Friday, November 30, 2007

Affiliate sites

The first thing you need to do if you intend to set up your website for affiliate marketing is (of course) become affiliated with some good merchants. “Good” means they have attractive merchandise that will sell, they treat their customers right, and, very importantly, they pay you promptly. “Good” also means they offer a reasonable commission percentage on sales, good enough to make it worth your while.

Generally, you have two choices. You can hook up with individual merchants directly, or you can join a managed affiliate program such as Commission Junction or Linkshare. If you become a member of a managed affiliate program, you will be able to get your advertising materials all at one place, your records will be kept for you, and you will be paid by the program management company rather than by individual merchants. That is, all your commissions will be collected from all the individual merchants and you will be sent one total check each month. As this is being written, Commission Junction pays when you exceed the monthly commission minimum of $25 (otherwise it is rolled over to next month) and Linkshare sends out a check each month regardless of how small the amount might be.

If you choose to deal directly with individual merchants, then you will get a check directly from that merchant after you meet that merchant’s required minimum amount. This is often $50 but can be as high as $100. Some merchants have lower minimums, but $50 seems to be average. In all cases, your commissions continue to be rolled over from month to month until you do meet their cumulative minumum for them to cut you a check.

Affiliate programs are free to join for publishers like you. Never pay to join a program.

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