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Old 02-28-2004, 05:45 PM   #4
I am a Contributing Geek. Are You?
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Northern Virginia US
Posts: 601

Would I join a new network or affiliate program? Most likely no, but there is a possibility I would. Here's some factors that would influence my decision:

- Does the company appear to be a one-person operation? When it comes to a network, I would not work with a company that did not have experienced on-site employees. Many people new to the industry feel all that is required to start a successful network is the ability to code in PHP and possess a small amount of money making skill. Running a network or affiliate program is hard. There will be cheating. You must have a large amount of money available to pay your affiliates even if you have to wait longer for your payment. Many people launch an affiliate program right off the bat without considering jut how difficult it is to run one.

- Is the owner of the company or the person who runs the program/network knowledgable? If a small company is starting up a traffic network, then there must be people at the company exceptionally good at: Marketing, maintaining and obtaining advertisers, coding, spotting abusers, and customer service. Along with this point, I consider whether the owner has a good name in the community. For example, is this person a long time poster to affiliate message boards and has the person constantly given good advice?

- How well does the company maintain their public profile? Many times, either the owner or reps for a new traffic network post on message boards like these to both drive up buzz for their program and to answer any questions people may have about their program. So much can be determined by the type of posts made by these people. I have cringed and felt embarassed for people in the past who showed both their lack of professionalism and lack of knowledge about the industry in a public forum.

- Is the commission structure for the program good? Obviously, if the money isn't there, I'm not going to use the program. However, this step really takes a backseat to everything above. If the company is unreliable, then the commission amount is meaningless. Going back to the theme of this post, many times new companies launch with unrealistically high commissions either because they want new affiliates or because they overestimate the value of traffic. I've seen this happen again and again on these boards and what ultimately happens is the company cuts payouts, or goes under leaving webmasters without their money.
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