Have you heard of network affiliate programs aka affiliate networks and do you understand how they work?
Many affiliates have worked with affiliate networks but probably never realized it. There are a lot of pros and cons when it comes to picking a network affiliate program over regular gambling affiliate programs.
Let’s start by differentiating what these 2 are and address some of the names used. In the online gambling world, the word affiliate is really a publisher. In the affiliate network space, the common word used is a publisher.
A bit confusing? Well let’s move onto the differences between an affiliate program and an affiliate network.
Affiliate network vs affiliate programs: what’s the difference?
Affiliate networks are intermediaries between publishers and affiliate programs. They operate just like an affiliate program but they can have a large number of brands or products. As an affiliate, I mean publisher, you don’t see the biggest difference with the exception of some pros and cons of course.
Some of the largest affiliate networks around are giant companies like Shareasale, CJ.com, Clickbank. These networks have over 100,000 publishers in their databases and they claim to have over 10,000 brands in their ecosystems.
You’ll actually not find many gambling brands inside any of these affiliate networks. Some of them will allow for gambling but if gambling is your thing, you’re better off working with a gambling affiliate network.
Pros of affiliate networks
- Save a lot of time by having only 1 login representing a large number of brands
- Get paid from only 1 company rather than chasing payments from many
- Easier tracking as the network does all the reporting for you in 1 place
Cons of affiliate networks
- If you get a lot of traffic, you’ll be possibly leaving money on the table in not negotiating your own deals
- Tougher to negotiate exclusive deals for your players
From the pros and cons it is evident the differences between affiliate networks and an affiliate program.
When you work with an affiliate program direct, you need to register, give your payment info and then get all your banners and tracking links. If you work with 50 different affiliate programs, that becomes a lot of accounts you need to manage.
What makes account management worse is keeping track of everything. It doesn’t help that some programs have sub standard affiliate support. That is the affiliate managers you usually get in a network are quality. When you start working with affiliate programs on your own, you’ll encounter some of the worst people to do business with.
Your Affiliate Managers
An affiliate manager for an affiliate network is going to behave very differently than one that works for a single affiliate program. The single program, your manager isn’t going to care about your site as much and they care about getting more traffic to their brands. They’ll request this even if your competitor is generating more revenue.
Your affiliate manager that will work in a network will always be thinking about how to help you earn the most money. They’ll want you promoting their best performing brands and they’ll have this data to back it up.
How to decide if an affiliate network is right for you?
If you are starting off in affiliate marketing, you’ll probably be better off keeping your accounting and logistics work to a minimum.
You don’t need 50 or 100 affiliate accounts and a single network will get you started. If you decide down the road you are making great revenue then you’ll want to consider making the switch to managing all of your own accounts.
Best way to track your affiliate stats
There are a few stats trackers on the market for gambling affiliates that choose to work with affiliate programs over affiliate networks.
The 3 on the market are Nifty Stats, Voonix and StatsDrone. Nifty Stats is the cheapest solution and covers gambling and non gambling. StatsDrone and Voonix are just online gambling only but StatsDrone is middle option with Voonix being a premium priced product. It is probably the best quality tool but if you are a starting affiliate then StatsDrone is the clear winner for both price and data accuracy.
The cool thing about StatsDrone is they are doing SEO audits for casino affiliates. Affiliates that are paying customers of the software can fill out an application form to get their site audited.