So again, it’s taken me way too long to get back to this series. I plan to go over a few more things before I consider this series complete (is one ever?):
- Choosing a network and getting started
- Your affiliate account – what you should do to get accepted
- Choosing merchants to work with
- Promoting your merchant partners
- Advanced tools and tips to make affiliate marketing work for you
With that being said, I’ll give my disclaimer. If you are a seasoned affiliate, this series isn’t for you. This series is meant for bloggers who are either just getting into affiliate marketing, or know nothing about it but are looking to monetize their blog and want to learn more.
Ok, now onto the meat of today’s message – choosing a network. In my previous post on this series, The Affiliate Networks, I introduced you to each of the main networks. By no means is that list complete, but it is a great place for you to start. But which one do you start with? It’s both a great question and one I think is relatively un important when you start. Odd statement for a post about choosing a network isn’t it. Let me explain.
It used to be that Linkshare was the place to be for big retail merchants and the CJ was the place for lead generation type program (mortgage, debt consolidation). That’s not really the case anymore. Each of the big three networks (LS, CJ and Google) has a pretty broad range of merchant programs. I would just choose one to get familiar with the process. I have been told that CJ is the easiest for affiliates. But Linkshare and Google have great programs as well. Not much help am I? lol
One thing to note – each network refers to merchants and affiliates differently. Merchant = advertiser, affiliate=publisher. You may see those terms used interchangebly so don’t be too surprised.
The main thing isn’t so much the networks, and maybe that is what I’m trying to get across to you. The main thing will be the partnerships you form with merchants and selecting the right ones to work with. One of the most important things to do right when you are looking for these successful partnerships is your affiliate account. Without the right information in your account, merchants won’t be able to effectively evaluate your application. That is what I’ll cover in my next episode.