Q: How can you tell for sure if a company is legit and will pay? Where can I go to get started? Who’s online material can help me get off of the ground?
A: There are no guarantees, but you should do some research into any company you plan to promote. One place to start is on the affiliate marketing message boards. Ask questions about the response time from the affiliate manager, payment history of the affiliate program, etc.
With CJ and Performics, the payments are consolidated across the merchants you promote, so assuming the merchant doesn’t default on their account with the network, you should be in good shape. LinkShare is also now aggregating commission checks across a selection of their merchants, too.
When it comes to independent affiliate programs, don’t go into it blind. Dig around for some history on the affiliate program. If none exists, you might want to limit your promotion of the program to the point where you have passed the commission payment threshold.
After you go through the payment cycle and see that the check comes through on time, you can have more of a comfort level to promote the merchant at an increased volume.
As far as online material to help you get started, the affiliate marketing message boards and affiliate program directories provide lots of tools, tips and resources to help you along.