Affiliate Networks


Affiliate start-ups: why networks offer vou an effective platform to build your business.


Affiliate marketing newbie? Where to start?

Affiliate marketing can be a daunting industry to get into; it can seem quite cliquey and unfriendly at first. So where is the best place to begin?

When you first start out as an affiliate or an affiliate company, there are lots of things to consider industry, niche, best campaigns to promote, campaign descriptions, whether you're getting the best rate of commission in addition to all of your day-to-day concerns.

Signing up with every single affiliate program out there takes a long time and wastes all those important 'man hours' that could be spent earning money and promoting campaigns. This is where affiliate networks really come into their own.

What is an affiliate network?

Affiliate networks act as a trusted third-party who will track and report all sales and traffic from ads and links. They send monthly payments, and often provide online tools to help affiliates optimise their performance. Most importantly, networks also provide webmasters and email marketers access to hundreds of affiliate programs in one convenient location.

When you sign up to an affiliate network you are assigned your own affiliate manager who will usually work with you on your overall plan. They will discuss what types of campaigns work best for your business model and some will 'hand-hold' most of the way.

At a network, you can easily pick up multiple campaigns from lots of brands, and trial different types of offers such as CPA, RevShare and CPL (cost per lead) to see which work best with your type of traffic. Networks are also very good at encouraging your activities and, on some campaigns, can offer tiered payment structures to boost your sales as well as other incentives such as prizes.

Another benefit of a network when starting out is that you quickly become a member of a group of other like-minded individuals. Many of the larger networks hold events where affiliates can get together. This can really help in making you feel a part of an industry.

Invariably in this industry, there will be tracking and payment disputes from time to time. If you are, however, dealing through a network you have someone who is highly experienced to fight your corner and to investigate on your behalf. Affiliate managers do this day in, day out. an affiliate manager talking to another affiliate manager can usually resolve much more than one affiliate directly. Networks have very strong bargaining power as they are representing numerous affiliates, not just one. If an affiliate is not accustomed to the industry, signing up to a network can be the most straightforward and quickest way to get started.

Benefits include:

• You will only deal with one affiliate manager not one per brand.
• You can pick up numerous campaigns from one or two networks.
• You will receive one-to-one advice and encouragement.
• You can win incentives and increased commissions.
• You can be assured of accurate tracking.
• An affiliate network will fight your corner with tracking or payment disputes.

Drawbacks:

• You do not build a direct relationship with the end client.

So if you are a newbie to affiliate marketing in the gaming industry, why not source the best affiliate network to help you get started quickly. There are several affiliate networks out there from very large international ones to the smaller, niche networks. Some will also specialise in your area of promotion, so make sure you do your research to guarantee that you pick the best to get you off the ground and earning money.
 
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