There are multiple ways to join an affiliate program. You can either use a product’s in-house affiliate program or join using an affiliate marketplace such as ShareASale, Amazon Associates, CJ, or ImpactRadius (to name a few).
Also see: Top Affiliate Networks To Find Affiliate Programs [Mega List]
But users like you & me who join these affiliate programs need to make sure of one major thing:
- On-time payments!
While joining an affiliate program is free, promoting a product takes a lot of effort and resources.
There’s always a risk that you might not get paid for your efforts, and to avoid such scenarios (and headaches), you should make sure to check for the following things before start promoting any product.
Read: What is affiliate marketing?
Checklist: Things to check for before promoting an affiliate product
1. Payout Method
Imagine a situation where you are promoting a product & you earned over one thousand dollars, but you can’t get paid because there’s no acceptable payout method for your country. This is nothing new & has happened to many other affiliates before.
Ensure to check the payout methods supported by the affiliate network or program. If you don’t see any payout method that works for your country, you should talk to affiliate manager or use the program contact form & see if they can do something for you.
Here are some of the most popular ways to get paid in affiliate marketing:
Read: How do you get paid in affiliate marketing?
2. Minimum Payout
This is one of the most common reasons why beginner affiliate marketers give up.
Unlike traditional ad networks, most affiliate programs pay you when you reach a minimum payout threshold of $50. There are exceptions, but more or less, it’s $50 for most affiliate networks.
If you’re under that threshold, you can’t get paid. If a marketer has been working hard but was unable to reach that threshold, they feel like they’ve been cheated as they won’t get paid for the promotions they’ve done.
The thing is, it’s the marketer’s fault because they never checked the minimum payout for the affiliate program they signed up for.
Always check for the payout threshold.
3. Reputation of Product/Network
If you ask several people about their thoughts on affiliate marketing, you will get a lot of mixed reactions. The reason why is because some of them have made millions while others have been cheated. Well, it’s our mistake if we don’t check out the reputation of affiliate network/program before joining.
Most new independent affiliate programs offer big commissions, but at the end of the day, they don’t end up paying you. Since these companies/individuals have nothing to lose, they don’t really mind a few bad reviews.
If you want to play things safe, it’s better to join an affiliate program of a reputed company or via a reputed affiliate marketplace.
Here are a few of the reputable affiliate marketplaces from around the globe that you can apply for right away:
- Commission Junction
- Impact Radius
- Amazon Associates
- Partner stack
- vCommission (India)
4. Cookie Length
One of the reasons I enjoy affiliate marketing so much is because of the freedom it offers. I just have to send some traffic and let the companies do the “sales” work. But sometimes, “sales” take a few days.
All I have to do is drive traffic to a website and if a user makes a purchase several days later, I still get a commission.
How cool is that?!
Well, this is possible because of a long cookie length. But all affiliates are different.
Standard practice is anywhere between 30-90 days after a user clicks on an affiliate link. What’s cool about most of these programs is that you will also get a commission if a user purchases another product (other than the one you recommend) from the company’s website.
However, a few affiliate programs take advantage of the innocence of newbie affiliate marketers. They don’t offer:
- Standard cookie length (30-60 days).
- Commission on sale of other products.
Ensure you check for these two important things before signing up. As I said above, most reputable networks incorporate this standard affiliate practice & you will have no problem.
Things To Look For In Affiliate Programs
Well, there are many more things an affiliate marketer should check out before joining any new affiliate program. However, the above 4 listed points will ensure you don’t get scammed from your affiliate company and make sure you get paid AND you get paid on time.
What other stuff do you usually check for when joining an affiliate program or marketplace? Have you ever gotten scammed or conned by an affiliate company? Which one? Let us know in the comments.
This will help other affiliate marketers not get fooled.
There is no minimum or maximum age requirement, and even if you are 15 or 60, you can join affiliate networks. However, there are certain affiliate networks which do not allow users below 18, and in that case, users could use their parents’ ID to join (After taking permission).
There is no upper or lower limit here. You can join as many affiliate programs as you want.
The easiest way is to join an affiliate network like ShareASale, Impact and then join an affiliate program.
Yes, you can join and use multiple affiliate programs on a website. Even on a single webpage, you can promote multiple affiliate offers, even if that is from your competition.
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60 thoughts on “4+ Must-Know Things Before Joining Any Affiliate Program”
Nice take on affiliate networks. Although I was aware of cookie time duration, I had no clue about commission on sale of another product.. Well that was an eye opener.. thnx harsh.. for the insight.
Is Shopify affiliate program is trusted?
Well, It was a nice take on affiliate networks. Although I was aware of cookie time duration, I had no clue about commission on sale of another product.. Well that was an eye opener.. thnx harsh.. for the insight..
Great post Harsh!
I think every new aff marketer should read this.
I am a fresher in affiliate marketing and I only knew some of the platforms you mentioned. But I think Amazon affiliate program is the best and the fastest way to start the journey in affiliate marketing for a beginner or fresher, isn’t it?
What would you recommend for a beginner?
I have got approval for some affiliate programs, but I am looking for the ways and tactics to use in order to maximize sales, can you share something as per your experience?
When is the correct time to go for affiliates?
As soon as you could.
Hi, COOKIE QUESTION : if I refer a customer to Amazon (or other Affiliate networks), he gets my cookie for 30 days, but what happens if he visits another website who also refers to Amazon ? Which affiliate gets the sale, me or the other one?
Few days ago, I heard about iTunes affiliate. I have a question about iTunes affiliate system or affiliate condition. Can I earn using iTunes affiliate with YouTube channel. Is it possible or not.
Yes, you can use iTunes affiliate with YouTube.
hey harsh, is it a good idea to have multiple affiliate products in one website. Here you have listed several affiliate programs. Can i join a few of them and promote products in a single website?
Yes, you should join as many as you can and pick the best products from them.
I am a new reader to your site.
In general, someone from India can’t join eBay partner network US.
Is there a way to joint it???
Thank you for this post. I just have one question. Is it adviseable to apply for aliexpress affiliate program with a blog that is less than one month old? Will my application be accepted or will I have to build it over months as well as SEO? thank you