Cost per action/sale methods require that referred visitors do more than visit the advertiser's website before the affiliate receives a commission. The advertiser must convert that visitor first. It is in the best interest of the affiliate to send the most closely targeted traffic to the advertiser as possible to increase the chance of a conversion. The risk and loss are shared between the affiliate and the advertiser.
One of the disadvantages of working with a network is that they charge a commission, which is normally up to 30% of what you charge affiliates. For example, this is how it works: Brand C affiliate program might sell $1 million of clothing. They pay their affiliates 10% commission, so the total commission of the program would be $100,000. The affiliate network would then charge 30% override on this figure so the brand would pay $130,000. The affiliates would get the $100,000 commission and the affiliate network would get $30,000 override.
Basically, within the whole customer conversion funnel, from awareness stage to purchase, there should be a strong match between your product and your audience. In the funnel, customers start with the awareness stage. And when the product has great conversion rates, it means that customers move quicker through the funnel down to the sale stage, where brands and affiliates make money.
Take good pictures. Some of the options below don’t require you to actually take the picture and sell the product, but for the ones that do, make sure you take a clear picture that makes your product stand out from the others. If you’re going to be taking a lot of pictures, set up a small “studio-like” area in your home with a backdrop and proper lighting to really make your pictures come across as professional. And of course, you’ll want a good camera too.
It’s important that you establish thorough guidelines and rules for your program from the start, such as linking protocols, whether or not to let affiliates bid on your brand terms in PPC ads, and not allowing affiliates to create websites and content that mimic your own. Without strict guidelines and legal terms and conditions, advertisers can potentially be held liable for the actions of their affiliates, especially when proper disclosures aren’t in place. More on that below.
Research individual companies in your desired niche: If possible, it’s always better to become an affiliate directly with a company (if they have an internal affiliate program), as no one else will be dipping into your commission rate. This is the preferred route for most of the prominent affiliate marketers, including Pat Flynn. Unfortunately, it’s also the most work, as you’ll have to do the research yourself to see who offers programs (they’re usually listed in the website footer).