Be sure to get the information you need, either prior to signing up for an affiliate program or during the ‘free trial’ period. You should not be surprised by things after the fact because you are asleep at the wheel. Find out what the compensation program is. Some may seem to be in another language if they have a complex matrix structure. However you need to figure out what the compensation is or isn’t, because you need to understand so you are not surprised.
Don’t be afraid to contact their support if you do not find documentation in the ‘FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) or other instructions. This is the best place to get your information – and that includes versus asking your ‘sponsor’. Your sponsor may be somebody who joined the program the day before you did. They may not really have a full understanding of the program themselves. It is always best to get critical information ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ – the program itself. You want to have documentation.
Understanding the compensation plan of course would start with how much the program costs to participate in – there may be several levels you can join at and most would allow you to progress at your own speed. Find out if you can make any money at the free level and then look at the difference if you were to upgrade. You may wish to spend a short period at the free level until you get your bearings and learn how to generate traffic. Of course it is always going to be better to upgrade if at all possible, so that you can make the most money.
Compensation plan would also include how much the commissions would be if you made a sale. When will they pay you? Will compensation be immediate or next month for the previous month’s activities? What are the options for being paid? Do they pay by a check in the mail? Are there options to be paid online or by direct deposit to your bank?
Make sure you are aware of any minimum amount you would need to be paid. For example you will set up your account to be paid every time it reaches $25 or $50; or you may wish to be paid each time you earn any amount – in this case be sure you understand if there are fees associated with receiving small payments. If you are in a different country than the program you would be receiving payments from and have a different currency, it is probably a good idea to accumulate small payments and then deposit or exchange them as one larger amount to lessen the bank or currency fees, etc.
One very important thing to understand is if the program has situations where you will need to pass up your first or other commission to your sponsor. For some people this is a problem psychologically and for others with more experience they understand that sponsor can be them very soon and as such this is a nice touch. Think about that for a minute. At first you may be skeptical but if you take the time to learn about the company – the principals, how long they have been in business, etc. then maybe you could consider this from a level of trust and decide if you could live with that.