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Affiliate Marketing Program - How To Get Started

Updated on April 14, 2016

What Is Online Affiliate Marketing & How It Works

Before jumping into the affiliate network building process lets review what is online affiliate marketing and how it works.

What Is Affiliate Marketing:
Online Affiliate Marketing is basically the process of selling or promoting other people's products and services online by placing affiliate links to your site, blog or social networking posts with a prospect of getting commissions for every sale, leads, clicks and impressions (as the case may be) generated from your affiliate links.

How It Works:
As illustrated above, as an affiliate network, you have to recruit affiliates to promote your product or services by offering them generous commissions, and marketing support. In return, your affiliates will bring prospects to your site by redirecting their visitors traffic to your landing pages. If the redirected visitor likes your services, they will wither purchase or avail your services, and a commission will be generated to the referring affiliate. You pay your affiliates, and process of generating revenues with you affiliate network continues.

Getting Started

Lets move forward and go straight to our checklist of the things we need in building an affiliate network site.

  • Choose A Profitable Niche
  • Branding Your Network
  • Reliable Hosting Solutions
  • Affiliate Managing Software
  • Payment Gateways
  • Promote Your Network
  • Managing Your Affiliates

Choose A Profitable Affiliate Marketing Niche

There are countless of blogs, articles and even books written by online marketing experts and gurus about this topic. To simplify our task here, let go ahead and recommend a niche where most affiliate marketers had made money of is the Personal Finance verticals. There are hundreds affiliate network out there, but only a few are trusted and pays generously.

For purposes of illustration, I have selected two leading PPL Affiliate Networks that offers a platform where you can have a pre-built sites where you can use with your own domain name and offer it under your very own affiliate network - you may join theme here LeadsMarket, T3Leads and LeadPile

Branding Your Affiliate Network Program

Branding or choosing a right domain is essential to your networks success. Chose only the top level domains extension,a and make sure it is closely to related the service your provide. Base on our recommended niche, you may select a domain that has the words leads, CPA or PPL as you are paying your affiliates on a per lead basis.

To illustrate a good branding, I came across this a site who have tried to find its niche within the a niche. The owner had managed to find a brand by understanding the reasons why consumers have availed for such service, and most reasons was to pay for bills. With that in mind they come up with brand good brand BillsBuster, easy to recall and closely related to the service they offer.

Lastly, choose only the trusted leaders of domain registrars like GoDaddy and OnlyDomains. You may need at least 5 domains to get started with your network. One for your network domain name, and for for your initial payday loan sites that you are going to offer to your affiliates.

Finding A Reliable Hosting Company

Some affiliate management providers offers a hosted solution, where you don't need to have a separate hosting for your affiliate network. However it will be more professional if you have it hosted with your own hosting plan.

When setting up an affiliate network you have to look for reliable hosting companies, if you are to make an impression of being a reliable and trusted affiliate network. I have written a hub about Best Value Web Hosting Services for Starters, where I discussed in details the importance of your hosts location, security, reliability, and support among others.

Power Your Affiliate Network Program

And for the essence of this hub, let us power up your affiliate network with a powerful and feature packed software.

What are the features of a software to get us started:

  • Low Cost or No Upfront Cost to Start
  • Easy Installation and Site Integration
  • Search Engine and Social Media Optimized
  • Supports All Types of Commission Structure
  • Ease of Affiliate Management and Recruitment
  • Superior Marketing Tools - i.e. Site Replication
  • Payment Gateway Integration - i.e. Paypal, Payoneer
  • Excellent Vendor Support

Given the above criteria, I have tested three affiliate marketing software that offers most, if not all the key features I listed above - and it's free to get started

  1. JAM Affiliate Manager - With Free Version. Free up the first 50 affiliates, can be upgraded as needed.
  2. Post Affiliate Pro - Offers hosted subdomain. Available demo.
  3. HasOffers - Offers a 30 day free trial period

The only difference between the two superior affiliate network software is their pricing structure and support. It is best to find it yourself by taking advantage of their demo or free trial offer, and make a list of things you observed during the demo or trial period, and ask technical support for clarifications before buying the product.

Promote Your Network

Now that you have your easy to recall domain name, a reliable hosting solutions, an affiliate management software and services to offer to your affiliates, it's time to show to the world your new affiliate network - promote it.

There are many ways to promote your new affiliate network, by email, online advertising, social networking and so on. You can choose whatever medium you would want people to get to know you network exist.

My favorite and cost effective way is directory listing. Here are the some of affiliate network directories where every affiliate network - established or new can be found. Of course you can always expand your listing, but you must get started here.


Next step, only if you have started generating income and can afford to advertise with the top search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo Advertising Networks, you may go ahead.

In addition to the Affiliate Network above, one very important tool in promoting your online business is Email Marketing. There are tons of free and paid email marketing tools available today, but for me GetResponse is by far the best email marketing tool available - feature rich and responsive.

Helpful Resources

Helpful Video - How Affiliate Marketing Works

That's it folks, I hope that this hub will help you maximize your earning potential in affiliate marketing my setting up your very own affiliate marketing network. I guess I have done my share, please feel free to share to your friends or drop me a comment and I'll be glad to attend to you. Looking forward to your success as a super affiliate running your own affiliate marketing network.

Which Type Of Affiliate Marketing Program Works Best For You

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    • VTYEAR profile image

      Virgilio Ano 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Dale,

      Thank for your comment. Before I could help you, may I know which niche you are into (ex. electronics, apparel or services)

      Wish you luck!

    • profile image

      Dale 4 years ago


      Great Article and thanks!! Can I ask, I am wanting to get into this market and am looking for an agency to provide me with brands that will take a % of commission instead of doing this direct with a (retailer for eg) Does anyone know or can recommend an agency/affiliate house that's good to go with??

      I think i might be looking in the wrong places...