Affiliate programs allow a company to produce a great deal of traffic and in doing so increase sales levels due third party promotions and sales. Not only this, but as you only pay for what actually results into sales, it is an extremely effective way to advertise your services and products.

Depending on how many affiliates you choose to take on, your payment policy and the kind of products you have on offer, the setting up of your own affiliate system can be either very straightforward or totally daunting.

You have two options as far as your affiliate system is concerned and these are either outsourcing the whole lot or running your own affiliate system from your own web host.  Both of these options have their benefits, just as they have their drawbacks.  If you plan to have only a small number of affiliates you will be able to manage your own affiliate software. On the other hand, if a large number of affiliates are what you are looking for you may be better off outsourcing.  This will make handling several sign ups, tracking payments and the monitoring of clicks much easier.

Different Types of Affiliates  There are so many different types of affiliates available for you to choose from.  You can opt for pay per sale which is when an individual is paid only upon the generation of a sale from the link of the affiliate.  Unless the particular product you have on offer is in high demand, this is probably the least attractive option open to most affiliates.

Another kind is what is known as pay per lead, where payment is made for traffic only. In this instance the affiliate is paid when a visitor is generated from his site.  Although this is an attractive form to affiliates, it can prove to be costly to website owners as not all visits result in sales.

Considerations  Whether or not you decide to approve affiliates manually or automatically is something to consider when you are setting up an affiliate.  It is advisable to begin affiliate programs with your already established customer sites prior to moving on to new ones.

When dealing with pay per clicks, it is likely that you will have to control the affiliates as the quality of the visitor plays a great part of the sales generation.  You will be able to make a judgment of the website or the individual to see if this particular affiliate is actually leading to any sales by manually reviewing the situation.

If you opt for using your own affiliate system, you will find one of your main challenges is how you are going to pay the affiliate a proportion of the monies received from customers.   You can be assisted with this element of your business by using software such as Affiliate Shop which helps you to keep track of, and pay commissions.