to look for in an affiliate program
What to look for in an affiliate program
Affiliate programs have quickly become the most popular way for
webmasters to use traffic to their sites to make money.
The amount of money however an affiliate earns depends on three
1. Level of traffic to the affiliate site.
2. Where / how the affiliate promotes the program on his site.
3. The quality of the affiliate program itself.
In this article I'll be dealing with point number 3 - "The
quality of the affiliate program itself" and going through
what you need to look for in a program before joining it. Remember
if you join a poor program you mightn't be getting all the commission
You should look for the following qualities when joining an affiliate
program, nearly all good programs have these qualities.
Make sure the website has an established presence online. It's
advised that you look for websites which have been online a while
and are trusted before you join their program. This is vital as
you want to be paid what your owed and paid on time. Many webmasters
have signed up to untrustworthy programs because of promises the
programs made and have waited months for checks which never arrived.
Next you'll want to check out an affiliate programs product line.
Each of its products should be a quality high-value one which you'd
use yourself. Don't ever join a program if its products are bad
because it pays high commission. It'll damage your image greatly
if you do and you'll not be able to recommend other products ever
again because people won't value your opinion. Be sure also that
the programs product list is regularly growing, this will enable
you to update your visitors on new products which they might be
It's vital that the affiliate program has a good commission rate
for all its products, if it doesn't you could be making much more
elsewhere. What is a good commission? Well the answer to that is
tough but generally 20% to 25% of the product price is what's expected
of good programs. I know of programs offering up to 65% but programs
such as these are rare.
Many good programs operate what's called a two-tier system, this
means that you can create an extra stream of income without doing
anything for the life of the program. It works like this, every
time you refer another webmaster to the program and that webmaster
joins he or she will be constantly acting like a sales rep for you.
This means that every time that webmaster makes a sale you get
what's called a sub-refferal commission because you were the one
that recommended that person to the affiliate program in the first
place. The more they sell the more sub-referral commission you get.
With this in mind I recommend trying to look for programs with two
tiers. Keep in mind however that the bulk of your affiliate fees
will always come from your own direct referrals, having two tiers
is merely an advantage, it's not something that's vital.
Above we've discussed qualities such as the website running the
program, the product line, the commissions and two-tier programs,
but none of the above will matter if the program hasn't got excellent
All good programs have excellent tracking systems, you want programs
that track visitors to their site using both CGI and cookies so
you always get accredited with sales that originate from your site.
You also want to be able to check your stats in real time, this
will allow you to see what method of promoting your affiliate link
is working best. Another point that you might want to check out
regarding a programs tracking before signing up is this, how long
do they track visitors for? Some affiliate programs like Amazon
will track the visitor from your site only once and if they leave
then come back the next day and then buy you don't get a penny even
though your site was were the sale originated. Try to look for programs
that track for 30 days or more.
Other things you might want to check out include: how often do
they send checks out and do you've to earn a certain amount before
a check will be sent out.
Well there you have it, if a program has all or most of these
qualities then your on to a winner and it's worth putting effort
into it. If it has few of them then don't bother, the chances are
good that your going to be ripped of.
About the Author
David Callan. David
is an Internet marketing professional and webmaster of AKA Marketing.com
webmaster forums. Visit his webmaster forums for the latest discussions
on search engines, website authoring and Internet marketing related
issues and topics.