There is nothing better than having a great month as an affiliate marketer. Your websites are finally performing up to par, your affiliate partners are happy, and you have a nice fat check coming your way. Or do you? Your buzz can be killed soon enough if you don’t receive your payment.

Not getting paid on time (or at all) is one of the most frustrating parts of working as an affiliate marketer.

Before you accuse your affiliate partners of cheating you, there are a few steps to take.

Ask for an Explanation

No explanation will be good enough, but at the very least you should contact your affiliate manager to see if there is a problem. If you are lucky, you may receive a reasonable explanation followed up by payment in a timely manner.

Start out by contacting your affiliate manager via email. If this does not work, get on the phone in search for answers.

Show that you are On Top of Things

When you show your affiliate partner that you are on top of things they will think twice about holding back a payment that is owed to you. You can do this by asking the right questions, requesting information the day that a payment is late and proving that you are knowledgeable.

Tip: this is not an excuse to be arrogant and pushy. Instead, stay friendly and courteous as you work to receive your missed payment and to ensure that this does not happen again in the future.

Only Work with Reputable Companies

Let’s face it: some affiliate companies have a better reputation than others. Why would you want to partner with a company that is known to be late on payments? There are plenty of reviews out there. Along with this, you can search affiliate forums for the dirt on companies that are doing nothing more than taking affiliates for a ride.

Send a Certified Letter to Show you are Serious

Nobody wants to do this, but there may come a time when you have to show some muscle. In terms of seriousness, this is better than a phone call or an email. Along with your letter, include an invoice and your signed contract. This shows that you are not backing down. It also shows that you are 100% aware of your rights, governed by your contract.

Note: use a friendly tone, address your letter to the manager, and request that you are contacted upon receipt.

Do you have any experience dealing with issues of non-payment? How did you handle this problem?