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Finding Affiliate Programs, Merchants, Solution Providers

by Michael Campbell, Author of Nothing But 'Net

Affiliate programs have emerged as one of the main revenue streams on the internet. There's plenty of money to be made selling other people's stuff, or having other people selling your stuff.

What everyone keeps asking me lately, is everything affiliate related. How can I join the same affiliate programs as Michael Campbell? Where can I find merchants that offer affiliate programs? Where can I get a solution provider or affiliate program software to sell my own product? How does Michael Campbell's affiliate program work?

You asked for it, so here it is, the complete list of affiliate programs that I've joined, the affiliate software and solution providers that I recommend, links to join them and sources to find merchants. It's all here.

Affiliate Program Basics

In an affiliate program, you put someone else's links and advertising on your site and get paid by the click through, sign up, or commission on every sale. Getting started involves finding programs to join, signing up, getting a special tracking code that identifies the clicks or sales as coming from you, and putting the links, banners or endorsements on your web pages. If you are a merchant with a product to sell, it involves either buying or leasing affiliate software from a solution provider, and then finding people that are passionate about selling your product.

Where The Money Is

As you know, my main focus is internet marketing. The marketing books and software that I sell on my web site, are a natural "back end" sale to my book "Nothing But Net". The products are mostly digital products, and for good reason. The digital product margins are high, support issues are minimal, and returns are low.

Most internet marketer affiliate programs are small, well run, and either owned or operated by the people that stand behind the product. They are not likely to be using complicated third party software requiring all sorts of bits and pieces, to fit together and function properly. Every single one of the internet marketing affiliate programs that I belong to and recommend, have been fair, honest, accurate, trustworthy and quick to pay their sales force, that's you and I, the affiliates.

What I Do

What I do is join the affiliate program and then buy the product. I know not everyone can afford this but I look at it a different way. I can't afford not to. I really need to buy the product through the affiliate program, so I know the entire process a customer will see and experience. What kind of post sale follow up is offered? Is there an email or autoresponder thanking me? What is the credit card transaction like? Did I have any download or installation problems. Is there technical support offered? How fast do they respond? What are my customers going to see and how will it affect my reputation as an information source? Bottom line is, do I want my name on this?

As far as the cost of the book or software, you can write off the entire cost as a business expense. But still the work is not done. Actually read, and or use the product, review it, analyze it, poke at it, and if it's good enough, put it on your web site with an endorsement.

How I Make A Living At It

If you've never actually seen or used the product you are selling, plus you're using the same banner ads as everyone else, I'll bet your ads are invisible and your sales are flat. My secret to making money with affiliate programs? I actually research, bought and used the stuff I'm talking about. I put the links within related content on my site. I give an honest and enthusiastic review, my own point of view, which makes it refreshing in the mind of the consumer. Buy the product or really do some research on it, take the time to get familiar with it, and write an endorsement from the heart, you'll sell 10 to 100 times more because of it!

Affiliate Programs I've Joined and Personally Recommend

Declan Dunn and Patrick Anderson's Active MarketPlace

When it came to selling my book "Nothing But Net", I realized I had two options. I could either set up my own affiliate program or joint venture with someone that already had a support system in place. Of all the people I knew at the time that had affiliate programs, I chose the Active MarketPlace. They have a proven tracking system, outstanding support staff, and are very quick to pay commissions.

They send an email confirmation with every order, that states the customer's name and email address, which allows me to contact the customer and start a relationship. They also offer multiple products, generous 25% commissions and easy sign ups using one affiliate code. Once you join up to sell one product, you just enter your affiliate code to resell the next, instead of entering all your personal data a second or third time.

What puts Active MarketPlace over the top, is the informative one page newsletter that comes wrapped around the monthly check. A very nice personal touch and follow up by the master of affiliate programs, Declan Dunn.

