Hey there Sea Changers. Today we continue our journey for those of you working with, or considering starting an affiliate program as we discuss the steps required to ensure that they are given their best opportunity for success. Why? Because one of the most common mistakes that affiliate program managers make is that they attempt to simply ‘set and forget' their programs.

Steps To Successfully Manage An Affiliate Program - Header

Like any marketing endeavor however, they need constant work and attention to ensure that they are given the best possible opportunities to generate sales revenue for the vendor. So grab a notepad and let's run through 6 steps to successfully manage an affiliate program…

  1. Be clear on targets
  2. Recruit affiliates
  3. Support existing affiliates
  4. Compliance
  5. Track activity
  6. Analyse and Optimise

Steps To Successfully Manage An Affiliate Program

Learning how to manage affiliates can be one of the hardest things about any affiliate program. So grab a notepad and let's run through 6 steps to successfully manage an affiliate program…

1. Be clear on targets

The first step here as an affiliate program manager is to ensure that you are perfectly clear on the reasons behind, and the targets for, the affiliate program. This could be a number of reasons such as to:

  • Open new sales avenues
  • Increase sales
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Promote a particular product
  • Increase internet traffic
  • Run discounted promotions for superseded or over stocked items

If there were goals attached to the reasons why the program was started, then it is important that you are aware of these moving forward. This is so that everything we discuss moving forward within this post can be reflected upon to ensure that these goals are met.

If not, then the first step here is to set some goals. These must be realistic (SMART goals are good here) and truly reflect the initial reasoning for the affiliate programs. Some examples include:

  • Increase sales by 15% across the board in each calendar month.
  • Increase site traffic by 25% by the end of the current quarter.
  • Add 10 affiliate marketers to the program each week.

Obviously these goals will be industry and company specific but as mentioned earlier, these need to be clear and understood from the outset.

Steps To Successfully Manage An Affiliate Program - Goals

2. Recruit affiliates

This second step probably goes without saying but it makes sense to focus on as it should be obviously that without affiliate marketers, affiliate programs cannot run. The key to learning how to recruit affiliate marketers however is to not assume that just because you have an affiliate program up and running that affiliates will come running.

In most cases, affiliate managers will need to go about attracting affiliates with the same amount of effort as they do to attract a customer via the promotion of their program (in this case, the program is the product being sold). There are a number of ways that this can be undertaken including:

  • Joining affiliate networks affiliate program networks work as intermediaries between merchants and affiliates. Their main purpose is to assist in the development and ongoing management of the program. They are however, a place where affiliate marketers go to find programs.
  • Advertise in places where affiliates hang out – this mirrors that of finding customers in that if you can get in front of affiliate marketers, then you have a good chance of attracting some of them to your program. Check out places where they hang out such as training sites, social media groups and niche specific forums.
  • Add a link to your website – this is a very effective, yet often overlooked method to find affiliate marketers. The reason for this is that marketers will often seek out sites based on their niche and check out the products. If there is an affiliate page link at the bottom, they will likely click on it. If not, or they have to search for it, they may head elsewhere.
  • Email your customers – yep, email them all and tell them about your program. If they have a website, they might join and promote for you as well.
  • Ask for reviews – This is a more direct approach where you contact affiliate marketers (usually via finding their sites) and ask them to review your products or program. If they like it, they will join – you may even see value in offering a bounty for each affiliate they attract as well.

At the end of the day, regardless of the processes you incorporate, this is a critical step and one that should be constantly managed and reviewed for results as per step 1 above.

3. Support existing affiliates

Now, this probably goes against what I have just discussed above, but there are plenty of affiliate programs out there meaning that the more merceneric affiliates out there will chop and change quite quickly if they feel that they can get a better ‘deal' elsewhere.

