There are literally thousands of affiliate programs on the Net. Here are eight important points that every affiliate webmaster should take into account when choosing a reliable and profitable affiliate program.
How to choose a reliable and profitable affiliate program
With literally thousands of different online affiliate programs, ranging across hundreds of different categories, it's not difficult to see how one may become discouraged when it comes to choosing the best and most profitable affiliate programs out there. After all, since one is going to be investing a considerable amount of time, money and resources to design, build and promote the site, then one would naturally want to ensure its success by joining and promoting the most reliable and profitable affiliate programs available.
When it comes to choosing a reliable and profitable affiliate program, keep in mind the following points:
(1) How long has the business been operating?
If the business/site has been operating for a considerable amount of time, then it's likely that it is fairly stable and profitable, otherwise it would not be in business. Be careful of sites and affiliate programs that spring up overnight. It is always a good idea to monitor such affiliate programs for a while before joining them, just incase they disappear as fast as they have appeared.
(2) Who else is promoting the affiliate program?
Try to find out who else is promoting the affiliate program. Visit the websites of your competition and see if they are promoting the affiliate program that you are thinking of joining. If you find a super affiliate promoting the affiliate program, then chances are that it is a profitable program to join, otherwise a super affiliate would not be promoting it at all.
(3) How much traffic is the website receiving?
Popular, successful and profitable websites receive a considerable amount of traffic. If the site you are thinking of promoting is not very popular, successful or profitable, then chances are that it will have low traffic and therefore may not be worth promoting. Check the alexa.com traffic rank of the site.
(4) What is the commission structure?
Does the program offer the affiliate webmaster a percentage of the sale, or a fixed amount per sale? Is the commission payment recurring? Is it a one tier or multi tier program? The most profitable programs offer a revenue share income. This means that the affiliate webmaster will receive a percentage of the money which the customer spends. For example, if the affiliate program offers a 50% revenue share commission, and the affiliate webmaster sells a product for $50, then the affiliate webmaster's payment should be $25. Profitable programs also offer recurring payments for the life of the customer's membership. In other words, if the customer continues to pay $50 per month for his/her membership, then the affiliate webmaster who referred that customer should receive $25 per week until the customer cancels his/her membership. Finally, a multi-tiered affiliate program is usually more profitable than a single tiered affiliate program because it enables an affiliate webmaster to generate income from the efforts of another webmaster whom he/she referred to the affiliate program.
(5) Read reviews about it.
Try to find as many reviews about the affiliate program as you can. The affiliate program may look and sound very attractive until you find a string of negative reviews from its former affiliates warning others not to join it for one reason or another.
(6) What is the support department like?
Do the support staff answer queries promptly? Are they fast, friendly and helpful? Test the affiliate program's support staff by asking them a few questions about the program.
(7) Do the statistical reports work?
Be weary of statistical reports that do not update. Find out how often the statistical reports are updated. Test your links by clicking on them yourself and seeing if they register in the statistical report.
(8) Minimum commission payment
Some affiliate programs require an affiliate webmaster to generate a minimum commission amount before receiving payment. This is fair enough since it would not make much sense to send an affiliate webmaster a check for a few cents when it would cost more to write, send and process the check. However, find out what the minimum commission payment is before you join.
There are a number of other things that one can look for when searching for the most reliable and profitable affiliate programs available, however, these are the main and most important points that every affiliate webmaster needs to pay attention to.