Winning the Affiliate Game by Declan Dunn To become a reseller click on the link below:

The Complete Insiders Guide to Associate and Affiliate Programs by Declan Dunn To become a reseller click on the link below:

Right On The Money by Patrick Anderson and Michael Henderson To become a reseller click on the link below:

Nothing But Net by Michael Campbell To become a reseller click on the link below:

A little side bar here. If you have a digital product to sell, and do not want to go through the time, expense and hassle of setting up your own affiliate software, merchant accounts, support staff and fulfillment center, I recommend a joint venture with the Active MarketPlace. Not only will you get some of the most sophisticated tracking software available, you also get excellent support staff and the gigantic marketing clout of several of the internet's most powerful marketers in Patrick Anderson, Michael Henderson and Declan Dunn.

For Joint Ventures with the Active MarketPlace, please contact Robert Ser or phone (530) 342-7637.

Corey Rudl's Internet Marketing Center Affiliate Program

Cory provides a consistent revenue flow, when you put his links and banners within related content. By simply placing links on your site to the Internet Marketing Center (whether simple text links or banners that they provide), you get paid referral fees for every piece sold. There are currently four great packages you can sell. The Internet Marketing Course offering a $65 referral fee, Mailloop Software with a $125 referral fee, the E-Commerce System (Merchant Accounts) with a $200 referral fee, and the AssocTRAC Affiliate Program Software offering a $240 referral fee. All you have to do is apply and IMC will send you an email with simple instructions on how to set up links from your web pages in minutes.

Sign up for all four Internet Marketing Center Affiliate Programs here:

Mark Joyner's Forever Web, ProShop & Roibot

Various independent affiliate program critics have rated the ROIbot affiliate program as the #1 affiliate program on the Internet. Why? They offer some of the best promotional tools and the best products. They also have lifetime customers. Once someone signs up under you, you earn commissions for life. Look at all the stuff Mark offers; there's ROIbot the ad campaign tracker, 1,001 Killer Internet Marketing Tactics (the interactive marketing training course ), Swiss Army App for Webmasters, Affiliate Assistant, Hypnotic Writing, and their brand new interactive copy writing course Killer Copy Tactics. Seems like these guys are coming out with a new product every other week, which will give you a lot to keep emailing your customers about.

To join the ROIbot team as a reseller, click the link below. Once you arrive on the web page, click on the reseller button for more information. Once you join, you can resell all the other products as well.

Dr. Ken Evoy's Five Pillar Affiliate Program

What are the five pillars?
  1. Rapidly expanding product lines.
  2. High first-buy commission.
  3. Lifetime commission for referred customers.
  4. Lifetime affiliate team under you.
  5. Limited number of affiliates.
Yes, this program will be closing soon, so if you are serious about earning a living through affiliate programs, you better sign up for this one before it's gone. Did I mention that you get a 224 page manual for free?

To signup for the 5 Pillar affiliate program, click on the link below. Once you arrive at the site click on the Five Pillar Affiliate Program link on the left hand side of the page.

In addition to MYSS (Make Your Site Sell) will also be able to resell MYKS (Make Your Knowledge Sell), the brand new book on how you, yes YOU, can write a profitable e-book, pull it out of your brain, publish and sell it, on the Net.

Aweber Autoresponder and Mailer

Aweber is an autoresponder system, bulk emailer, email list, database and management tool all in one. For one low fee (I subscribe yearly for the greatest savings) you get everything you need in a sales and follow up system. In fact, if you purchased the book "Nothing But 'Net", you received a series of seven email autoresponders, encouraging you to continue working through the book, that was Aweber. If you signed up to be an affiliate, there were another series of responders detailing how to increase sales as an affiliate, again, that was Aweber.

When you opt-in to one of my mailing lists, you are actually added to one of my Aweber databases. Then when you receive email from me, it actually runs through the Aweber mailer system and sends personalized email to everyone on the list. The whole system runs from their servers, so I don't have to send the mail from a dial up account and explain everything (I write a newsletter, yes it's opt-in, etc.) to my dial up provider every time I want to send mail. It also features an easy to use interface, and a slick, one click remove link at the bottom of each email message.

