Pulled From Both Sides, Affiliate Marketing

I just got done having a brief discussion with a coworker explaining the problem I’m being faced with as an online affiliate marketer.  In the short and sweet I’m being pulled by the bad economy, meaning visitors are not converting as high as normal.  On the other side I’m being pulled by affiliate programs, which are tightening the reins and becoming more exclusive.  Being pulled from both sides puts a huge strain on my already dwindling bank account.

Consider that just a few years ago it was possible to get into almost any affiliate program.  Also, once in these programs there were huge incentives with arguably low ceilings.  eBay is a perfect example of this, with their EPN program switching from CJ to in house and providing lots of easy commissions to affiliates.  Now, they have made it to where they aren’t accepting everyone and are booting you for having low conversions.

Is this a trend likely to continue through the end of the year?  I had hoped that we would see an increase in incentives from affiliate programs as we near the holidays.  There haven’t been seem to been any ramp of that I’ve seen, but they could be waiting until the latter part of November.

Without question, this holiday season will directly make or break online companies.  If this is a slow buying Christmas, then some companies will simply shut the doors.  However, if there is an uptick, like others are predicting, then these same companies will be relying on the sales from Christmas to pull them out of the red in 2009.

P.S. Just a friendly reminder, remember to diversify so that one failing affiliate program doesn’t bring you to your knees.

WiredTree.com Launching Affiliate Program

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WiredTree.com is my new hosting provider and I absolutely could not be happier with the level of support and flexibility they offer.  I’ve made several posts stating this even before they announced plans to release an affiliate program.  So it’s obvious I’m happy with their hosting, at least the VPS package I’ve signed up with.  Even more impressive for a hosting company is that they’ve already upgraded my server package, for FREE.  I feel confident recommending them as a hosting provider to anyone interested in a step above shared hosting.

Alexis Babiarz has been charged with building and developing the affiliate program for the past few months.  From what I can tell from the beta release, it looks like time well spent.  The administration panel offers access to all the general tools for affiliate publishers, like banners, text links, and general information on becoming a better affiliate.  Of note are a few resources like a redirect tool for affiliate links.

The WiredTree affiliate program offers some very competitive commissions compared to other hosting affiliate programs.  The only thing that is missing as of this posting is the ability to accept a lower, reoccurring commission that benefits those referrals that become long time customers.  Below is a breakdown on the tiers of commissions currently available from the WiredTree program.

1 – 25 Referrals Earn 75% cash commission or 100% credit from each new
client’s first month total.

26 – 50 Referrals Earn 100% cash commission or 125% credit from each new
client’s first month total.

51 – + Referrals Earn 125% cash commission or 150% credit from each new
client’s first month total.

According to the announcement within the Grove Administrative Panel on WiredTree.com the affiliate program has not been released to the public as yet.  So for now only customers of WiredTree can sign up and then must be manually approved.  The official launch of the hosting affiliate program will be sometime in August, I’m guessing August 1st.