Running a business is never easy, but building an effective web site can often make a huge difference.
We'll use this site to introduce our business and explain the goods or services we have to offer. People don't want to spend
time figuring out what a business does, so our home page will highlight the most important features of both our business and
our web site. We'll think of the home page as a kind of portal, giving customers the information they want at a glance, and
offering lots of links to draw them in to the rest of the site.
Joining an Affiliate Program
Joining an affiliate program is usually a fairly easy process that can be conducted entirely online. The instructions for
joining a program should be outlined in detail, along with all the rules and disclaimers of membership, on the vendor's site.
To find out how to join a particular program, you will want to visit the vendor's site and/or contact the program administrator
to inquire about specific requirements, prepare your site for submission, and promptly fulfill any technical requirements
of the program.
Contact the Affiliate Program Site to Inquire About Specific Requirements for Joining
Most affiliate sites post some form of operating agreement that outlines the terms and conditions required by the program.
Some sites will be very selective, with many requirements for joining; others will take on any affiliate that wants to promote
their products. Joining programs that are selective about new members will ensure that your site is in good company.
Most programs fall somewhere in between these two extremes, requiring you to follow the basic rules of Netiquette by not
posting offensive or discriminatory materials or content, and to not violate intellectual property rights, participate in
libelous or illegal activities, use bulk e-mail or spam, or participate in pyramid schemes. Typically, you will also be responsible
for the development, operation, and maintenance of your site, and for all materials appearing on your site. You may also have
to agree to release the vendor from all liability relating to claims, damages, and expenses relating to the development, operation,
maintenance, and contents of your site.
After reading the requirements, you will need to check an "I agree"
box. Be forewarned, however, that checking the box indicates that you have reviewed that agreement, understand its contents,
agree to be bound by the terms and conditions as described, and wish to participate in the program. If you do not find a detailed
explanation of the site's requirements posted online, use an e-mail letter to inquire about additional details.
Implement the Vendor's Expressed Technical Requirements
The technical requirements of affiliate program participation also vary from vendor to vendor, but most include the following:
Obtaining and posting a copy of the vendor's company logos, banners, and art, usually on your home page, online store
page, or some other prominent location. There may be different graphics that correspond with different product lines, so you'll
have to work with the program administrator to determine which ones are right for your program. These images will help your
visitors identify e-commerce opportunities and the vendor's specific products for sale. Copying these images usually can be
done with a simple right-mouse-button click-and-save, and then uploading it to your Internet service provider (ISP).
Displaying a short description, review or other reference for each product included in your affiliate program, or providing
a link to the affiliate home page or internal pages. The content, style, and placement of these descriptions are sometimes
predetermined, but they may be left up to your discretion.
In the event that a link is required, you'll likely be
required to use a specially formatted link with a unique affiliate code, provided by the vendor, that takes your viewers to
the corresponding ordering page for that product on the vendor's site. After that point, the vendor takes over to close the
sale, including managing order forms, processing payments, shipping, cancellations, returns and related customer service duties.
Remember, proper order tracking depends upon proper link formatting, and you won't get your commissions if you have
incorrectly formatted links. Even a minor typo in your link may cause it to work incorrectly. If you have any questions about
proper link formatting, contact the affiliate program administrator immediately.
Say Goodbye To Dial-Up Delays And Slow Loading Pages