Evaluate your chosen affiliate company before you join them to make sure they are providing the programs and support you need.


Evaluate an affiliate company to get a better idea if they are going to be there to help you succeed in your chosen affiliate programs.

     Affiliate knowledge is the foundation of your long term affiliate marketing success.  






Affiliate Management Company Evaluation

How do you determine if the affiliate company you're considering is going to treat you right?

There are a couple ways to determine this, first of all I recommend you check out the listing on our affiliate company list page and the reason is simple... we've already joined these affiliate companies and have already evaluated them. Based on our experience with them over the years we can say without a doubt that they will treat you very professionally even if you're just getting your feet wet with affiliate programs and affiliate marketing.

The second way to determine if an affiliate company is a good match for you is to follow these tips which are the same ones Margie and I used in determining which affiliate companies we wanted to join.

  You want to join an affiliate company that you like and are interested in. It starts with you doing a search for affiliate companies on Google for instance, and then going to their web site to check them out to see what they have available to you. If however you're looking for a stand alone affiliate program, you know, one that's being managed by an individual web site then we recommend you search for companies that have similar products and services that you have on your web site and then scroll to the bottom of their page to see if they have an affiliate program. Most all companies that have an affiliate company will list an affiliate program link in their main menu or most likely at the bottom of the page so it's not so obvious to their regular visitors and customers. Some companies (and this is rare) will join an affiliate company and then list their site as the affiliate program. In this way they are marketing their own affiliate program, however all the statistics, commission payments, visits and text ads or banners (many times referred to as "creatives") are tracked and managed there at the affiliate company in your affiliate back office.

  Look for a high quality affiliate company. Your first impression of an affiliate company's web site is very important and could be a deal breaker. Imagine going to an affiliate company's web site only to see a clunky, out of date site with very little information, outdated news, graphics that are missing or other things on the page that seem out of place and makes you feel uncomfortable. Remember there are hundreds of affiliate companies out there and thousands of affiliate programs so if you get to their home page and don't feel good about them... just move on. Margie and I made a mistake a few years ago since we didn't do any research on a particular affiliate company and simply joined even though the "member news" information on their site was 2 months old. It only took a couple days to find out that not only did they have only a handful of advertisers on board (and hence not many advertiser offers), but they apparently had decided much earlier that managing an affiliate company wasn't something they wanted to do anymore, a couple weeks later their links no longer worked and they were gone. Lucky for us we only tried out one of their offers and earned less then $40 in commissions over that two weeks but never got paid since they shut down... that's business and a big learning point for us!

  Surf around the affiliate company web site to see if they have a listing (or even a sample listing) of some of the advertisers they're working with and also some of the product offers that these advertisers have available to you. Sometimes it's a detailed affiliate company listing with links to the actual advertiserís site (rare), other times it's just a basic advertiser listing, or you might just see some banners of their most popular or well known advertisers. Ask yourself if you'd want to work with these advertisers and whether or not their products or services are something your visitors might be interested in. Here's a heads up... the majority of the affiliate companies out there will not let you know what advertisers they're working with or what affiliate offers are available until you actually join so keep this in mind as you surf their site. Even if they don't have an advertiser listing don't immediately write them off, just be sure to use the other affiliate company evaluation criteria on this page.

  Is the affiliate company's strength and market share large or small? You can find this out by checking out their Alexa rating or better yet taking a look at their site stats via a free web traffic and demographic site called compete . You'll want to know how long this company's been around, what level of traffic do they command, and whether or not they're in a climb or decline in the affiliate marketing arena. All this information is important to you since you certainly don't want to join a company unless it's already proven itself out there by being in business for at least a year and which is showing a stable, high traffic trend. To you this means there are plenty of advertisers which also means there are plenty of publishers (like you) and enough online activity in the market that this affiliate company will always have plenty of diverse offers for you to use on your site.

