While affiliate networks are an excellent resource for Web publishers and advertisers, not all online companies operate their affiliate programs through a large network. The high commissions and startup costs associated with joining large affiliate networks such as Commission Junction and Linkshare have inspired some online retailers to look for innovative ways to promote their products on the Web. Many of these business have instead opted to create and run their own affiliate ventures known as independent programs.

Independent Programs 101

How do Web publishers find independent programs to join? Since these affiliate programs are not associated with the large networks, it takes a little extra work to actually locate the independent programs that will work for your website. But the additional work can be well worth it. Because these affiliate programs do not have the high overhead costs that are often associated with joining a network, independent programs are often able to provide higher commission and payouts to their affiliate partners.

Start your search by checking out some of the online affiliate directories that are available. These resources are a great place to quickly locate a large number of independent affiliate programs. Of course, you will also need to weigh the pros and cons of each individual program you are considering, but this can actually lead to a great match between your website and the affiliate offers you choose to promote.

The Benefits of Independent Programs

Why should you consider joining an independent affiliate program? While you always need to think about the potential risks and benefits of every option available, these independent programs have a number of advantages that make them worthwhile.

  • Often offer more flexibility than affiliate networks
  • Higher commissions on every sale
  • Targeted products and offers
  • Range of linking options
  • Significant opportunities for innovative affiliates

Tips for Promoting Independent Programs

While marketing independent affiliate offers is very similar to promoting products offered by large affiliate networks, there are some steps you should take to ensure your continued success. By carefully planning your marketing strategies and tactics, you can get the most out of the independent programs that you join.

How do you begin marketing independent affiliate offers? Start by choosing the absolute best products to feature on your website. Choose programs that present a range of choices and select those that are best matched to the needs and interests of your audience. Targeting your core demographic is key to succeeding with independent programs. If you’re promoting offers that your audience is not interested in, your chances of success are slim to none. Focus your efforts on learning all that you can about your audience and always track the results of your current affiliate offers. Notice which items are top sellers and strive to offer similar items in the future. If a particular product isn’t performing well on your site, look for an alternative item to take its place.

Independent programs provide a number of advantages that larger affiliate networks may not be able to offer. Before you choose the affiliate resource that is right for your website, consider your own needs and available resources. Look for programs that have a lot of potential and provide a wide range of options. The best affiliate programs are those that appeal to your target audience, so always take the time to discover what’s right for your website.