This means that ongoing support for affiliates is another key requirement for affiliate program managers and as with customers, it is a lot cheaper to keep the marketers you have than be constantly looking for new ones. In general, this will involve:

  • Providing an avenue for communications with affiliate marketers so that they can ask questions and find information that they need as required.
  • Maintaining an affiliate ‘back office' that provides tracking, sales totals and payments – This can be undertaken within Affiliate networks (Share-A-Sale, CJ Affiliates etc.) if preferred or via affiliate management software such as Partnerize or Refersion.
  • Maintaining updated creatives – Whilst this can also assist with brand protection, keeping a library of constantly updated creatives (social media and web page banners, Gifs, videos and so on) at the ready provides affiliate marketers with all the tools to promote your products in a manner that fits in with your strategies and targets.
  • Affiliate newsletters – these are a great way to keep affiliates updated with changes to pricing, special promotions, new products and product information (for reviews etc.). Oh, and maybe offer a little incentive for extra sales here (bonus commission or affiliate only customer discount etc.) if your targets centre on moving product or meeting sales targets.

The trick here I guess is to ensure that your affiliate marketers have all of the tools and information available so that they are able to promote your products to the best of their ability.

Steps To Successfully Manage An Affiliate Program - information

4. Compliance

Compliance management is the process in which the ‘rules’ of operation within the program are implemented and monitored. Some of the disadvantages to affiliate programs are that program managers don't really have any real control over how their products are represented and promoted.

In most cases affiliate program rules are put in place to protect the brand against these disadvantages and also allow affiliates to gain a clear understanding on what they can and cannot do to promote your products. Some examples of these rules include:

  • Promotional methods allowed – This covers the promotional behaviours that affiliates are allowed to undertake. This can include:
    • Use of company logos, pictures and content.
    • Where promotions can be made – i.e. coupon websites, social media, email lists or paid ads.
    • Affiliate use of links – many ban the use of affiliate links by the affiliate themselves or friends and family.
    • Product exclusions – as discussed above, are there any products can are excluded from the program?
  • Negative Commentary – Some programs ban affiliates from including any negative comments about the merchant’s brands or products (this can include pros and cons lists in reviews).
  • Use of links on offensive or adult content sites – This goes without saying I guess but it should be the case that the use of these sites to promote products is banned.
  • Affiliate acceptance criteria – Again, in order to alleviate the risk of damage to your brand, you may choose to limit the acceptance of affiliates based on any number of criteria such as compatibility of their website, social media followers, traffic and competitor content. These decisions are usually made to protect the brand as well as ensuring that they are being promoted by serious online marketers.

Compliance checks are undertaken against these criteria to ensure that all rules within the program are being followed and that the brand is being protected. The main method for this is to simply undertake brand name searches online and see where the information is being displayed. Other program managers will undertake audits of affiliate marketer sites to ensure compliance or run affiliate links via online keyword checking tools to see where they are being used.

5. Track activity

These last two steps run hand in hand in that they are all about running constant checks to see how the program is tracking and whether it is working towards the goals outlined in step 1 above being met. We will start with tracking as that is the part where we record the outcomes of the program as they are (i.e. we are not looking for improvements as yet).

The information recorded will depend on the program management software being used and the goals that have been set however in general, you will need to be looking at:

  • Number of Sales.
  • Average sale amount.
  • Average commission amount.
  • Highest earning affiliate marketers (so you can see what they are doing).
  • Most/least popular products.
  • Statistics such as number of link ‘clicks’.
  • Conversion rates of sales per click.
  • Traffic sources (websites, social media etc.)

Not only is this information critical in terms of ensuring that the program is meeting the initial strategic requirements that we discussed earlier, but is also important for future potential affiliates as they decide whether or not to join the program.

Again, it is imperative that affiliate programs are managed in the same manner as any other sales process within the company and this information is gathered to assist in determining what adjustments need to be made to improve any area that is under performing.

Steps To Successfully Manage An Affiliate Program - tracking

6. Analyse and Optimise

And once all that information is gathered (hopefully at least monthly), then the next step is to implement improvements to the program to give it the best possible chance of meeting its original goals. The means in which these improvements are done will obviously vary greatly dependent upon the outcomes of step 5.

This may however include rearranging affiliate processes and operating rules, adding or removing products or increasing/decreasing commission payments.

The main point here is obviously to just make sure that it is done – once all is said and done, if the program is not meeting the original strategic goals that have been set then, like anything with business, adjustments need to be made to ensure success where possible.


So there you have it… 6 steps how to manage an affiliate program. Each of these steps is critical and if done right, then hopefully your program can become one that is both beneficial to you as the business owner and the affiliate marketers who promote your products.

