If you haven’t already started an affiliate program for your online business, now is the time.

An affiliate program allows people to sign up under your affiliate program, then put text and banner ads you have created for them onto their website. They start promoting your products or services and every time they sell your product or service via their affiliate link or banner, you give them a pre-arranged commission or flat rate.

Here are 2 options to start an affiliate program…

  1. 1shoppingcart offers an affiliate hosted solution. I started off with their affiliate program so if you are using their system for their shopping cart and auto responder newsletter features, their top level package has the affiliate program tied into all of this. The cons is that you have to pay for this every month, and I’m not sure if the affiliate program is a stand alone product that you can get on its own.
  2. This software from idev affiliate, is a server side option which means you can manage your affiliate program from your server. If you don’t know how to install it and configure it, you will need to hire someone or pay idev a small fee to set it up for you.It’s an inexpensive investment (around $90-100) where you don’t have to pay recurring amounts every month like you do with a hosted affiliate solution. Using this software also means you don’t have to give a commission to an affiliate directory like CJ, LinkShare, Google’s Affiliate Directory, Share a Sale, etc.

As an affiliate myself, I personally can’t stand most of the affiliate directories out there.

Just so you understand the market, most of these affiliate directories make millions of dollars per year & don’t care about the code or interface of their site. Most of them coded and designed their site/program back in the 90’s & never bothered to change or update the code even though code & design has improved 10 fold in the last 15 years.

CJ has tried to improve in the last couple of years which is a positive thing, my complaint still is that it took them around 10 years to get their act together & I still find it difficult to intuitively find some areas on their site.

CCBill is another example. Their backend & structure makes no sense at all & is cumbersome, yet according to a manager, they have no plans to change anything. They even admit it was created back in the 90’s.

I’m telling you this because when you start an affiliate program, you need to keep in mind how your affiliates will use your backend. If they find it difficult, they may drop your affiliate program & you will potentially lose a lot of sales.

I eventually switched to idev affiliate because I didn’t want to pay 1shoppingcart money every single month as I didn’t have a lot of affiliates at the time.

Both solutions have tech support, but for idev your support only lasts a year & then I believe you have to pay a small yearly fee to keep it going.

You can start off slowly just getting someone to create an affiliate signup page for you, then get someone to create banners and text ads for you and away you go. The new thing now is creating video ads.

Over time if you really get serious, you should learn the ins and outs of how to REALLY make your affiliate program work for your company.

Hope this helps & let me know which method you chose.

 

idevaffiliate

 

 

 

What Michelle Prefers

 

2 Responses to “Start An Affiliate Program”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Ahh, I finally finished this post last week & suddenly idev came out with a discount code for 8% off for either the Standard, Gold or Platinum Edition purchases.

    The discount coupon code will be valid until June 30th, 2012.

    Coupon Discount Code: springtime8

    I wouldn’t delay, they haven’t had a coupon that I know of since I started with them.

    Michelle

  2. Michelle Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Hope you all had a great long weekend.

    Here are new discount codes for idev affiliate:

    FALL5STANDARD
    5% Discount on iDevAffiliate Standard Edition

    FALL5GOLD
    5% Discount on iDevAffiliate Gold Edition

    FALL10PLATINUM
    10% Discount on iDevAffiliate Platinum Edition

    I hope you have much success with your new affiliate program.

    Michelle

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