Do you want to give your affiliates their own website that is a replica of yours?
Or do you just want to give your affiliates their own unique ID to track sales?
Will you commission be a flat rate or a percentage of sales?
Do you want to sell all your products and services through affiliates, or just certain ones?
Do you want to create a single tier program that pays for sales only, or do you wish to set up a two tier program to pay the affiliate for referrals as well?
Do you wish to limit your affiliates to your own country or are you happy to go global?
Once you have made these fundamental decisions, you need to consider whether you want to run your own CGI scripts and administer your affiliate program yourself. However, this is a lot of work and you will be responsible for the security, testing, promotion and commission payments etc.
If you have a downloadable product such as e-books or software, http://Clickbank.com might be a good option. Clickbank charges an initial fee of $49.95 and allows you to process credit cards and online checks for $1.00 per transaction and 7.5% of sales. You also get a built in affiliate program. Clickbank lists your product and program on their website and visitors can either buy your products or join your affiliate program. You choose the commission rate and all commission payments are handled by them. The only real downside is that it doesn?t allow for a two-tiered system.
ClixGalore.com on the other hand does allow for two tiers, however they are much more expensive both to join and in ongoing costs. ClixGalore is an affiliate network and as such could provide you with beneficial exposure to potential affiliates.
As you can see, there are many options available to you if you want to set up your own affiliate program. There is only time to mention a few in this article, but do an internet search and take some time to explore the choices available to you in terms of computer software, third party providers and affiliate networks.
Once you have set up your affiliate program, the promotion is up to you. A good starting point for promoting your own affiliate program is to list your site at http://www.revenews.com, http://www.associateprograms.com and http://www.affiliatebroadcast.com. Blogs, forum posts and article marketing can also be used to attract interest in both your products and your affiliate program.