Perhaps the fastest and easiest way to start and prosper online is to market products and services as an affiliate, and earn commissions.
While there have been many an article and book written about how to be an affiliate, most over look one very important aspect of the affiliate process.
That aspect is to make sure you get paid!
By way of background, the term “affiliate” on the Internet can be compared to a commissioned salesperson offline. As an affiliate, you do the selling and get paid when a sale is made.
The beauty part is that you don’t have to worry about creating products, having a merchant account where you collect payments, doing customer service, and the other things that product creators have to do.
You just sell and collect your money. Simple and effective.
And there are literally hundreds of thousands of products you can promote. From A to Z, if you can imagine it, you can sell it as an affiliate.
Over the years, becoming an affiliate of a top selling site is the most proven path to success. I recommend you learn how to do this, because being an affiliate is smart business, even if you create your own products.
But there can be a hidden problem when it comes to being an affiliate.
That problem is making sure you get paid!
Here are four ways to make sure that you get paid what is owed you, and you get it on time.
KNOW WHEN TO EXPECT PAYMENTS
Read the fine print! KNOW when to expect payment.
Also, know the date to write and call if your payment has not arrived.
HOT TIP: Keep a calendar with due dates marked by program name. When you make sales update your calendar so you can predict your cash flow. After all, cash is king in business!
Bear this in mind; many, if not most, affiliate payments happen a full 75 days after the sale is made.
This is because most online sellers wait until after their refund period is over to cut checks.
Since a common refund period is 60 days, and since many companies write checks on the 1st and 15th, you can wait 75 days or more for your money.
This is a normal way of doing business. But it can become a real problem for you if cash flow is an issue.
If cash flow is an issue look for programs that pay you more quickly. Some companies pay immediately while others will expedite commissions.
Companies using third party affiliate programs, like Clickbank, have no control over how and when you are paid.
Calculating when you will be paid is a wise move before you let yourself get excited about promoting any product or service.
KNOW THE RULES
There have been many a new affiliate who have been shocked to discover that some companies will not pay out commissions until certain rules have been met.
While I understand their frustration, and totally disagree with arbitrary rules designed to keep an affiliate and their money apart, it must be said that most companies do have these rules in writing.
But it must be said as well that these rules are often buried on pages full of other rules and terms of service. The fact is, most of us just never take time to read the fine print.
It is our responsibility as affiliates to learn about these policies and obey them if we want to be paid.
One example is Clickbank. While I like and use Clickbank, and have been both Premier and Apex (meaning both a top seller and top affiliate) for years, it is vital for affiliates to know Clickbank’s rules before promoting.
For example, many affiliates don’t understand that they will be paid only when they have earned a certain amount of commission or have had a certain number of sales.
Clickbank does this to combat fraud, something they are very good at doing. But this policy can come as a surprise to affiliates if they don’t know about it.
My opinion is this – Clickbank has every right to have these policies. Their reason for having such policies is a good one and makes sense. But I would be willing to bet that 99% of beginning affiliates have no clue about these policies.
To read Clickbank’s policies about paying affiliates please click here.
A cookie is a little file that is placed on the computer of the person who clicks your affiliate link.
Being able to identify this cookie is how the affiliate program knows that it’s you who made the sale.
EXAMPLE: Some very large sites only use a one-day cookie. That means that visitors you send to them today, but buy tomorrow, do NOT get credited to you!
Other affiliate programs provide a 60 day cookie, meaning you will be credited for visitors you send for up to 60 days IF the cookie is not erased by the customer or overwritten by them clicking another affiliate link.
Still other programs offer lifetime cookies. This simply means that you refer a person once and then you can be paid on all sales to that person as long as the cookie remains on their computer.
You KNOW the value of a more durable cookie–so pay close attention to this one.
LIFETIME COMMISSIONS & EXCLUSIVITY
Lifetime on the Internet means as long as the company is in business, and your link is sending buyers, you are paid.
Lifetime commissions are very important because they mean that links you put out there today and get clicked on months from now will still pay you the commissions you deserve.
Look for Lifetime Commission programs using the link below. Please note – this site has not been updated but does still have some valuable content.
Exclusivity means that to sell my product, you cannot sell other products that compete with my product.
Very few programs require exclusivity, but if you find one that does, think long and hard before joining.
You work very hard to participate in the affiliate programs that you believe will do the best for you.
You deserve payment as agreed.
Take the steps above to ensure you get what you earned and remember that agreements prevent disagreements, so do take time to know the policies of any program you are going to promote. This is your business after all, and it deserves close attention.
By taking a few simple steps in the beginning, you can establish affiliate relationships with great companies that will pay you very well and last for years.
And THAT is a beautiful thing indeed!