Wednesday 20 March, 2013

Affiliate Marketing – Choosing an Affiliate Network

When you want to get started in affiliate marketing, your first major decision is to choose a good affiliate network. There are lots of networks out there and it’s not so much a matter of good or bad, but more of what’s right for you.

For example, if you’re new to affiliate marketing, a network’s manager may throw terms around that you don’t know, or they may ask you to do things you’re not comfortable with. It may seem like they’re pressuring you, but actually you’re not at the right level in your career to take on the tasks they want you to do.

Money Matters

Check out an affiliate network’s payment system and make sure it sounds good to you. Again, there’s no right or wrong way for them to dole out payments. Most affiliate networks take out an ‘override.’ This is a certain cut of each commission. If they have a 10 percent override, for example, this means they take out 10 percent of your commission, not the ticket sales price.

See what other fees they charge as well. Most have a small set-up fee and many have monthly management fees. It’s good to set out a budget first of what you’re willing to pay and try to find networks that fit in that budget.

Make sure also that you understand payment terms completely. Don’t take it on faith if there is language in their agreement that you don’t fully understand. If you need clarification, ask them.

Researching Affiliate Networks

You never have to sign up with an affiliate network totally blind. There is a great deal of information out there on every network online. Search for the network’s name in Google and look for reviews. Read several reviews from reputable websites because some networks pay writers to write glowing reviews for them.

You can find out about affiliate networks by looking at affiliate marketing forums. Some forums will have reviews. Others will have threads about particular networks. You can discover quite a bit about them. For example, if they don’t pay on time or screw their marketers around, somebody will definitely say it on a forum.

Network Credentials

On their website, there are a few things you can look for. Look at their client list. There should be plenty of reputable companies there. Many networks specialize in certain niches, so see if your niche is represented.

They’ll also post awards they’ve won on their sites. Check these out to make sure they’re from legitimate organizations. Obviously, the more awards they have, the better their reputation.

Also on their site, see what kind of fraud protection they offer. They should have a statement somewhere about their policies on this. You may also find information about this in reviews and on forums.

Call and Chat

Finally, it’s useful to call and actually talk to an affiliate manager. A good network cares about building real relationships with their affiliates, so they’ll be happy to talk to you and answer your questions. The more hands-on they are, the better. If they won’t take the time to talk to you, look elsewhere immediately.

It takes a bit of work to research an affiliate network thoroughly, but it’s well worth the time and energy. There’s no reason to sign up with an affiliate network that doesn’t meet your needs.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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