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(If you don't know what this is about, see What IS an affiliate company anyway?)

If you run a website and would like to make money by putting some affiliate commission-based advertising on it, you may notice that there are many different affiliate marketing companies, and also there are companies who have their own independent affiliate programs too, for example with Kowabunga. As an affiliate of some experience I thought it would be nice if I share the knowledge I have of good and bad practice I have seen in the affiliate marketing business. With independent affiliate programs you have to consider them on their own merits, for example most gambling casinos have their own contracts. But a great many companies work with affiliate marketing companies who do all the affiliate tracking for a whole set of merchants and affiliates. This is good because of the economies of scale and for various other reasons, and here are a few aspects which in my opinion show good and bad practice:

These are guidelines to good practice at affiliate marketing companies, as seen from the viewpoint of an affiliate. If you run an affiliate marketing company, you can check to see how your company shapes up. Don't worry if you don't pass on every score - no company I know gets everything right on this! However, some are better than others! The idea of publishing this guide to good practice is to encourage good practice and to help to avoid bad mistakes being propagated, especially where with a bit of thought and good planning, mistakes and bad practice can be avoided.

Another real-content affiliate has things to say about good and bad in affiliate marketing. See How Affiliate Marketing Should Work by Xyroth.

If you're considering setting up a new affiliate marketing company, this set of guidelines is a good start! Of course you've also got to keep the merchants happy, and make a profit as well! It's a market which already has some major players in it (see affiliate marketing companies list), but the available market is so big that there is plenty of room for new companies to start!

Also see Zyra's Good Hotel Guide and other Guides to Good Practice