Daily Tech Thoughts

Adding Affiliates To Your Online Programs

I thought I’d share with you today the basics of affiliates. Affiliate system can be as simple as you want it to be but it can also be as complex. 

For this particular post, we’ll start with the basics. We’ll discuss things that you need to know to start setting up Affiliate system for your online programs.

I. So why affiliates?

There are many benefits in offering referral bonuses for those who would share your programs. 

For one, you get to expand your reach. You’re now not only relying on your own audience, list or followers. You now have extended the length of which you can share your message with. If you have affiliates that have thousands of followers of their own, then you just added thousands to yours as well.

Two, you’re able to help other people make money while you make money as well! It’s a win-win! Some people may or may not want to have to build their own business or create programs of their own but would definitely love to make easy money by just referring you to the people they know. 

Three, you and your online programs can be more popular. See, when your affiliate shares your messages and products to their audience and their audience shares it with their audiences or just the people they know – a whole lot more people get to know you. FASTER!

I am, for sure, your online program has a sole purpose of helping another individual. With that being said, wouldn’t it blow your mind to be able to help more and more people faster?

II. Now, let’s dive into the basics of what you need to consider when setting up an affiliate system for your programs.

Listen, before I go any deeper, keep in mind:

Affiliate programs can be set up with automated systems or just plain and simple manual tracking and payouts. Don’t be too scared about all the set up you need to do. If you’re decided to offer affiliate programs and you’re too overwhelmed with all the tech stuff, start with doing it all manually! You can always ask paying customers if someone referred them and manually pay them.

Point is, as you grow this specific program, you can always upgrade! 

A. First off, how does it actually work?

You would need a platform to be able to track your affiliates’ activities and pretty much when, who and how much to actually pay them. We’ll talk about those next but just know that that’s the #1 thing you’re gonna need to be searching for. 

You’re basically going to need to set up a process how your affiliates can register as affiliates. This will all depend on the platform that you’re going to be using. Each platform has its own way. So, just make sure you read that.

Once affiliates sign up, they will get their own unique affiliate code. This is how their leads and paying referrals are tracked and get tied with their affiliate account.

You also will need to set up links that they can share to actually track leads. Links could be anywhere from a lead magnet sign up page to actual sales page. 

When their audience clicks on your unique link, it will register on their browser and leave a “mark” (called cookie) and stays there until 180 days usually or until they clear their browser cache. 

Now, the number of days it can stay for on their browser can also depend on your settings on your affiliate tracker. You can even set it up to 365 days – it’s really up to you. 

Once they sign up for the lead magnet then they become a lead under the affiliate account who shared the link with them. If they purchase and the “mark” is still active on their browser, then this gets tracked as a referral. 

The affiliate can also share their unique sales page link to ensure that they get the referral bonus without relying too much on the “mark” that had been set their before.

Makes sense? 

It’s really as simple as that, without thinking or working about all the backend pieces of it. 

B. How do we actually track referrals

There are many affiliate platforms out there now for affiliate systems. The factor that you need to keep in mind is that you’re creating affiliates for online programs here and not physical products. 

Some affiliate platforms are best used for e-commerce sites that sell and ship physical products. Because we’re mostly selling digital products, here’s our recommendations.

  • Clickbank
  • E-junkie
  • Share-a-sale

If you’re in any of these platforms below, I would also recommend just using their built-in affiliate systems vs the ones above. It’ll make your life much easier managing your referral sales.

C. Commission vs Fixed Amount

This obviously is very basic. This might even be the very first thing you would have thought about when you’ve decided you wanted to have an affiliate program.

In a nutshell, you can say an affiliate gets 30% of each sale or an affiliate can get $100 for each sale of x program. 

There’s really no pros and cons to either of the two in general. It could depend on the program you’re offering. It’s just a matter of deciding what works for you. 

Sometimes, you’ll want to give more bonuses for bigger, higher priced products. 

Or you can offer a certain percentage for any program purchased. So, here percentage is perfect because you really don’t know which program they are going to buy and the price for that purchased product technically is dynamic or is a variable.

Just take some time to think about what really works best for you and your company.

III. Affiliate Center

If you’re going all the way with your affiliate program, you’re going to need an Affiliate Center.

What is an Affiliate Center, you ask?

This is a page on the web where they can see their unique links, leads, leads activity, click activities, referrals, sales, commissions, pay outs, pay out info, affiliate rules and pretty much everything they need to know about being your affiliate. 

It’s way easier to set this up right in the beginning so that you don’t have to be bombarded with questions from your affiliates about their sales, leads – again, everything else I’ve enumerated above. You want them to be able to focus on selling your programs, vs worrying about it.

In our affiliate center, we also have included a video on how the affiliate program works and also a walkthrough on how to use/navigate through the affiliate center.

It’s just all about great user experience, right?

In the end, they are to be considered as customers too!

IV. Payouts

If you’re using an affiliate platform – which I think if you’ve read this far, you are, then getting your affiliates to enter a way to receive their pay outs would be part of signing up already.

Most common way to send payouts that is used widely in the affiliate industry these days is through Paypal. 

So, right at the beginning decide which platform you’d want to send payouts through. This IS your decision and NOT your affiliates. If they need to set up an account with your chosen platform, then they need to set up an account with your chosen platform.

DO NOT have separate ways per affiliate just because they said they can’t do the other. Give yourself permission to enjoy having an affiliate program and not be stressed about it in the long run.

Alright! It’s been quite a long and definitely good thought so far.

There are so much more to discuss when it comes to affiliate programs. 

I will write again about this sometime, when it comes through me again. 

Sneak peek, here’s what we might be talking about more next time:

  • Tiers
  • Clawbacks
  • Getting Affiliates to share your products
  • Rewards
  • Contests between affiliates


Always stay tuned to my Daily Tech Thoughts! 


Questions about this topic? Comment here.

Create your own membership site in 3 HOURS and start raking in some $$$ stat!

Our team has helped hundreds of online coaches, teachers and businesses build their online courses and membership sites, which are now generating 6-figures each month!

If you're ready to up your online game, turn your expertise into a thriving biz, and secure a future that's lit, lock in your spot now. And remember, this is zero risk, all rewards! 🚀

Click here for details!