Progams Are Great - But Beware Of The Fine Points
Affiliate Progams Are Great - But Beware Of The Fine Points
So you are looking around for extra revenue and figure, "Hey,
being an affiliate sounds great. Let me try and get a few extra
bucks from selling legitimate stuff on the web!"
Great idea, and you go on your happy way applying to some of the
affiliate programs and affiliate farms out there. So here are some
really important pointers for those who think affiliate programs
are a piece of cake. Don't expect to make money. If you do, then
great. If you don't then just don't think the whole world fell on
1. Not Every Affiliate Program is the same.
2. Not Every Affiliate Program is the same. AND
3. Not Every Affiliate Program is the same.
Affiliates work by giving you special code to put on your HTML
Most others work with HTML, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
But here are some of the really sticky points you must know.
1. Never mess, touch or change affiliate code unless you are 100%
sure you know what you are doing. For instance: Most affiliate code
does not really care that when your users click on the banner or
text they will navigate away from your site to their site. You obviously
don't want that. So you want to add into their code the "target=_blank"
or "target=_new" code which belongs in href statement.
If all that is Greek to you...then another article of mine will
deal with it. But if it is Greek just don't touch their code!
2. What does this affiliate code do? Typically, it shows the banner
or text, and adds a link code after that. For instance: <a
That is a short version by the way. What happens is when the user
clicks on the banner, they are redirected to the web site, and the
affiliate is SUPPOSED to be able to pick up that click with that
special code. Thus the affiliate can tell you how many clicks were
made on a specific banner.
Guess What? NEVER TRUST the affiliate unless you have been working
with them. Some affilliates are great and their code works fine.
Others will pick up all your banner impressions, (the times the
banner is served out on your site) but the ability to pick up those
clicks of your users is severly impaired.
So why should you care? Well, if they are not picking up the click
correctly, they are not going to pick up the sale either and credit
it to your account. In that case you could have 100 people spending
loads of money on your web site and you won't get one dime from
it. The Big Players are all safe. Google, Amazon, B&N etc. All
Other affiliates you have to test and test again, until you are
100% sure that they are picking up every click on every banner you
put on your web site. Do not expect to see your results in real
time either. Some affiliates take an hour or 24 hours or even 48
hours to report correct click stats. That is fine. But if a couple
of days go by and you are not seeing your test results show up in
your affiliate statistics page, then something is wrong. Write them,
call them, get an answer. If all you get is "stats are working
fine, thank you for your letter" then drop the affiliate or
affiliate farm as fast as you can.
If you are using an affiliate farm, the nasty thing to do is to
contact one of their customers, and tell them you really wanted
to sell their products at your web site, but in testing you found
that your clicks were not getting picked up and they should look
into it. If you are sure of the fact, then search for another web
site on the net using the same affiliate farm, and write their webmaster
Trust me, they will look into that in a blink of an eye. No company
wants to deal with an affiliate farm that cannot handle the recording
of clicks correctly. Remember, some of these affiliate farms have
data collection routines that are really problematic or just don't
work right. So be careful.
You do not want all your hard work to go to the garbage, in placing
the banners and the correct code in just the right place on your
web site, and then have people click on the banners and purchase
something - only to find out you are not credited with the sale
because the affiliate farm is not picking up the clicks correctly.
And there is almost no way to prove the click came from you unless
you do some serious weblog mining or have an offical notarized letter
from the purchaser.
Be Careful. Pick Affiliates and Affiliate Farms that are known
and if the affiliate farm is known look at who their customer base
is. Who will you be selling the product for? Remember, if a customer
has a bad experience with your affiliate, they will not buy from
the affiliate again, but neither will they click on your banners
In another article I will deal with affiliate code more closely,
and also some pointers in how to get the affiliate farm to work
About the Author
Ted Gross runs Virgin
Earth Article Submissions which is designed to accept articles
about any country, place historical event or current events in the
world. Virgin Earth Article Submissions gladly accept articles about
travel and places and countries - and of course places of interest.
From small towns and museums to the MET in NYC. From ball parks
to zoos. Places of interest all over the world. Ted Gross is also
a published author and maintains a web site for his works And of
course maintains his blog when the muses hit him.