Done correctly, this can be an incredibly low-cost way to source new business, and can be virtually risk-free, since you only pay after the sale or other transaction has been completed.
This high-ROI approach is what leads many business owners to setup affiliate programs, but unfortunately it also is what leads many of them astray, falling for scams and frauds.
What To Watch Out For
When choosing an affiliate program to work with, there are a few things you really need to watch out for in order to ensure the best chances for success.
First and foremost, I would look at the company’s history and track record. Do not work with a new company, or one that has had consistent problems with PR or other affiliate programs they run.
Instead, find long-standing, reputable programs (see a short list below) to work with, and it’s even better if you can find large, well-established brands that are also working with the company.
Another thing to keep in mind is that low fees are not always better. You can typically expect to pay between 2-5% in fees to the affiliate platform. That’s in addition to whatever commission rate you establish for the individual marketer.
Simply finding the cheapest option out there, might not put you in the best crowd.
Check out this video for more tips on starting your own program:
A Few Top Programs
Clickbank: While the quality of products available through Clickbank varies greatly, the platform itself is a reliable system for business owners to use. Clickbank gears itself mostly towards information products or services, in connection with its Clickbank University training targeting web-preneurs that don’t yet have a product to sell.
Rakuten Linkshare: If you have a physical goods product, then Rakuten’s Linkshare network is one of the best bets. This is a large database of products that range from chocolate gift baskets to sheet metal sales, and everything in between. It’s a great way to promote your online store.
Wealthy Affiliate: Another leading affiliate marketing platform is Wealthy Affiliate, though you can’t list your products for sale using their system. Instead, it’s about beginners training and making sure you have what it takes to succeed with affiliate marketing. Learn more about Wealthy Affiliate reviews and complaints for 2016 and beyond.