I know some of you have been doing this longer than I have, but a few years ago, nobody talked about what niche they were in. It was like if someone found…
When I first started building my own affiliate sites, secrecy was key. You’d add private registration to your domain name, host it on a separate IP (maybe even a different hosting provider), and not allow anyone to know what sites you owned. I questioned this at the end of 2011:
- I work from home
- I set my own hours
- I can create a passive income
- I get to travel to different cities to attend conferences, and often never have to pay for a meal
Yet this past week, I experienced a perk like no other: I got to spend a night in the house from A Christmas Story.
For some reason, in one of the niche’s I’m in, over half of the merchants that have affiliate programs decided to use (or create) an in-house system, avoiding networks. While there may be some benefits to using an in-house system (such as avoiding network fees & overhead), I think in the long run, merchants will have greater success with their affiliate program if they use a network.
Networks not only handle the tracking and payments for an affiliate program, but they also act as the policemen, making sure affiliates are not defrauding merchants, and that merchants are not cheating affiliates out of their commissions.
But when an in-house program is used, affiliates must assume that what is reported in the tracking reports is accurate, and hope they get paid on time.
Lately, that hasn’t been the case for one particular merchant I’m promoting. Tracking is way off and completely inaccurate (for example, they tried to tell me I sold -40 subscriptions last month (that’s negative forty. When I questioned this, they sent over a new report with new numbers, but insisted the payment was not affected)). In addition, payment was late this month.