If you are new to affiliate marketing, you may be surprised to learn that finding an affiliate program to promote is actually quite easy. Many companies are aware of the benefits they receive with having an affiliate program; in fact, it is hard to find a company that doesn’t offer one.
Affiliate networks, such as Commission Junction (www.cj.com) and Linkshare (www.linkshare.com) manage the affiliate programs for a vast number of companies. The benefits of going through an affiliate network are: you can find products to suit a wide variety of target markets; you only have to visit one website to create links and track information; and your paychecks will come from one company.
There are downsides, as well. For instance, the company that is offering the affiliate program has to pay the affiliate network a fee for handling their program. This takes away from the amount of money they can offer you. You may be able to earn more by promoting a product that is made by a company that handles their own affiliate program.
You can also find programs simply by visiting the website of a company you would like to partner with as an affiliate. Start scanning the site for a link that says something such as “affiliates”, “associates”, or something along those lines. This may be found at the bottom of the home page or you may have to click on “about us” or “contact us” to get to the right link.
Once you find the right link, there should be information on how you can sign up as an affiliate. There may be a sign up page on the site or the site may refer you to visit another page where you can sign up.
When you fill out the sign-up form, you will either be accepted right away, or the company will let you know they are reviewing your site. Some programs are very selective. They may require that your website have a certain amount of traffic, for instance, or they may want to make sure the content on your site is appropriate for the type of products that they offer.
If you do not get accepted into a program right away, do not worry. There are many other programs to choose from. If you have your heart set on a certain program and you are denied, take some time to build up the traffic on your site and apply again in the future.
If you visit a company’s website and you cannot find any information about their affiliate program, send them an email and ask if they have one. Maybe they have been thinking about starting one and they just haven’t gotten around to it yet. By joining as one of their first affiliates, you may be able to negotiate your commission terms.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.