Before you get involved in an affiliate program, you should have any questions you have answered. Do your research on any program you are thinking of joining. Get answers -they will help you to determine what program is right for you.

Will it cost anything to get started? Most affiliate programs out there are free to join – so there’s no reason to sign up with a program which will charge you to get involved.

Find out when commission checks will be disbursed. Every program does this on a different schedule. Some send out checks monthly, quarterly, etc. Choose one which works for your needs. Some programs set a minimum amount of commissions you must earn before they will issue a check.

Also find out what the hit to sale ratio is – this is the number of hits, on average it takes to get a sale. This is an important figure, since it gives you a good estimate of what you could make from the program and how many hits you’ll have to get before you begin to earn.

How are affiliate referrals tracked and how long will they stay in the merchant’s system? You will want to be sure that customers you refer will stay in the system for a while so that if they do not make a purchase the first time, you will still receive a commission if they return later and buy.

What affiliate statistics are available to you? Any affiliate program you get involved in should offer detailed statistics to you. These should be online so that you can access this important information whenever it is needed. Keeping an eye on your statistics helps you to know how well your advertising campaigns are working and to fine tune your marketing messages.

Does the pay you for hits and impressions, or for sales alone? It is good to be paid for all of the above – while the commissions for hits or impressions will not be large, they add to your commission income. If the program has a low hot to sale ratio, then being paid for hits and impressions is especially important.

Who is the merchant? You need to know who you are doing business with. Make sure they are a legitimate company with a good track record and one which sells a quality product and gets good results from their affiliate program.

Is this a one tier or a multiple tier program? Single tier programs pay you only for the traffic you generate, while a two tier program pays you for your commissions and those generated by an affiliate that you have referred to the program. Others give you a flat fee for new affiliates, much like a finders fee.

Finally, what is the commission rate? Somewhere between 5% and 20% is typical for sales (digital is more) and .01% to .05% per hit or impression. If you can find a program which pays for both, this is a good choice. These figures also illustrate the importance of finding a program with a favorable hit to sale ratio.

These are just a few of the things which you need to know before becoming involved in an affiliate program – there are a lot of factors which should go into your decision. Ask the affiliate program any questions you have before signing up. These questions can help you to make the right choice of affiliate programs.