A good affiliate program can be the difference between making it in online affiliate marketing or not. Having been in the industry for over ten years, I've come across many pitfalls to watch out for. The first thing to determine is the industry sector you want to promote. Without this you have no clear direction as to what to look for. The types of affiliate programs you will want to promote will depend on if you have existing access to markets and can therefore send business to related industries. If you are starting from scratch you will need to do your homework.
To start you off on the right foot you should pick an industry you are interested in. Just about all industries offer affiliate programs. Finding affiliate programs is as easy as going to Google and typing in the subject of your selected industry, along with the term "Affiliate Program" as an example "Casino Affiliate Program" Once you know your market sector and you have found a program you want to promote you will want to make sure the program is reputable. The reputation of an affiliate program is paramount, with many thousands of programs available how do you choose the best programs for you? To avoid testing each and every program the best solution is to ask other affiliates just how they find the program you are considering promoting. There are many affiliate forums that discuss these topics and even certification sites for programs. In online casino, poker and bingo affiliate programs, Casino Affiliate Programs CAP is a leader in the field and lists only reputable programs.
Programs that are listed on the CAP site go through a certification process and are continually evaluated by the forum members and CAP to ensure they meet a high standard. If a program does not live up to the terms of an agreement or are seen to be not acting in the best interests of affiliates then members will post and debate the situation and more times than not, a resolution is found. If you can't find the information you are looking for regarding a program simply join the forum, it's free and ask other members what they think or if they have had any experience with that program. Members are only too happy to help out. Now that you know the program you want to promote is on the up and up you will want to contact the affiliate manager.
An affiliate manager is a staff member from the program whose job it is to make sure you have every thing you need to promote their particular program. In the first instance you can ask the affiliate manager for further information on their program or what offers they can provide exclusively for you to promote. The longer you are in an industry, and your ability to send real traffic and business to a program will effect how well you can negotiate custom deals. Once you have contacted the affiliate manger wait for the response. As much as you might want to work with that program if they are not going to support you on your affiliate journey then you will find it difficult to do business with them.
Now they have responded and you are happy with what is on offer, sign up to the program and get promoting. Affiliate marketing is not an easy occupation but it can provide you with a great lifestyle and, if you stick at it, a great income too.
Sam Wolfe has been involved in the affiliate marketing industry for over 10 years, both running affiliate programs, consulting and being a stand alone affiliate. Sam runs several affiliate sites including http://saverpages.co.uk which deals with bingo.