Great Ways to Fail at Affiliate Marketing

When I review applicants for the affiliate program run through Commission Junction, I have some easy rules I follow as I determine whether I accept or decline them.

Here they are:

  • The site MUST look professional. We may not have the biggest brand on the planet, but it’s rather important to us. So we take who we affiliate with seriously. If the site you put up is atrocious, we can only guess how you will treat our brand - and we will NOT guess in your favor if your site looks like $%&*. :) Harsh, I know, but true.
  • The site MUST not be a canned affiliate site. This may work well for some Advertisers, but our products are very, VERY niche - do-it-yourself legal forms. If I was at a general “virtual mall”, the chance that I would buy a kit to create my living will is slim to none. Here is a good example of a canned site: They may do well with general consumer products - but not very likely with OUR products.
  • This leads to the third and probably most important rule. Context. Context! Context!! I immediately turn down any affiliate that is selling collectibles, cell phones, or clothing. If they don’t understand their audience, they certainly won’t be able to sell our products. People come to a site for a reason. It’s up to you to know that audience and give them content and products they will be interested in.
  • If anything comes even close to shady on the site, I deny them immediately and in some circumstances, turn them in to CJ as well. This includes covertly trying to switch my home page, random redirects and pages opening without my knowledge.
  • Your site must not have any broken links, under construction signs, or worse, not even be live. Now, I cut people slack if they have a good structure/site map going, the site is a good match for our products, and the design is good, but there is still work to be done. At least I know that the site is on the right track and will be a good future partner for our company.

Here are some good matches for Socrates, and can be a good guide for you as you choose what affiliate programs to promote:

Gaebler Ventures :: They sell a lot of our business start-up products :: They sell our Payroll and HR forms :: They are a more prominent partner and not a true affiliate, but nevertheless, they sell thousands of dollars of our real estate products monthly


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One Comment on “Great Ways to Fail at Affiliate Marketing”

  1. » Blog Archive » Work from Home Ideas Says:

    […] Affiliate Marketing - I’ve written a few posts [ 1 2 3 4 ] about that one […]