Imagine confusion if all McDonalds told their new franchise owners was here's your restaurant, now go to it. Not one in 20 McDonalds locations would run smoothly. Owners wouldn't know how to cook food, promote restaurant, or what to tell employees. The mighty McDonalds chain would fall apart in no time.
I agree, this example is ludicrous. But it is exactly what most affiliate programs lay on their members. Affiliates get a link, maybe a banner, maybe even a canned web page, but that's it. It's here's your link, now go make a million.
Naturally that is not nearly enough training. Unless each and every one of your affiliate members is already a business genius, you shouldn't expect more than a trickle of sales.
That's why better affiliate programs insist on having their own affiliate training site. It provides answers to question, tutorials on how to market, and more.
This can be a section on your existing site or, even better, a completely separate site. YourAffiliates.com.
* Start your training site with a nice long FAQ page. Write down all questions you have ever been asked about your program, then answer them.
* Step members through every aspect of placing ads, getting a domain name, building their own site, and advertising their business. You can write these tutorials yourself or have a professional writer create them for you. One cheap way is to go to an article bank like IdeaMarketers.com and get articles by other writers. You can put your mark on them by introducing each one with a paragraph or two of your own.