How to find an affiliate program that is perfectly suited to your website needs

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Finding an Affiliate Program

As a webmaster the most difficult choice you have to make is, which affiliate program you should sign up with. Which affiliate program is going to give you the biggest return? How can you find an affiliate program that not only pays well, but accurately track the customer referral information.

There isn't a magic bullet, there are no can't miss affiliate programs as you have to find one that is perfectly suited to your website needs.

There are three primary ways to locate affiliate programs for a target website:

Affiliate program directories - Affiliate program directories are niche web directories that are very like the large and broad web directories like the Yahoo! Directory or the Open Directory Project (also known as DMOZ). Web directories are like the Yellow pages in the offline world, listings of sites grouped by niche, geographic location or special characteristic or property.

Large affiliate networks that provide the platform for dozens or even hundreds of advertisers. - An affiliate network acts as an intermediary between publishers (affiliates) and merchant affiliate programs. It allows website publishers to more easily find and participate in affiliate programs which are suitable for their website (and thus generate income from those programs), and allows websites offering affiliate programs (typically online merchants) to reach a larger audience by promoting their affiliate programs to all of the publishers participating in the affiliate network.

Traditional affiliate networks enable merchants to offer publishers a share of any revenue that is generated by the merchant from visitors to the publisher's site, or a fee for each visitor on the publisher's site that completes a specific action (making a purchase, registering for a newsletter, etc.). The majority of merchant programs have a revenue share model, as opposed to a fee-per-action model.

For merchants, affiliate network services and benefits may include tracking technology, reporting tools, payment processing, and access to a large base of publishers. For affiliates,

services and benefits can include simplifying the process of registering for one or more merchant affiliate programs, reporting tools, and payment aggregation.

Affiliates are generally able to join affiliate networks for free, whereas there is generally a fee for merchants to participate. Traditional affiliate networks might charge an initial setup fee and/or a recurring membership fee. It is also common for affiliate networks to charge merchants a percentage of the commissions paid to affiliates.

The target website itself. (Websites that offer an affiliate program often have a link titled "affiliate program", "affiliates", "referral program", or "webmasters"-usually in the footer or "About" section of the website.)

If the above locations do not yield information pertaining to affiliates, it may be the case that there exists a non-public affiliate program. The most definitive method for finding this information is to contact the website owner directly.