How to Start an Affiliate Program

If you have been wondering how to start an affiliate program then your head might be spinning from all of the options that are available to you.  Fortunately, regardless of what you choose to do, there are a handful of steps that are always involved.  By identifying and understanding these steps, the entire process will be much simpler.  Here is a quick look at the bare-bones essentials that you need to cover.

A big factor in how to start an affiliate program will be based on the affiliate software that you choose.  Every piece of software is a little bit different, however the key is choosing one that you are happy with.  Some people opt for 3rd party solutions known as affiliate marketplaces where you hand over a lot of the responsibility to affiliate managers.  Regardless of which option you choose, there are still a few things that you will have to take care of.

One of the most important, but often overlooked, steps is choosing your offer.  It is easy to say that you are paying out affiliates 30%, but that doesn’t mean that it is a good idea.  You need to make sure that you are offering them enough to entice them to promote your product, while still optimizing the amount of profit per sale for yourself.  You also need to create an test your sales page.  It doesn’t matter how much you are paying affiliates if you can’t convert any of the traffic into sales.

The next step is setting up your affiliate area.  This is where your affiliates will get all of the tools that they need to promote your products.  From a graphics standpoint you should offer a wide variety of banner sizes.  You should also try to create several different graphics for each banner size.  This will ensure that every affiliate marketer has what they need.  You also need to create some content for your affiliates.  This should be a combination of text, audio, and video.  In most cases, a few short videos along with blog posts/review articles should be considered the minimum.

The final step is deciding how you will recruit affiliates.  Setting up your program won’t do you any good if you never get any affiliates.  When you start an affiliate program, it is vital that you create an affiliate attraction strategy.  When you do this, there should be two different strategies.  One strategies should be about about promoting the opportunity in general and the second should be targeting the super-affiliates.  Super affiliates will often be a large majority of successful affiliate sales, so make sure that you are keeping them happy.  In most cases, they will ask for custom promotional material which is to be expected.  So make sure that you have the ability to give them what they need.

There are a lot of details that can muddy the overall plan.  This is why identifying the basics of how to start an affiliate program is essential.  Once you have the skeleton plan ready to go, you can start looking into specific details without worrying that you will overlook a key step.

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