If you are starting to work with affiliate marketing, you have the right to know one thing. This is not an overnight solution that will turn you into a millionaire in no time. Of course, there are stories about people who became instant millionaires due to affiliate marketing but it’s just a legend. But if you follow the 10 tips below, your chances for success increase significantly. Here they come:

1. Know who you’re working with

It sounds like common sense but still, too many affiliates fail because of this mistake. They sign up on every major network (Google Affiliate Network, CJ Affiliate by Conversant, etc.) without checking what each offers and later complain that their campaigns don’t meet expectations. It’s like going out shopping while not knowing what you need.

2.Know your goals

Before even starting to work with affiliates, decide on your goals. Is it an attempt to cross-promote your brand? Do you want the best sellers list boosted? Or maybe you want targeted traffic to increase conversion rates? No matter what, make up your mind about which result you expect from affiliate marketing and stick to this plan. If for example, one of your goals is generating more revenue, seek affiliates that offer a high payout per sale (conversions). The same goes if you’re trying to get more exposure – choose affiliates that offer good CPM (eCPM in this case) or CPC rates on where their ads will be displayed.

3. Know your affiliates

Don’t be afraid to kick out those affiliates that didn’t meet your expectations. I know, it’s hard to admit you made a mistake and now you’re paying the price but sometimes it’s necessary. You don’t want to end up as one of those who fell into the common affiliate marketing trap – spend months with no results and only then find out they were promoting low-quality products or worthless offers all along (always read the affiliate agreement carefully).

4. Be patient with rookies

If you see affiliates working on low or even free traffic sources, give them some time before judging their success (or lack thereof). No matter how good is your offer, it won’t sell if nobody knows about it. It’s better to start in a small pond and move on to bigger water after some time.

5. Work with the best

Of course, it’s nice when affiliates compliment your offer but you shouldn’t rely only on luck. Seek for affiliates that have proven their ability over time and work only with them from the very beginning (when possible). In this case, you can be sure they will do their job properly. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to ask affiliates what kind of results they managed to get or how much traffic they generate per day or month – sometimes numbers speak more than words.


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6. Respect affiliates point of view

It may seem that affiliates are just promoting your offer for the money but this is not always the case. Of course, nobody gives away free traffic if he doesn’t want to make some bucks on it but affiliates also want to be paid fairly. If they offer their traffic, let them tell you how much there should be their payment for each conversion or option. Explain your point of view too and stay open-minded during negotiations – sometimes good affiliates get lost because of affiliate managers who don’t value their services at all.

7. Monitor results regularly

Don’t expect affiliates to tell you if something goes wrong with an affiliate campaign (it may happen but most of them won’t bother). You need to monitor conversions for your affiliate’s offers at least once a week (daily is better). Check if they are displayed properly, conversions are tracked properly, etc. You need to spot potential problems before affiliates do it for you.

8. Know what affiliates want

Affiliates work hard so don’t try to take advantage of them by offering unfair commissions or unbelievably good payment options. They expect transparency and fairness from your side so be afraid to share with them everything you have – affiliate earnings, conversion rates, working hours, etc. This way you can build up mutual trust which will help both sides achieve bigger goals in the future.

9. Get creative with affiliates

Most affiliate programs get boring after some time because managers choose to work with affiliates that will bring the biggest revenue. Try to be more creative by offering affiliates possibilities for earning extra money (e.g. beats normal commissions by promoting your product). Even if affiliates don’t like it, you can be afraid they will eventually accept just to get some additional earnings.

10. Keep in touch

One of the most important things to remember when working with affiliates is to keep in touch. You need to communicate with them regularly so let them know what kind of offers are waiting for them and what you want from your collaboration (affiliates want updates too, not only managers). This way you will avoid misunderstanding which may hurt both sides negatively later on.


Affiliate marketing is not as easy as it seems and it takes a lot of time and effort to become good at it. Based on my experience, I know what mistakes affiliates make so now I can avoid them in advance (I hope). As for affiliate managers, the only way to judge your affiliate program is by looking at results and by contacting affiliates that promote your offer. If you notice something wrong with it then try to fix the problems before they overwhelm you and damage your relationship with affiliates. After all, they are the ones who make you successful. Good luck!


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