4+ Must-Know Things Before Joining Any Affiliate Program

Must-Know Things Before Joining Any Affiliate Program
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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.

Payout Method
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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.

Reputation of Product/Network
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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:

  1. ShareASale
  2. Commission Junction
  3. ClickBank
  4. Impact Radius
  5. Amazon Associates
  6. Partner stack
  7. Rakuten
  8. vCommission (India)

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.

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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.

What is the age requirement to start using affiliate marketing?

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).

How many affiliate programs can you join?

There is no upper or lower limit here. You can join as many affiliate programs as you want.

How to Join an affiliate program

The easiest way is to join an affiliate network like ShareASale, Impact and then join an affiliate program.

Can I use multiple affiliate programs?

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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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

60 thoughts on “4+ Must-Know Things Before Joining Any Affiliate Program”

  1. Navin Rao

    An eye opener, Harsh a query, regarding Amazon Associates, some do say that the cookie length of it is 24hrs and others intend 90 days..

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      hey Navin,

      So, both are true. The standard cookie length is of 24 hrs. This means that if a customer clicks your link and orders ANYTHING within a 24 hour window, you’ll earn a commission on those items. However, sometimes, when it is a costly product, consumer takes time to decide. In this case, if the consumer has addded the product to the cart but have not purchased within 24 hrs, your cookie period will be extended to 90 days.

  2. Ashish

    Hi, We have also started a blog and subscribed to Amazon affliate program but the returns are not at all encouraging. Your post and website is great help for ppl like us

  3. Payal

    It’s a great article on affiliate marketing, it provide lot of values for beginners.You’re doing a great job. Thanks for sharing. Keep the great work going.

  4. Hector

    Thanks Harsh, you have made me understand the principles guiding affiliate program. I think it’s left for me to scout for a good affiliate program.

  5. Tim Carey

    Hey Harsh,

    Thank you for sharing. Companies that offer affiliate programs need to consider payout minimums. If you are a new affiliate marketer, this is critical. A low commission (i.e. $25) payout helps affiliates to receive the funds for continued promotions. I feel brands that set it too high (i.e. $100) are alienating new marketers. A company needs to understand that new marketers can lead to their highest converting affiliate if given the ($25) means to continue their strategy.

    Kind regards,


  6. Mohit Bansal

    thank you for this awesome artice this was very useful

  7. Ramakrishna K

    Thanks Harsh for the valuable info on affiliate marketing, these kind of articles helps the newbies to play the game wisely.

  8. Mahesh

    Harsh, what do you suggest to signup for Indian stores which do not offer direct affiliation like Paytm and others

  9. Akshay Sood

    Thanks Harsh, really insightful information about affiliate marketing. Opened my eyes to a lot of things. Plus, thanks for sharing the list of reputed affiliate networks.

  10. Henry Obinna

    Thanks Harsh for these tips. Since I’ve never been into Affiliate Marketing this is the best post I’ve read on the topic. Once am starting I’ll have t follow these tips and also select from one of the list of trusted affiliate market place.
    Thanks again.

  11. Gregory Pozo

    Excellent article Harsh!

    Definitely the best part was the list of trusted affiliate marketplaces.

    Thanks for this one.

  12. Manjit Talukdar

    That’s awesome… points harsh sir.
    I will keep in mind before signup. This is the reason why i visit shoutmeloud. You are a awesome guy who provide us the info and save us being scammed. thanks again for sharing your experience.

  13. Vishal

    Hi Harsh
    It’s a awesome article about affiliate marketing, it’s lot useful for beginner and I already use clickbank & shareasale, that both work for me.. but now my earning is very low. .I hope in future…it’s increase.

  14. Emenike Emmanuel

    Hello Harsh,

    This is really helpful. You did justice to some of the thoughts that have been running through my mind about a business transaction I want to embark on where the affiliate company will pay my bills while I do the job for free to my clients. I want to see how this works.

  15. Nikhil

    the post is amazing bro. I do care about the per sale commission, trustworthiness, and minimum payout. Most of the things I promote over my blog is taken from other popular blogs. the products which are they promoting are certainly trusted ones.

    Thanks for the points. I will take care all of them.


  16. abdullah bin bikair

    Hi Harsh i am big fan of yours
    i have a question that which of the following refferal programe is good for me

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Hey Abdullah,

      You can join all the three. and then over a period of time analyze which one is working best for you.

  17. Istiak Rayhan

    This post reminds me a loss of $200 that occurred a few years ago. I got a cheque of $200 from ShareASale. I was very excited, but my bank rejected that cheque. Since then I avoid affiliate programs where the cheque is the only payment option for me.

    However, thanks for sharing these excellent tips.

    1. Bignedu

      Just curious. Istiak, what happened to the $200? Was it not paid to you eventually?

  18. Ash

    Awesome article Harsh.

    The affiliate programme is one the most important part for every blogger. However, it’s a bit difficult to start if you are a biginner. It will give you more ways to earn commission from different kinds of the platform as you mentioned above. Affiliate marketing is just like a back bone for bloggers to take lifestyle to the next level.

    thanks again for the great article.

  19. Rabin

    Well written, I had pretty bad experience as an affiliate marketing in the past. I did sign up as an affiliate marketer and could not meet the minimum threshold amount. Big mistake but learnt a lot.

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