More and more webmasters and website owners are using affiliate programs as a way to earn extra income online. However, not all affiliate programs are created equal. Some will send you nice checks every month where others will essentially rob you. This article will help you tell them apart.
The reason affiliate programs are so popular is because they are very easy to set up. Most of time, all you have to do is fill out a simple sign-up form and paste a few lines of html code into your site.
But because it is so easy everybody does it, and too often without questioning program. Here are 8 important factors you should consider before joining any affiliate program:
1) The Fit
First and foremost, product or service of affiliate program must fit audience of your site. A close match will always yield better performance.
2) The Commission
Of course commission needs to be reasonable. The commission is percentage of price of product that you will receive for initiating sale. A reasonable commission starts at 20%, but can go as high as 50%. In addition, some affiliate programs will also pay you a second tier commission, that's commission you make on sales initiated not by you directly, but by someone you referred to affiliate program.
3) The Product Price
It's wonderful to find a program that gives you a 50% commission, but if product is too expensive, no one will buy it. Similarly, if price is very low, many people will buy it, but your 50% commission will be very small as well. Your goal is to find a very useful product with a fair price.
4) The Product Quality
Here too, if quality and usefulness of product are low, few people will be interested. In addition, refund rate will be higher for such product. But more importantly, you don't want to associate your business with low quality.
5) Referral Duration
This is probably most important and all too often overlooked aspect of an affiliate program. After you've referred a visitor to a site, how long does site continue to "remember" you as referrer of that visitor? Believe it or not, some affiliate programs won't remember you at all. This means that if visitor you referred did not buy directly on their first visit to site, you will never get a commission for that referral, even if that visitor went back to site later that day to purchase product. A good affiliate program should at least remember you for 60 days. The "remembering" is done by setting a cookie on visitor's computer when they click on product ad on your site. Beware of affiliate programs that don't mention anything about this cookie and its duration.