Choosing an Affiliate Program

While experienced webmasters may pick up new and drop old sponsors on a daily basis, the webmasters who are fresh to the business still need to be very careful when they go about choosing their affiliate program(s) so that they are maximizing their traffic and their revenue.  This article will give a detailed step-by-step overview of how to go about choosing and evaluating an affiliate program.  While it is important for newbies to be keen to the differences in programs, sometimes it is also wise for the experienced webmasters to go back and evaluate their methods for choosing sponsors.


  1. Investigate Sponsors - Carefully review the sponsors that are available in your niche.  Look for credible programs that have been in business for a while and already have a proven track record.  It is vital that you meticulously examine their program or offering to see if they would be suitable for your purposes.  You should know exactly how your sponsor(s) operate before making the decision to join.  Ask around to find out what the reputation of the sponsor that you are considering is like.  Find out from your colleagues if they pay out on time, what their conversions are like, and if they are happy with them.  However, do not think that just because a sponsor did not work for someone else that the same will happen to you.  Everyone works a program differently and what works for one person may not work for another.  It is a smart idea to make a comparison chart of the various sponsors that you are considering with columns representing payouts, conversion rates, number of sites, etc.

  1. Find out how and when they pay – Review every detail of the program including how and when they pay.  You will want to ensure that they are giving payouts that pretty much conform to the standard in the industry.  Also, check out which billing company they are using as well to ensure that they are reputable as well.  Be wary of small, unknown programs that offer large payouts.  Lastly, do not forget to read the fine print of the terms and conditions of the sponsor’s program.  Sometimes there are some stipulations included in the fine print that could adversely affect your revenue.

  1. Evaluate the content that they are offering - Try to choose a sponsor that offers a large amount of quality content that is suitable for you to promote them effectively.  If possible, you should also try to find out what the content that they are offering to their surfers is like as well.  Find out if the sponsor will allow you access to the site so that you may go in and evaluate for yourself.  Make sure that their content is fresh, exclusive, and updated on a regular basis.

  1. Ensure that they provide a wide range of marketing tools - Be sure that the sponsor supplies a vast array of promotional tools for you to use at your dispense including banners, buttons, full page ads, etc in various color schemes and themes.  Ensure that the advertising that they offer matches your traffic and content.  Some sponsors will even offer to create custom marketing and promotional materials for you to suit your site.

  1. Look for a sponsor that provides real-time stats - Try to stick with a sponsor that offers their stats in real-time.  This will ensure that you are always up to speed with how your traffic is doing.  Most of the larger sponsors will provide you with real time stats.

  1. Conduct a test – Test out small bits of traffic with the sponsor to see how it converts before sending huge volumes.  Try several batches of traffic and also test with various banners or buttons or even content.  The slightest change in your method could vastly affect your results.

  1. Make sure that the sponsor has reliable customer service – Every sponsor should, at the very least, include a contact email address on their programs’ website.  Most webmasters that run affiliate programs also make themselves available through ICQ.  Before signing up to the program, send an inquiry email to ensure that you get a response.  A good sponsor will respond to an inquiry email or problem within 24 hours.

  1. Check out the extras that they provide – These days every affiliate program out there wants your traffic and they are willing to go to great lengths to get it.  Sponsors now offer everything from free hosting to pre-made galleries to even health insurance to entice webmasters to choose their program.  If a sponsor is willing to go the extra mile to make their webmasters happy, then they are most likely a reliable choice.

  1. Diversify and Rotate – Keep your sponsors fresh.  If one does not work for you, there are plenty others out there.  So, move on and test out another one.  Do not overuse your sponsor.  Try to rotate your sponsors so that you are maximizing your traffic.  You should keep a chart of sponsors as mentioned before so that you can change your current sponsor for another one that received a good evaluation from you, when the time comes.

Researching and evaluating the various sponsors that are available can be a time consuming chore.  However, in the long run, diligence will result in conversions and higher payouts.  A good place to start would be our Revenue Programs page. We provide you with hundreds of categorized sponsors that cater to dozens of niches and offer a variety of payment scales.

Reader Comments: (1 posts)

Oussaynou says:
I have tried all the list brefoe specially yahoo answer , I think that using yahoo answer is the quickest way to earn traffic, aside from that back linking has one important role, regarding to your site.
February 21st, 2012
at 3:27am EST
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