You’ve probably heard plenty of horror stories about affiliate marketing programs and affiliate networks. There are so may of these out there that many are afraid to join one. They may have heard talk of pyramid schemes and other scams.

Obviously, you want to steer clear of such schemes and join a legitimate program which offers a high quality product you can feel comfortable about endorsing. The large and growing number of those who have joined with affiliate programs is ample proof that there are reputable programs out there to join.

Why participate in an affiliate program?

It lets you work on your own schedule and on your own terms while making a generous income. You are a business owner and can actually make a lot of money if you are willing and able to put in the necessary hard work.

If you are thinking about getting into an affiliate program, keep in mind that you are required to put some effort into it if you want to make a success of it.

How do you decide on a good program to promote? Before you decide on one, consider the following:

1. A program which appeals to your interests. If you would be interested in buying the product yourself, then this is likely to be a program which will work well for you. The odds are that you are not alone in having an interest in the product.

2. Look for a program which offers a high level of quality. A program which has many experts in the field involved is a good choice.

3. Join programs which offer real and viable products. How can you determine this? Do some research first. If you can, then talk to some of the affiliates and customers to get their opinions of the product and/or program.
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4. Look for a program which caters to a target market with real potential for sales. This will make sure that there is a market which will bring with it a growing demand for your product.

5. A program with a compensation plan which pays a high commission (30% and more) and offers residual income would be an excellent choice. Don’t waste time with programs which do not pay you what your time is worth.

6. Consider any minimums or quotas which must be met – if it will be very difficult to meet these quotas, you may want to keep looking. If there are any requirements, be sure that you can meet them.

7. Try to find a program which has tolls and other resources to help you build success for your business quickly. Not every affiliate program will offer you these resources – decide on a program which gives you support.

8. Find out if the program has a system in place for you to check on your statistics and your commissions – this should be online so that you can check anytime you want.

9. Seek out programs which offer incentives for members who renew and offers support and upgrades for their products and keep their affiliates around. This can help your business to grow.

10. Check into forums and other resources to see if affiliates are satisfied with a program or not. If you know someone who is an affiliate for the program, ask them for their opinion.

Be sure to develop some knowledge on the program or network you’re interested in signing on with.

Knowing about the program will help you to anticipate any problems and be well prepared for them.