  As mentioned in the affiliate agreement and application section I talk about reading and understanding the affiliate agreement. It's just as important to do this when evaluating an affiliate company since you'll find out what your requirements are. Specifically I'm talking about the theme of your site, how you market it and what your monthly traffic count is. These are the big three; however there are other requirements that some affiliate companies will impose on you that I won't cover here. Instead I'll talk about the big three so you'll at least know to look for and be aware of them.

Your site theme is something that will always be mentioned and it's usually expressed in the type of sites that will not be approved such as pornography, racial hate sites, warez (generally full of viruses, trojans and plain bad stuff), music and download sites (not always, but sometimes) and anything that is copyrighted elsewhere . If you have a general content site not in any of those categories then you have nothing to worry about.

How you market your site is important to affiliate companies since if your main source of traffic is incentive related (your visitors earn from you for clicking on your links) then all you'll likely generate is clicks to advertiser sites but little if any sales so if your are a "pay to click" site it's recommended that you also market via search engines, link trades, paid for advertising and your newsletter and let the affiliate company know you use these methods too. Monthly visitor count requirements only apply to a few affiliate companies and they are a rare breed. These affiliate companies might have a publisher requirement of 100k visitors a month or more in order to be approved. If you understand the affiliate company requirements as you're evaluating them it'll save you time in the long run since it would be a waste of your time filling out and then submitting your affiliate application only to b turned down because you do not have the required amount of monthly visitors to your site.

  Poke around your potential affiliate company to see if they talk about or give examples of what they provide as far as sign-up bonuses, marketing tools and publishers resources. Some affiliate companies will give you anywhere from a $25 (low end) to a $100 (high end) bonus for signing up with them as an affiliate, however in all cases that Margie and I have seen to date you'll need to meet a certain commission gate before you'll receive your bonus. In other words you might have to generate $100 in commissions before you receive your $25 bonus. As far your marketing tools and publisher resources, sometimes you'll find an actual "admin" logon page available to you so you can check out an example back office and get a feel for what type of affiliate interface is available to check your statistics and commissions etc. You might also be able to view screenshots of your affiliate back office or affiliate marketing tools. Many times this type of information is not available to you at the affiliate company's web site but fear not, they all have some sort of affiliate back office for you even if it's not a fancy bells and whistles version.

  Research affiliate companies through your favorite search engine for any negative information that might be out there on the Internet. Use search terms such as the basic name of the affiliate company, then mix it up some and search "affiliate company name issues", "affiliate company name rip-off", affiliate company name problems" etc. Generally very little turns up, however if you find an entire forum dedicated to the problems people are having with a particular affiliate company, run as fast as you can from that company and don't look back otherwise you'll end up at that same forum airing out your problems too.

WARNING - The Bullet Ads (Bullet Ads) Fiasco...

Of the three dozen or more affiliate companies that Margie and I have worked with over the years, there was only one affiliate company named Bullet Ads (their web site used to be located at www.bulletads.com but is a dead URL as of this writing) that we had major problems with.

We joined them and started marketing their advertiser offers heavily over a period of a year and we were earning great monthly commissions. One day without warning all of our links from this affiliate company stopped working. Can you imagine the horror of being put in this very bad position by an affiliate company? All of your visitors clicking on your affiliate links only to be sent to a dead page! Ahhhhh! Their site was gone (page not found) so there was no way to sign into our back office and our emails to them bounced. After a week of trying to contact them it was obvious that they took the money and ran. In our case they stole a minimum of $1000 but likely much more, it's hard to say... remember we couldn't login to check! We did some searches over the next few weeks to try and find out what had happened and found information at this forum: A Best Web.

As you'll see the people running Bullet Ads bailed on the advertisers and publishers and then opened another company so be sure keep this in mind if you receive a join invitation from this new company or if you happen upon this new ex Bullet Ads site one day. What's the real deal... The affiliate company Bullet Ads was a scam company that took us for thousands of dollars. Bullet Ads closed, and then BulletAds ripped off many good publishers and Advertisers only to open another company in an attempt to do it again... be VERY careful out there.

Credit: This article written by Whitney Jacqueline, V.P. of Jasco Network. For questions please contact her at: Whitney Jaqueline, main team core website: Lotto Magic Network

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