It goes without saying that you should join a good, reputable affiliate network. This will give you the ability to source for the best products and services to promote. Some of the top affiliate networks are ClickBank, Commission Junction, Shareasale, Amazon, and Rakuten Linkshare.
Knowing which the top networks are, is helpful if you wish to immediately jump in. However, as you progress, you may find products or services that you would like to promote but these products are using obscure affiliate networks. This is when you will need to assess if the network is good or dodgy.
There are many affiliate networks that skim off commissions from affiliates or change the technology to swipe the affiliate’s commissions. To avoid all these from happening, you should choose wisely.
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Does the affiliate network have any branding? How long has it been in business? You might take a chance on a newer network but generally, the longer the company has been in business and the better its reputation, the chances of getting any nasty surprises are less likely.
Punctuality in payment
This is especially important for affiliates using paid advertising to generate money. They’ll need their commissions to keep the business rolling. Avoid companies that are notoriously lazy in making payments on time.
Variety/Number Of Affiliate Programs
The more the merrier. A good affiliate network will have a bigger variety of affiliate programs for you to join or there will be much more products for you to promote.
Good customer service is important, just in case you run into any problems.
Variety of niches
Some networks are focused heavily on products and services in one particular niche. If you are not actively engaged in that niche, you will be hard-pressed to find products to promote.
As you progress in your affiliate marketing journey, you’ll naturally join more networks and find more products and services to promote. This is good but there are a few pitfalls that you must avoid so that you do not lose trust and credibility.
Only promote good quality and reputable products. Do your research, read the reviews and if possible you could ask the product creator for a review copy. This is especially true for digital products.
Make sure the sales pages look good and the product has a high conversion rate. If you drive traffic to a sales page that looks unprofessional or messy, you will not generate too many sales and it won’t even be your fault.
Check the refund rate of the product if you can. If it has a high refund rate, the product is probably shabby. Give it a wide berth.
Other than the points mentioned above, you should look at the commission structures, promotional material and also look on forums such as the Warrior Forum to see what type of experience other affiliates had with the network you’re planning on choosing.
When starting out with a new network, you should track your conversions and commissions closely to see that everything is above board and transparent.
There should be sudden changes in affiliate technology, etc. If you encounter affiliate networks that seem dodgy, trust your instincts and run.
With time, you will gain experience and be able to spot a winner easily. Don’t be afraid to experiment and take calculated chances.