As opposed to an affiliate network, with an affiliate program, you are in charge of the entire process from setting up the rules, the commission that you’ll pay, who your affiliates are, and how you’ll run the behind the scenes efforts.
In an affiliate program, the same players are involved: consumer, merchant, and affiliate, otherwise known as the publisher. In this scheme, there is no network.
When setting up your own program, it’s important to consider transparency rules. While many affiliates will let their followers know that they receive a kick-back for each product, not all do. Consumers purchase products promoted because they trust the influencer they follow – Think of it as an amplified word of mouth system. It’s important to keep that trust intact by insisting on providing full transparency.
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Pros and cons of affiliate programsThe main Philippines Photo Editor pro of setting up your own affiliate program is that you call all of the shots. It essentially won’t cost you anything to set up your own program. You’ll need to buy some software potentially, set up your website properly, and track your affiliates.
When you run your own program, you are in complete control of who your affiliates are. You can research those with the appropriate following, that promote similar products and that you know will love what you’re selling!
Creating your own affiliate program runs very little risk. If it doesn’t succeed, you haven’t lost anything except the time that you’ve put into building the program and any money you’ve spent promoting the program on social media and other PPC platforms.
The time factor is the major con in creating your own affiliate program. It can be incredibly time-demanding to set up a successful affiliate program. It may also take time to find the right affiliates, build the right relationships with them, have them sell your product in the right way.
What’s the difference between affiliate networks and affiliate programs?
We’ve broken down the two main types of affiliate marketing: networks and programs. While each is based on the same marketing strategy, they illustrate two different ways of managing affiliates and the work involved in the brand’s marketing efforts.
If you choose to work with an affiliate network, you will pay higher fees but will have much less work to do. You’ll work with people who are experts in the field of affiliate marketing and have ready-to-go networks. You’ll be taking a higher financial risk due to the up-front fees and monthly expenses.
With an affiliate program, you’ll build your program yourself, setting the rules, terms, and choosing your affiliate partners yourself. While the costs are lower, the time involved is significant.
To learn more about affiliate marketing basics check out our blog, Affiliate Marketing 101: What is it and How to Build an Affiliate Marketing Strategy.