Maybe you attended an online marketing event recently, or you simply want to find a new way to monetize your social media accounts. Either way, there are several things you should know before you submit an application to become an affiliate at any of the major networks.
The most important thing you need to have before you fill out an application is a complete, functional and unique website. This is either your primary tool for promoting the offers within the affiliate networks, or a site which describes your promotional methods, so make sure your website is ready to go before you apply.
If you’re just starting out, that’s no problem! A new blog with a few posts that show your ability to write unique and engaging content can show the reviewer that you are ready to get started. For those of you who are social media gurus, your Twitter page with 10,000 followers is exactly what networks are looking for. Essentially you’ll need something more than a few bare page templates. Show the network how you’ll be promoting; chances are, you will significantly improve your chances of being approved.
Another common application type comes in from affiliates who want to promote exclusively through search or display rather than through an affiliate website. While you may not be using a website for your tracking links, it’s still important to have a site that explains your business model and tells potential business partners more about you and your experience. This can be as simple as a free website (e.g., Blogspot or Wix), but should be complete enough for merchants to understand the benefits of your promotion expertise.
Why is this so important?
Once you’ve been accepted as an affiliate, you’ll have the opportunity to apply to a variety of merchant campaigns. If your site is incomplete or doesn’t showcase your promotional methods, many merchants will deny your request to promote their campaigns. Why? When a merchant is unclear of an affiliate’s promotional methods, they are less likely to allow you to represent them and showcase their brand. Being declined from several merchants can be disheartening and frustrating, so it’s best to have your site complete ahead of time to minimize negative responses from merchants or networks.
Filling out your application with factual information is another important aspect of the application process. You are much more likely to be accepted into a network when you provide your legal name, address and phone number than when you provide false or incomplete information. Networks check the validity of the information and they will not approve an application that is blatantly fraudulent.
Why is this so important?
This is how you get paid! LinkConnector’s payment policy requires that the first three physical checks be sent manually to affiliates before they are eligible for a different method of payment. Many other networks have similar policies in place to verify the validity of your application information. If you use a fake address or someone else’s address, there is a possibility you won’t receive your payment. Further, like any relationship, trust matters. This is especially true in an industry where merchants meticulously guard against fraud and dishonest partners. Remember, you are entering into a business relationship with a merchant—honesty, integrity and professionalism and are all critical components of a long-term and profitable partnership.
This one may seem less obvious, but using relevant details on your application can go a long way. For example, letting networks know that you met with one of their representatives at a recent conference can help jog memories and can be a great introduction topic in future correspondence.
Why is this so important?
The affiliate application has many opportunities for you to provide relevant details about your website and promotional methods. For example, if your website offers cashback to users, then selecting “yes” for the Offers Incentives question is an absolute MUST. It helps networks to better identify your site quickly in reference to potential campaigns. Some campaigns may not allow affiliates to offer incentives, so giving relevant detail will help your network determine which merchants to pitch to you and which ones you don’t qualify for.
Using relevant keywords (like you would for SEO purposes) on your application is another instance in which relevant details are helpful. Let networks know exactly what your site is about. This in turn, will allow merchants to find your site by keyword and will ultimately lead to new campaign offers from the merchant. Here’s a quick example: If you have a blog that showcases your hand-made clothing, using keywords like ‘sewing’, ‘clothing’ and ‘crafts’ could help merchants like Burda Style and Craft Daily find you in our system.
While some of these tips may seem frivolous, they will definitely help you in the application process; once approved, they will help you find (and be found) and promote well-matched merchants that you have the most potential to be successful with. Before you begin your application, be sure that your website is complete and ready to start promoting. When you complete your application, be sure to use factual information and relevant details to ensure your approval.
We hope to work with you soon!