If you are new to the affiliate business, or you haven’t established a stellar online presence where thousands of users flock to your site daily, using an affiliate network can be the boost you need to get some business flowing your way.

Here is what an affiliate network is, when to use one, and when to set out on your own.

What is an Affiliate Network?

An affiliate network facilitates distribution, performance reporting and tracking, and payment processing between affiliates and affiliate partners. Much like working directly with a partner, a network uses a tracking system which notifies the network when someone has clicked on a link from your site and converts into a sale—thus earning you commission. Networks pay commissions based on different types of transactions, including CPC (cost per click), CPA (cost per action) or CPS (cost per sale).

Network or no network, here are tips on how to boost your influence online.

Why Using a Network is Helpful

As stated, affiliate networks facilitate the relationship between the companies (casinos) and the affiliate (you)–therefore saving you time and money trying to hook up with multiple partners on your own. Working with a network is also nice for security—you never have to deal with the individual companies directly if there are problems with payments, etc. Also, in terms of payments, networks usually pay their affiliates faster than a direct company—you can often get paid bi-weekly or weekly after a small earning threshold.

Problems with payments? Here are some tips on how to handle missed payments.

Why Using a Network is Harmful

Affiliate networks are providing a service, so they will be charging a fee. Networks usually get paid a service fee by the casino and charge a percentage or flat fee for each successful transaction—which comes from your pocket. In addition, casino networks are not that easy to find, and when you do find one, they’re not the easiest to join. Some networks want your website to get a minimum amount of visitors daily, and they can require you to explain your promotion intentions in detail before they accept you.

The Good With the Bad

Affiliate networks have a lot of things going for them, especially if you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of partners and/or users of your site. Networks can help funnel traffic and get your business off the ground, but remember they will be taking a cut to do this. A good rule of thumb is to use networks to get you started, then when you have established an online presence and feel comfortable making your own partnerships, go at it solo—unless you don’t mind sharing your profits indefinitely.

Do you use an affiliate network? If so, how is it working out for you? If not, would you consider using one? Let us know in the comments below.

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