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Affiliate Programs: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Everyday, Affiliate programs are becoming more and more popular. Merchants are beginning to realize the importance of increasing their market reach by having individuals with their own websites help them promote their products.

The Good

The advantages to joining an affiliate program are numerous. The main advantage is that you are paid for referring your web site visitors to a merchant and the merchant is responsible for the entire online transaction. The merchant also provides the affiliate with all of the HTML code necessary to post links and banners on their site. Best of all, signing up for an affiliate programs is completely free.

The Bad

Statistically 90% of affiliates fail to earn enough money to receive a payment from the merchant. Sometimes these affiliates sign up for the sole purpose of getting a discount from the merchant by purchaisng items through thier own links, a practice whihc banned by most affiliate networks. Another reason the failure rate is so high is because the their is a high degree of competition amongst fellow affiliates. Your site requires a steady amount of traffic in order to compete with larger sites.

The Ugly

There are scammers out there who have devised programs which can steal your affiliate commissions. Affiliate link theft can be prevented by always checking that your links are pointing correctly.
Another "ugly" factor facing the affiliate industry is poor merchants. A poor merchant offers low commissions, provides poor tracking and gives little follow up, feedback, customer service or help to the affiliate.

The numerous advantages of affiliate programs far outweigh the negatives and they have proven to be a legitimate means of income generation.

Ayana Forward is the Author of "Raise Money, Without Selling". A step-by-step guide to fundraising with affiliate programs

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Affiliate Fundraising 101