Affiliate marketing programs are a great way to reach new audiences, but they can also be an expensive and time-consuming process. Before you dive into an affiliate program, make sure you consider all of the pros and cons!
Programs Can Be “Gamed”
While affiliate marketing programs can be a great way to earn some extra cash, they’re also open to abuse. Some people game the system by using bots that click on ads, or by using software that automatically enters them into contests without actually reading the content.
This has led to some backlash against affiliate programs in general–and while it’s not fair to blame them for everything, it’s true that these practices do exist and make it harder for honest affiliates like yourself who want nothing more than a fair shot at making money online with your blog or website.
You Don’t Have Much Control
- You can’t control where your links are placed. If a blogger decides to place a link at the bottom of his article, there’s nothing you can do about it. And if he decides to put it in bold text at the top of his post, again, no dice.
- You can’t control where your links are advertised to. If someone sees an ad for one of your products and clicks on it, great! But maybe they won’t see any ads and won’t know how easy it would be for them purchase what they’re looking for until later on down the road when someone else tells them about their experience with affiliate marketing programs (or maybe even after reading this article). That person might decide not even bother clicking because he doesn’t think anything good will come from doing so; perhaps he thinks all affiliate marketing programs are scams! Either way: no sale made here either way because some people never even knew how easy it would’ve been just by clicking through one simple ad.
It Is Hard to Build Trust with Affiliates
The truth is, affiliate marketing is a relationship-based business. The more you can do to build trust with your affiliates, the better off you will be. You need to be transparent about your affiliate program policies and how you are going to pay affiliates.
- Affiliates want to know what they’re getting into before promoting your product or service on their websites and social media accounts. They want to make sure that it’s worth their time and effort; otherwise, they won’t promote it at all! This means providing clear details about what kind of commission rates exist within each tier of commissions (i.e., 10%, 15%, or 20%). It also means disclosing any additional costs associated with joining an affiliate program–such as monthly fees–and explaining how these fees are calculated so there aren’t any surprises later down the road when an affiliate gets their first payout from one of these programs.
- Affiliates need reassurance that there will always be enough money coming in through these programs before committing themselves fully into promoting them.
- If something happens between now and then (like losing traffic), then those same people may back out entirely because they don’t feel comfortable continuing working together anymore.
Can Be Expensive and Time-Consuming to Run
As you can see, running an affiliate marketing program can be expensive and time-consuming. In addition to the costs of setting up your own website, you’ll need to pay for hosting and domain registration if you don’t already have them. You’ll also want to purchase some sort of payment processor so people can make purchases online through your site, which is another expense that varies depending on how much traffic you get on average per month (and thus how many sales).
In addition to these upfront expenses, there are ongoing costs associated with running an affiliate marketing program:
- Marketing – You’ll need ads on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter; banner ads on other websites; email blasts sent out periodically reminding people about the products being sold through your link(s); etcetera! All of these things cost money because they require either time or money from someone who’s doing them for free (or close enough).
- Support – If anyone has questions about anything related to what they purchased through one of your links (e.g., “How do I use this?”), then someone needs access.
I hope this article has helped you to understand the pros and cons of affiliate marketing program. If you’re still not sure whether or not it’s right for your business, I encourage you to consider all of the points discussed above–both positive and negative. After all, there is no perfect way to promote products online! The important thing is that whatever strategy(s) work best for each individual business owner should be implemented carefully and thoughtfully before committing any resources into them; otherwise, there may be wasted time or money spent on something that could have been avoided altogether if proper research had taken place first.