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What determines a good affiliate program?

As the popularity of affiliate programs continues to grow, more and more people are disappointed in the results; they're not getting the big cash flow they expected. They receive tons of traffic to their site, advertise a related product and still see very little in the revenue column. The truth is if you want to be a successful affiliate, you have to sell the right thing.

There are two factors that make up a good affiliate program: a profitable industry and a trustworthy product (or service). Let's take a closer look at each one.

Industry
Determining the most profitable industry can take a little bit of work. Has the industry grown in the last few years? What is the overall revenue? What is the demand like and how can you take part in satisfying it? Getting answers to questions such as these will allow you to make an educated decision as to where you should be heading.

There are some industries of course, where you don't have to question the success, such as that of online gambling. Millions of dollars are wagered every day resulting in huge revenues each and every month - and the numbers are growing. If you've taken a look at the different affiliate programs, you'll soon come to realize that no-one pays out even close to the commission that casino affiliates receive. Is there a reason for this? Well, the millions of dollars that the casino industry makes every month could be an indication.

Product
Once you have chosen the industry, you have to identify the actual product or service you will sell. But, how do you tell a good thing from the bad without trying it for yourself? Normally, the length of time that a company has been in business is a good indication of its service and credibility - though not always. Be sure to read up on customer feedback and other reviews to get a better idea.

In the world of online gambling, trust is particularly important. It's difficult to know which casinos to trust and which to stay away from. Of course, there are many online sources that offer comparisons and reviews of various online gambling destinations, but how can you be sure that they are not being paid through the back door? This is where it becomes particularly important to get user feedback as opposed to that of a webmaster.

The final decision is up to you but do take these two main factors under consideration when signing up for an affiliate program as they will dictate your success thereafter. Very rarely does an originally bad idea turn into a money-making opportunity and believe me, signing up for a bad affiliate program is certainly not the way to go.