Join up to be a reseller using the link below, you'll wonder how you managed to live without it once you start using it.

Where Are The Rest

True, I sell many more items on my web site. Some products I endorse, simply because I like them and no affiliate program is available. Many of the other products are very low key. Some would not even qualify as true affiliate programs. They are more like relationships actually. You either buy the product in order to resell it, or phone up the author and ask them about entering into some kind of joint venture.

This type of one to one relationship is based on trust. Usually this type of relationship program confirms each sale by email, but you do have to trust them when it comes to returns. These relationship programs have been outstanding programs to belong to. Plus I've made new friends and some have become my personal teachers and mentors. These include the likes of Stephen Mahaney of Planet Ocean, Marlon Sanders and Jonathan Mizel.

You can find them all here:

What About Big, Brand Name, Affiliate Directories and Solution Providers

I'm a big believer that smaller is usually better when it comes to affiliate programs. I mean, the closer they are to the person that's running it, the less hassles you are likely to get. I try to steer clear of the BIG brand name affiliate programs, the only one I've had really good success with is Commission Junction. I know many of you have been able to deal with the larger companies, and have been able to get their "mile long" affiliate codes and links to work without a hitch, but I like to take it a step further before I would recommend any of the BIG companies to my friends, relatives and customers.

What I did was phone up or email each the top solution providers / affiliate directories. I'm pretty much an expert when it comes to html, but not everyone is so well versed. I tried calling and emailing each one of the BIG affiliate companies for tech support, I might just need a little help with the tracking code. I want to see what the average person might be put through. As always, your mileage will vary, but here's my opinion and experience with the largest affiliate software companies.

I tried signing up for an affiliate program that claims to be the biggest affiliate software company. I tried purchasing something using my links and the sale was not tracked. The affiliate software company (solution provider) blamed the merchant and vice versa. All I was left with was a tracking number. A month later the merchant said the problem was resolved. Again I purchased, and again my sale was not tracked. Another tracking number, more finger pointing. I finally got a technician that said I had done everything correctly at my end, and he assured me I would get my commissions. Six months later, no check, another phone call, another tracking number.... forget it!

One affiliate program refused my membership because my site did not have enough content. Can you imagine? I tried to explain that my site is a store, and most of my valuable content was subscription based and inside of password protected directories. All I managed to get were a bunch of stock replies. When I finally did get an answer from a human, it was along the lines of "that's our rule and if you don't like it, too bad, now go away and stop emailing us."

With the fourth or fifth largest, I really needed support because I could not get their code to work no matter what I tried. I managed to get a half interested email from some technician. We emailed back and forth a few times and then it just kind of petered out. Further emails were ignored and I gave up on getting any help from them.

The second or third largest affiliate software company was quick to respond and said "that's funny, our html code should work". I was promised that I would get escalated to tech support right away, that so & so would look after me. So & so never got back to me, and my original contact stuck me in autoresponder land, and never gave me so & so's email address or phone number.

Whew! Finally! Enter Commission Junction, finally, a big affiliate directory and solution provider that I can work with. I called up CJ because I had a question regarding their html code. I got a very informative answer from a very polite technician. I had another little glitch and this time got a very fast email in return that detailed how to fix my problem, no copy & paste reply here! I'm impressed, they've got good customer service, an excellent selection of programs to join, a good monthly newsletter, a slick user interface, and they're very quick to cut a commission check and mail it to me every month.

Here's what they have to say about themselves. Commission Junction creates alliances between affiliate sites that have interesting content and online merchants that sell products or services. We enable affiliate content sites to leverage their content and engage in e-commerce, by placing merchant ads, products, and services at the point-of-interest to their consumers on a pay-for-performance basis.

Huh? In other words, what the corporate office is saying is: Find products that match your content. Create instant shopping on your site. Earn commissions for every impression, click, lead or sale. Manage your entire merchant network through a single interface. Choose from thousands of products from hundreds of merchants.

