Here are my 5 affiliate marketing criteria when choosing a program!
~guest post by Diane Bjorling
Yesterday Bogdan wrote a post about The Affiliate marketing mindset(15 steps to success) and when I commented about affiliate programs in general, I realized that for many people joining an affiliate program can be a daunting process.
Just out of curiosity have you ever done a search on the term affiliate marketing…I did and I went wow that’s a lot of people looking for this kind of information – amazing!
While I am not an expert on affiliate marketing in the sense that I do affiliate marketing now, at one time I did and have been keeping up with the industry. I can tell you truthfully that I have learned from many mistakes and boy did I ever make some whoppers!
Like many people I did not think of myself as a boss in any regard and fell into the trap of “I want to make money” and thought that if I did some search terms of ” how to make money online” “finding a legitimate work online” ( at least I was thinking about it properly) and all the other terms that people use, that it would be easy to create that magic income ..can I simply say this was an Affiliate marketing fail? I could tell you some interesting horror stories and I bet you could as well, but the purpose to this post is to say very simply to you, that while affiliate marketing can work for people and indeed it does by the way, one needs to understand that just like buying a car or buying garden equipment there are good programs and bad programs out there and you need to ask yourself questions before deciding what to join and will it fit in with what you are doing.
I’m sure many people have their own criteria for looking at adding an affiliate program, for me these are the things that I look at these days:
1. The company. I think people need to really understand that any company that has an affiliate program are doing this to help create brand awareness to themselves with the intention of creating sales. That being said, a good company will have created an affiliate program that will help their affiliates do their job with a variety of ways to help the affiliate promote their product. Its O.K to find out about the company that you are thinking of affiliating with, check their track record and find out if they are professionally managed, do they have ethics, do they deserve YOUR trust?
2.What type of support the company gives if you are having a problem is another way to “vet” or check to see if the company is one that you want to be part of and I’m not talking about your “upline”, I’m talking about the company itself. Does the company have good training to teach you how to promote “their” product? Does the company have all the tools you need to promote their product? Are the owners of the affiliate product real people and do they have a solid reputation?
I remember joining an affiliate program because of all the hype of everyone else saying “this is so easy” and while it sounded good, I never saw one owner and I didn’t check anything out, because I didn’t know what to look for! I had questions, no one could answer them, but the hype sure sounded good! Sure enough, with no resources to promote this wonderful product, I never did find out what the so called product was and spending money to buy leads etc. and even spending money to pay these “owners” for upgrades, they disappeared, never to be seen again! This is my sob story and just one of the examples of how NOT to be an affiliate marketer!
3. What is the product that you are promoting? Do you know how many people will promote something and not even know what they are promoting? ( read the story above as I raise my hand in embarrassment) If you are going to affiliate with anything, please know what you are promoting! Ask yourself, is this something that I would use myself? Do you understand the purpose to the product or service. Is everything so complicated that you feel that you need a PhD to understand the product or service? These are all warning signs by the way that maybe you need to take a step back and think about whether you want your name attached to such a product or service! Oh yes, did I mention that while you might be affiliating with any given product or service, the reality is that it is your name and your credibility on the line!
4. This may sound very obvious, but will you get paid for the work you have done? The last time I looked, money does not grow on trees and you need to be assured that you will be paid. Check into the method of how you will be paid and it is perfectly O.K to find out if others have been paid ( that is just common sense as well as being a good boss to yourself). You may see people bragging that they got paid and show wonderful images to prove it. Really? Are they REAL? sometimes people will do the most sneaky things to get you to sign up or buy from them..just be careful out there k? Talk to reputable people who really care about you and not just getting the next sale, it really is important!
5. Refunds are the enemy of the affiliate marketer! I bet you never thought of that did you? You may have chosen a winner of a product or service to affiliate with and you may have made a sale, but if a refund is requested later on, guess what – you lost the commission! Any good affiliate product or service needs to have a good..no excellent post-sales support to lessen these kinds of requests. Check into the small print about this issue. I will say it again, a good and reputable company is going to have your best interests as well as their interests protected!
O.K now that I have given you my criteria and these are just a few of the things that I look at these days when it comes to affiliate marketing I would love for you to share your own experiences ( don’t be shy)
1 What criteria do you use to check out any affiliate program?
2. What horror stories have you experienced when it comes to any affiliate program ( um, keep it clean please)
3. How do you feel about being your own boss in the context of being an affiliate marketer?
The floor is yours!