I hope this has been helpful and as usual, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, need some advice or have any experiences to share.

Do you want further assistance with any of the above or need help to build your own online business?

Are you looking for a comprehensive training platform that can give you step by step training, 24/7 support, tools to ethically develop and host your very own website, ongoing assistance with SEO, post ideas, social media and access to some of the best affiliate marketing minds on the planet, then click on the following link to read more about Wealthy Affiliate.

Until next time

Have fun


Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price.

Introducing Wealthy Affiliate, My #1 Recommendation for Setting Up Your Own Online Business

wealthy affiliate new home page

When I started, I knew I wanted to work online, but had absolutely no idea where to begin! You see I had watched friends of mine run a sales party to sell essential oils and someone asked if they could just sell them online?

Then, as I sat on the bus heading into my office job, I started to wonder if I could do just that, sell essential oils online.

Anything to stop having to catch this bus to and from work every day right!

The trouble was, as I mentioned above, I had no idea how to even start.

So of course I started to look around online and found all these courses! They all promised me riches then took my money but left me with no riches!

Then I stumbled across the program that didn’t promise me riches, but told me it could help me get started even with no experience!

So I did that, joined Wealthy Affiliate that was it, and the rest as they say, is history!

But it doesn’t come without work!

That is the key here! I began on their starter membership and did the training! I then joined as a member and did some more training!

Each night after work, I would do a little more, then a little more.

And to cut a long story short, after 10 months I realized I didn’t really like writing about essential oils, so I sold the site for about $2000. But I had learned so much that I started another – about fishing and camping!

Then, after 18 months (by which time it had earned me close to $10k), I was offered $17k for the site, so I sold it too.

Now, through my travel blog, I’ve been able to fund my passion for travel and explore different places around the world.

In the past few months, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to some amazing destinations, including Bali, Los Angeles, Dallas, Vancouver and Las Vegas.

The success of my travel blog has allowed me to fully fund my travels and explore new destinations with my family.

Steps to Creating a Successful Travel Blog - Me at Whistler

Try the Wealthy Affiliate as a Starter Member and Build your First Hub!

As you start your journey, Wealthy Affiliate is there for you with the most comprehensive training package I have ever seen – And as I have mentioned, I have used a few in my professional career trust me.

To get you started, Wealthy Affiliate has recently introduced the Hub.

The Hub

The hub is an AI based niche and website creation tool that will get you up and running with the foundation of your OWN business in just a few minutes. This includes:

  • Your website – hosted and inclusive of a WordPress editor
  • Your brand
  • Your ‘done-for-you’ research
  • Your blueprint
  • A task list that is going to help you drive the creation and growth of your business moving forward.
Wealthy Affiliate Review 24 - Hub screen

The hub makes the website creation process simple which allows you to get started on the training with a solid base and understanding of the processes.

All you need to do is choose your subject – which is known as your ‘niche’ – and follow the steps on the screen.

Oh, and as you run through the training below you may realize that what you created above is not exactly what you want. That’s ok, you can just create a new hub!

Wealthy Affiliate Training

Then as you continue your journey, the Wealthy Affiliate Hub is there for you with the most comprehensive training package I have ever seen – And I have used a few in my professional career trust me.

Above we discussed the use of the Hub to set up a website. Once you have done this, you will be able to access the “Step-by-Step Core Training”.

This is available to all members including starter members and will give you everything you need to know to continue to create your online business.

Wealthy Affiliate Review 24 - step by step core training

Member Training

There are also Live weekly classes taught by REAL industry experts on a range of topics like artificial intelligence (AI), SEO, YouTube, WordPress, PPC marketing and more.

wealthy affiliate master training

Great, What Else Does Wealthy Affiliate Have To Help You?

So, let’s keep this short, Wealthy Affiliate is a one-stop-shop platform that provides:

  • The Hub – this is the starting point and uses AI processes to assist you in determining your niche and creating your brand.
  • Complete training programs to assist with the development of your own affiliate marketing website in your own niche.
  • Website creation and publishing tools including access to WordPress editors and themes.
  • AI Content article design and content creation
  • Domain name purchasing (you get a free domain when you upgrade to the Premium membership).
  • Website hosting, security and backup.
  • Online help and chat forums.
  • Weekly live training events.
  • 24/7 support.
  • Keyword access tools.
  • SEO assistance.

