,

Do choose programs that interest you. If you have a passion for something, it shows. Your website will have interesting content because you’re interested and you have knowledge to share. Choose an affiliate marketing opportunity that’s related to a subject that interests you, and you’ll naturally spend more time promoting it, and you’ll have a better chance at success.

Don’t use a free service for your website. Naturally you don’t want to spend a lot of money, especially not in the beginning when you’re not sure of your profits. But free services put ads on the page in the form of sidebars, banners and worst of all, pop-up advertisements. These make your website look cheap and less trustworthy.

Do purchase a domain name related to your topic. Don’t just buy a domain name called jimsbusiness.com and expect people to flock there. Decide what kind of affiliate marketing opportunity you’re going to promote first, then make sure that’s clear in your domain name.

Do promote a few related products. You can start out with one just to get your feet wet, but then casually add in references and links to a few more merchants offering related products and affiliate programs. This doesn’t just fill your site, it gives you more opportunities to sell.

Follow these dos and don’ts and read everything about Internet marketing that you can, and you’ll help yourself succeed with an affiliate marketing opportunity.