This is the first of a two part series on starting your own affiliate program. Joining an affiliate program is a neat way to make money from your users. But just as you can join someone else’s affiliate program, so you can set up your own program and invite webmasters to sign up.
So…what would that bring you? The same as you’re bringing your affiliate partners: deals. Every time someone sends you a user who gives you money, you give a portion of that money to your affiliate. It’s an easy way to generate traffic and earn cash.
And you don’t need to be a programming genius to set up an affiliate program. There are a whole bunch of companies out there that offer entire affiliate kits right off the shelf.
Ultimate Affiliate lets you run a fully featured affiliate program from your website. It integrates with virtually every payment method, awards down-line commissions, and can handle high-traffic websites. You can edit the sign-up form to match the "look and feel” of your site as well as delete some of the optional fields. The administration area allows you to edit affiliates and commissions, create printable reports of money due, export the data to a text file, view the traffic through your affiliate program, and much more. Your affiliates can log in at any time and see their traffic and commission statistics as well as change their information and get links and banner code.
Once the program is set up you'll only need to log in once a month to print out a list of the affiliates, their addresses, and the money owed. You can do this quarterly if you wish. You can export the payments owed to a text file in PayPal's "mass pay" format and then just upload it to your PayPal account to pay everyone automatically. Or, you can simply write your own checks. If you have to pay a lot of commissions, there is a check printing service called qchex.com. Upload the file and they’ll print and mail your checks for a fee of about 80 cents each.
Alternatively, Locked Area Pro is an advanced member's area management system offering very good security that’s easy to maintain. The system provides a huge list of useful features including automated sign-up, user account validation, optional random password generation and an administration approve/decline account feature. It also comes with an extremely powerful control panel with an online administration of users, backup, and full customization facilities from the browser. A statistics system is also in built in. What more could you want?
Any time you run a program where your affiliates rely on other signups to generate profits, you will eventually have a problem with spam. One of your affiliates will inevitably get it into their head to blitz the Web with unwanted garbage.
When this happens you need to be ready to take action—otherwise it will cost you! Your Internet Company can boot you off your server and you can find yourself blacklisted. Not good for business. If you get an email from someone claiming they received spam with your URL then take it as an early warning. I am not advising you to immediately terminate the affiliate’s account, but be sure to contact them to follow up on the complaint. Let your affiliate know you received a complaint and advise them to remove this person from their list.
If you only get one or two complaints, it’s probably not spam—the complainants might simply have signed up for an email list and forgotten all about it. You will know when one of your affiliates is spamming, because you will get anywhere from 10 to 100 complaints in the same day all regarding the same URL. The best thing to do in this case is to immediately terminate or disable the account of the affiliate URL that was spammed.
This concludes the first instalment of my two part series on starting your own affiliate program. Stay tuned for more.
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Clive Harman is a professional trainer with 38 years experience and has just published a no-holds-barred, tell-all, never-revealed before training programme that will lead you Step-by-Step through the mine field of Internet Marketing but www.cliveharman.com/t/im.html
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