The platform has been active for over 15 years with the original developers and owners, Kyle and Carson, still extremely active in its day to day operations – especially as they rollout their AI capabilities.

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You Can Try it Yourself For Free

Now of course I can tell you all about how Wealthy Affiliate works (because it does) until I am blue in the face. But every other program out there – including the shams and scams – will tell you the same thing!

So how about you just try it for free yourself. The Wealthy Affiliate Starter membership is free to join and gives you access to everything you need to get started – all without the need to spend a cent!

With the starter membership, you get:

  • 1 Limited Business Hub
  • 1,500 AI Word Credits
  • Try the AI Author Platform (BETA)
  • 1 Practice Website
  • Jaaxy Starter
  • Limited Help & Support
  • Core Niche Training (8 Classes)

And of course I will be there to help you every step of the way as well!

Look, in the interest of transparency, whilst Wealthy Affiliate does offer a free starter membership, this is designed to give you a look around, have a practice and see if it is worthwhile for you – which is a really great option.

However, as with all new businesses, you will need to make some investment so if you are serious about making money online , you will need to upgrade to a premium membership as this will give you access to all the tools you need in the one spot to succeed!

Afterall, every business needs tools to grow!

So How Much Does This Really Cost?

Wealthy Affiliate does not use upsells once you join – but as I mentioned in the video, to succeed here you will need to invest in a membership. There are a couple of options that provide access to all the tools, training and assistance that you could need – and a free domain as well.

Wealthy Affiliate offers a trio of membership tiers, as detailed on their pricing page.

You can opt for the Starter membership at no cost, the Premium membership for $49 per month or the Premium Plus+ membership for $99 per month. That’s the full extent of it – and you can absolutely build your website without having to spend another cent.

You won’t encounter any unexpected additional charges or covert fees and as a Premium member, you’re equipped with all the essentials to initiate, develop and expand a thriving online enterprise.

Those who opt for the Premium membership are provided with

  • Hosting for their websites
  • A complimentary domain name
  • Access to hundreds of hours of current expert tutorials
  • Various marketing and research tools
  • Personal guidance from seasoned professionals in the field
  • And much much more

And for those of you who want to make a serious investment into your future, there are some yearly options as well below to give you peace of mind that you have a whole year ahead of you to get stuff done!

And Don’t Forget the Personal Coaching

Once you join, not only do you get plenty of assistance from me, but you also have access to expert coaching, support and mentorship from real industry experts.

I mean, you can have access to all of the top-tier affiliate marketing training in the world, but inevitably, questions arise, particularly during the initial stages.

With an exceptionally dynamic and engaged community that boasts over 2.7 million members, Wealthy Affiliate offers an environment where you, as a member, can fully immerse and leverage this network.

You’re never alone; you have the collective wisdom of an entire community at your fingertips, ready to assist at any moment.

Plus, there’s always-on, rapid-response website support to handle any technical queries you may encounter.

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Wealthy Affiliate Works: Real Results From Real People

As I have mentioned a number of times, Wealthy Affiliate has helped me make real money online though its training and tools.

I have made money each month as well as a sale for $17,000.

But again, those promoting other programs will tell you the same thing!

So let’s get away from me and see what others are saying:

To start with, Wealthy Affiliate has a 4.9 out of 5 Star TrustPilot rating, which is a remarkable accomplishment in any industry, let alone the online business industry.

WA trust pilot image

And here are some of those reviews:

wealthy affiliate trust pilot

And this is what people are saying within Wealthy Affiliate as well:

home page - success at WA

So, Let’s Make a Decision!

Let’s be frank, you have read this far so why not go all in, click on the button below to get started on the way to your very online business.

And once you are in and have had a play around with the hub, look for the little envelope on the top right and there will be a message from me. It is of course automated so respond to let me know you are there and we can start this journey together.

(oh, and the profile is mine so you can find me that way as well)

wealthy affiliate envelope

See you there


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