To join Commission Junction as a reseller, click on the link below:

Where to Find Merchants Offering Affiliate Programs

Find a richer revenue stream . . . The directory helps you find the best associate programs - also known as referral, partner, revenue sharing or affiliate programs - to earn money from your website. No "adult", multi-tier or MLM programs or scammer companies make it onto this site.

This is one of my personal favorites. Not only does Alan Gardyne filter out all the riff raff, every single affiliate program is rated by the public. The site is well presented and it's easy to find the information I'm after. While you're there, be sure to sign up for the newsletter. It is one of the best sources of new programs, affiliate news and selling tips available today. Please remember the name:

What is an affiliate program? Simple. The idea behind an affiliate, or associate program is to recruit other webmasters to help you sell your wares, by paying them for each visitor or sale they bring you. 2-Tier is a directory of two tier affiliate programs. It features a searchable directory of associate, reseller and partner programs. It also includes recommended sites, news and articles.

Your source for affiliate programs and associate programs. Over 2700 listings including new programs, recommended programs, top ten, two tier, most popular and top rated. say they are "NOT an affiliate or associate program directory. It's a resource for merchants and affiliates who want to make more money by participating in the explosive growth of affiliate marketing. The focus here is on education, consulting to merchants and third party providers, and program recommendations for affiliate sites." is the authoritative guide to internet associate, referral, and affiliate programs. Refer-it also features resources, a discussion forum, interviews, downloads, and an article archive.

Affiliate marketing tips, resources, industry news and interactive email discussions. A true one-stop resource for learning about affiliate programs and finding new ways to profit from your website. Their email discussion list is one of the few world wide, that is entirely dedicated to affiliate marketing. Jump aboard and join the community!

The latest scoop on revenue sharing, affiliate and associate programs. is dedicated to providing expertise, education and resources to the growing community of "revenue sharing" web site participants. They are focused on providing you the advice and opinions to participate effectively in these new revenue sharing opportunities.

The official site of the internet affiliate marketing summit. Bringing together the solution providers, merchants & affiliates. The largest congregation of affiliate marketing experts to date. The summit was held in Miami Beach Convention Center 15-19 March 2000. You can still download the speaker's slides & handouts here.

Setting Up Your Own Affiliate Program with Solution Providers

So what if you have created your own product and want to set up your set up your own affiliate program? You could go with the BIG affiliate software companies (also known as solution providers) and run into all the potential customer support pitfalls that I mentioned earlier, or go with one of the smaller, more supportive companies.

Just be sure that you get a good working relationship and technical support for your sales force. Proof the system by actually making purchases using the same codes that you provide to affiliates. Be sure that the links and codes are working, and sales are tracking properly. Otherwise, your affiliates will just get frustrated very quickly and leave for greener pastures.

If you want to check out the big solution providers, this url offers a good starting point.

I recommend using one of the smaller companies for your affiliate software solution. Instead of leasing a technology, you actually buy the software. You are then offered installation, setup, tutorial and hands on tech support you just can't get with the big boys. There are two that I'm familiar with. Both offer two tiers, unlimited products, ability to customize individual commissions, and even automate the check cutting process at the end of the month. Find out more about them by following the links below.

Assoctrac by the Internet Marketing Center

The Affiliate Program by Kowabunga Technologies

Joint Ventures Save Time and Make Money

As I mentioned before, unless you want to hire support staff, a fulfillment center, cut the checks, and so on, you might be better off in a joint venture with someone like Active MarketPlace. You'll have a lot more time to do what you love, whether it's laying on the beach or running your business. If you JV with someone else and let them do the selling for you, additional revenue becomes a simple matter of finding related affiliate programs to act as a "back end sale" to your digital product. Then all you need to do is give the back end products - well researched - endorsements from the heart, and watch as your sales increase dramatically.

That about wraps it up for me. Please keep me posted on your successes and learning experiences along the way. If you have any affiliate or internet marketing tips you would like to share, please let me know. Thank you for reading my newsletter.

Warm regards,

Michael Campbell

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