How do I Start My Own Affiliate Program
With regard to Affiliate Programs, there are many options, but they basically fall into three categories
1. Manage your affiliate program in-house
(using software you buy or build, hosted on your servers, or by signing up for a monthly service, which involves learning a system, but is generally the least expensive long-term option as far as set up and paying of commissions goes)
2. Have someone else or another company manage your affiliate program for you
(either using software on your servers or a third party solution, but they basically run everything for you, at a fee)
3. Have a third party company manage it for you
(Generally more expensive, but they take care of helping get things set up, and give you access to their network of existing affiliates - in theory this is how it should work)
If you decide to go with option #1, I have a few suggestions, but ultimately I would recommend a software called MyAffiliateProgramfor setting up a program on your own servers, or company called AutoPilotRiches for a monthly service that is inexpensive and pretty easy to use once you learn it).
If you decide to go with #2, you will probably end up outsourcing your program to a company like PepperJam or one of the (undoubtedly) thousands of other affiliate management individuals or companies out there.
If you decide to go with #3, then that is what the rest of this article talks about.
The (currently) biggest players in the affiliate marketing arena are Commission Junction and Linkshare
I think it costs about $25,000 to get started with CJ, and about (I think) $10,000 to get started with Linkshare. It sounds totally crazy to me that companies would pay that much just to get set up in a system for someone else to make a commission on selling your products and services, but in the CJ network alone, there are literally millions of affiliates searching for products to sell on their own web sites, so for some companies, it is worth it.)
I have a contact who is the CEO of a company called Shareasale.
I don't know what it costs to get started with ShareASale, but Brian Littleton, or David (sales dept. - last name I have forgotten) should be able to help you get the affiliate program set up for a lot less (or maybe even free?) than the other companies I have already mentioned
There are many other companies out there as well: LinkConnector, ROIRocket, etc. But hopefully this gives you a place to get started.