There are thousands of affiliate marketplaces and a greater number of individual programs to choose from as you make your way into affiliate marketing. The sheer number can drive you mad but also poses a great opportunity to diversify your income sources. We take a look at the pros and cons of joining multiple networks and reveal what you may not have realized when doing so.

The Pros

It’s always a good decision to diversify your income sources when it comes to business. Here are some of the main items to consider when joining multiple networks:

  • Diversity – As noted, it’s never good to have the success of your business relying on one income source especially if it’s third party such as an affiliate marketplace or program. A variety of networks will ensure that your earnings stay up even if the marketplace or program goes under.
  • Exclusive Offers – There are many different, exclusive offers for each network you join; some may even have higher payouts than other marketplaces. Using different networks and programs will give you access to affiliate offers and promotions which may not be over-saturated by your competitors and peers.
  • Payout Variety – Relying on one or two payouts, each month, can put a strain on the growth of your business. Multiple networks will give you different payment periods which keep your budget running high and stress levels down. Likewise, it’s always beneficial to use different payout methods such as recurring, one-time, and back-end to generate sales between the big promotions.

The Cons

There are, of course, some troubles with using multiple affiliate networks, including:

  • Lack of Focus – Having to handle multiple accounts, affiliate managers, and campaigns can add much stress and maintenance to your already restricted time. In many ways, it’s better to focus on the success of what’s working than be tempted to try something out of the blue.
  • Overlap – Just because you’re on multiple networks may not necessarily mean you’re going to have any greater success with their offers. There are thousands of affiliate networks that have much of the same promotions and choosing a network that doesn’t have longevity and traction can lead to disappointment later on.
  • Too Many Channels – Coupled with focus will be your lack to support multiple campaigns and channels without proper list and offer management. There are tools to aid you in running multiple campaigns but the average affiliate marketer should realistically work with a few when they’re just beginning.

The Compromise

Is there some kind of middle ground you can reach between the pros and cons of using multiple networks? Certainly.

The biggest gain from multiple networks is a diversification of your income streams but it doesn’t mean you need to join every old and new program under the sun. Go with the top dogs within each industry in which you know they’ll be around for many years to come.

Secondly, understand your own limits when it comes to managing multiple networks and campaigns. Expand into new markets when the time is right and your business grows but don’t try to put everything up front especially if you have much testing to do.

As you can see, there’s a lot of work in affiliate marketing …

Finally, work with affiliate marketplaces and programs that will provide the best value for your customers than what seems hot. The end goal is to deliver a product or offer that provides a solution to your niche’s problem; these offers can be found on any of the numerable networks but it takes your personal curation to match the right one to your audience.

Do you operate your business through multiple affiliate networks? What is your experience doing so?