Big Affiliate Networks are Too Expensive

Shawn Collins of answers a question about the pricing of affiliate networks.

Q: I’m a small business owner with limited funds & time on my hands. While I am interested in Affiliate marketing, the fees for the big guys — CJ and Linkshare are very high. What would you recommend I should do? I have a gourmet tea website.

A: One thing to consider is that the fees may be negotiable. I would suggest revisiting the networks you’ve checked out, as well as their competitors, to see if there is any flexibility in the pricing.

There is a huge advantage to working with one of the big affiliate networks. Those companies have a large population of affiliates who already have accounts with them, so it makes it easier to sell them on your affiliate program, as opposed to using some network or software where the affiliates don’t have an account.

Personally, I have to want to promote a company really bad to be willing to create a new login to do it. I can’t remember the last time I did that.

So, it would be well worth your while to see if you can arrive at a workable price with one of the networks you’d like to run your affiliate program in.

If you go with a smaller, cheaper option now, and then decide to migrate to a bigger affiliate network down the road, it’s a huge hassle. I’ve done it and wouldn’t want to go through it again.
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