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Magazines | 10%-20%
Real Estate | 10%-25%
Toys | 5%-10%
Travel | 2%-15%
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Consider this when signing up for an Affiliate Program
by Tara Sheyan

If you're interested in signing up for an affiliate program, you have a lot of choice.

Options are unlimited when it comes to affiliate programs. Whether it's the industry you want to work in or how much you'd like your share of the profit to be, you're sure to find something that will interest you. The problem with many webmasters is that they don't know exactly what to look for when searching for a good affiliate program.

Industry If you were to categorize the profitability of affiliate programs by industry, you would quickly see that one of the biggest factors in determining success is not so much the program but rather the industry you affiliate yourself with. The reasons you have chosen a particular industry could be many; you may simply prefer selling toys rather than electronics equipment. However, if you're thinking of making serious affiliate earnings, you have to learn to push your preferences aside.

Gross vs. Net Payouts Being paid on the gross revenue generated by your referrals is quite rare; if you find such a deal, hang on to it with both hands and feet. Coming across a program that gives you a share of the gross profit is like finding a gold mine. Why is it such a big deal?

The difference between gross and net payouts is quite significant and can mean up to 20% more affiliate earnings for the webmaster. Before calculating your NET share, the merchant first takes the GROSS revenue generated by your referrals and subtracts various fees to obtain the NET revenue. These fees are almost never stated in the terms and conditions of a program but include things such as chargebacks, credit card processing, advertising costs, among many others. Before you know it, they have taken 20% of all revenue that you have generated through your referred customers.

While it's not entirely fair for merchants to make these kinds of deductions, that is how most of them operate and after all, they do make the final shots. The only thing I can suggest is to keep an eye open for a deal where you can get a share of the gross revenue. These days, it's more so wishful thinking.

Branding and Marketability Another important factor to pay attention to is the marketability of the product. We are much more likely to buy something from a well-known provider rather than one that we have never heard about, let alone a company that has a bad reputation. This applies to all areas of our lives, whether it's buying groceries or purchasing a car; branding and reputation are the two things that most of us base our decisions on.

When signing up for an affiliate program, do some research on the product or service they offer; search for customer feedback - good and bad. Also, pay attention to their marketing efforts. Have you heard of or seen their products before? A negative response to this question is not always a bad indication; you may simply know little of that particular industry. Nonetheless, getting other people's opinions is a good way to make an educated decision.