What kind of affiliate program or network you decide to go with will depend on what your goals are and what the purpose of your website is. If you do not already have a website you have the luxury of choosing a product or network of advertisers that you believe in and know that you can build a site around.
If you already have a website then you need to find the appropriate advertisers to match up to your site. You also need to keep in mind that not all advertisers will accept you as a publisher for their product ads. Some have strict criteria. If you really want to get in with an advertiser find out early what it is that they look for and require of their publishers and try to get your site in order before they review it to see if you are approved or not.
Most commonly the big deciding factor for choosing an affiliate program or network is the payout, the frequency, and what type of program an advertiser or network offers. Some networks are great at affiliate match up. Be sure to ask if they offer help with that.
There are different ways of determining if a lead, sale, click or something else qualifies for a commission or pay out of some kind. Pay closely to what kind of affiliate tracking your affiliate is using and see what it means to you in dollar signs. We will just briefly cover these:
CPA – Cost per action -The best way to describe this is if the advertiser is a credit card company and you get someone to click through one of their advertising banners. That visitor would then apply for the credit card. Until they are approved and the action is completed on their end and it is as good as a type of purchase, you will not have a credit.
Pay Per Click – Pay per click advertising pay you a nominal fee for each person you bring to their site.
CTR – Click through rate – A great example of this is a banner ad. The click through rate would be determined by taking the impression rate (how many times the ad was viewed) and divide it into the number of times someone clicked on the ad. So if an ad is shown 100 times and one person clicks on it then it has a click through rate of 1%.
You really need to look at what the advertiser is offering and see if you know what it takes to get people to either apply, buy, click through or whatever is needed so that you can make money. The bottom line is to convert your visitors into income.