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Welcome to Affiliate Program Guide! 

How To Avoid Affiliate Fraud
In Affiliate Marketing?

 
 
One of the first business opportunities you may join are affiliate programs.

They are easy to maintain and are a good way to start your business. However as with all business ventures they are not without pitfalls. Every year affiliates lose 100s of dollars of their hard earned commissions. You can avoid this by taking a few simple steps. Here are some common ways that affiliates are literally robbed of their affiliate commissions:

Clickbank fraud Affiliate link hijacking Unscrupulous sponsors.

Clickbank fraud: Owners of affiliate programs use Clickbank quite widely and affiliates need to be aware of a common type of fraud, which robs them of their commissions.

Here is what happens: A visitor uses your link to go to a product that sounds interesting and he wants to buy. He is all set to buy when he notices that there is a little ad below the sales page saying if he joins the affiliate program he can get 50% commission. He understands that if he joins up and buys the product through his link he will get 50% affiliate commission and in effect get the product at ? price. Needless to say that is just what he does and you do not get any commission for this sale.
 

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This is not really the customer's fault and certainly not Clickbank. This is thoughtlessness on behalf of the owner of the program. Before you join be careful that the sponsor is not doing this. If he is, either avoid the program or if it is a really good program then write to the owner and let him be aware of this problem. More than likely he has not really thought about this and will be happy to take it off. However if he does not do so then just move on to another program.

Affiliate link hijacking: This is very common but is simple to fix. A website visitor comes to your website and is curious to buy one of your sponsors products. He sees your affiliate link with its ID displayed People are a little strange at times. He thinks that if he cuts off your ID and just goes forward with the main URL he might get a better deal. Or he is an affiliate of the same program and realizes he can get commission when he buys the product by replacing your ID with his own. In this way he will get the product cheaper.

To avoid this blatant stealing just disguise your link! You can do this with tiny URL or software like affiliate defender. You can also just hide your affiliate link when you write your web pages.
 

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Unscrupulous sponsors: Many affiliate program owners are good to their affiliates and realize that your success is their success. However you do get some who play shady games with affiliate commissions:

  • Payout is set at an unrealistic level- this means that you have to earn a lot of commissions and make many sales before you see a dime of your hard earned money. $25 is a reasonable cap unless you are selling a high priced item and expect some hefty commissions.
  • Tracking is poor and unreliable- you will not know if you have made any sales this way and can miss out on commissions. Your sponsor should have a good system that tracks each and every sale real time.
  • Cookies should have a long life- many times a customer does not buy 1st time and may come back through another affiliates link. Then he gets the affiliate commission and you miss out. If your sponsors cookies have a long life then even if your customer returns on another link you will get the commission.
  • Affiliate Commission amount- always be sure you are being paid a good affiliate commission for your sales. 30%-50% is a fair commission. You do not want to be working hard to sell and not get your just reward. The solution to this is to choose your programs wisely. Do your research before you join and if you have any questions write to the support. A good program will be happy to answer any questions.

Affiliate marketing is a fun and rewarding business and does not require a lot of complicated payment systems. There are many who make a good living from these programs. You can also jumpstart your business with a few of these affiliate programs and use the commission money to develop your own business. With these few points you will be able to avoid affiliate fraud and really make money with these programs.

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Christopher Robinson is a renowned veteran in online and offline marketing, advertising in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. He is currently part owner of Robinson & Associates Advertising Inc. Mr. Robinson's internet marketing tools and ebooks website, http://www.hype-factor.com , and is the author of his free ebook "Effective Internet Marketing 2006", http://www.forlifeincome.com.


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