How to Start Your Own Affiliate Network in 5 EASY Steps

Affiliate Marketing Simplified

Starting an affiliate network is a great way to expand your business and increase your revenue, with over 80% of all eCommerce brands having their own affiliate program. By partnering with other businesses and individuals, you can promote your products or services to a wider audience and earn commissions on sales.

Completely new to affiliate marketing? Read our latest guide:

Affiliate Marketing 101: Ultimate Beginners Guide in 2023
What is affiliate marketing? How to track affiliate sales. How much does an affiliate make per year? How do I pay affiliates? Does affiliate marketing work in 2023? All your questions - answered.

Here are five simple steps to help you get started on building your own affiliate network:


1. Define Your Affiliate Program Goals and Commission Structure

Before you start recruiting affiliates, it's important to define your program goals and commission structure. Answer these questions first and build your foundation, prior to moving onto step two:

1. What do you want to achieve with your affiliate program?

Do you want to increase sales, generate leads, or drive traffic to your website? This is the most important stage of your affiliate foundations, as without a clear goal, you cannot measure and optimise the programs performance.

2. Will you offer a percentage of each sale, a flat fee per lead, a combination of both or pay affiliates per click?

Make sure your commission structure is competitive and attractive to potential affiliates. Too low a commission and you won't find new affiliates, but too high and you'll be sifting through thousands of affiliates and potentially miss the best ones.

Avelon has analysed over 300,000 sales and averaged every commission throughout every sector in our latest article - Exactly how much commission should I offer affiliates?

Exactly how much commission should you give an affiliate?
How much commission should you offer an affiliate? Avelon looks into the average across each industry.

Some other great resources to take a look at:


Choose the Right Affiliate Tracking Software

Choosing the right Affiliate Tracking Software is crucial to the success of your affiliate network. The software will track and manage all of your affiliate activity, including clicks, conversions and commissions.

Avelon Dashboard

Obviously, we recommend Avelon (as we are Avelon), but understand our platform may not be right for everyone. Our software not only manages your affiliate activity, clicks, conversions and commissions, but offers:

  • New affiliate search
  • Advanced sales tracking
  • Link management
  • Discount code management
  • Advanced fraud detection and blocking
  • Commission and payout management (that's right, we even pay affiliates on your behalf)

Oh, and did we tell you we're 100% free for the brand? We work on a Revenue Share with the affiliate, so we just take a small cut from the commissions you pay your affiliates.


Recruit Affiliates and Provide Them with Marketing Materials

Once you have your affiliate tracking software set up, it’s time to start recruiting affiliates. Reach out to bloggers, influencers, and other businesses in your niche and offer them the opportunity to join your affiliate network.

Provide them with marketing materials such as banners, text links, and email templates to make it easy for them to promote your products or services. Be sure to offer competitive commission rates and incentives to keep your affiliates motivated and engaged.

Incentives can be vouchers for your site to share amongst friends, free product from your site or even Amazon gift cards when they hit certain sale thresholds.

We recommend using Avelon's Affiliate Invite Feature to invite affiliates from outside of the platform. Once you've secured their email address, just hit enter and they'll receive a personalised invite with access to your affiliate program. You can even make sure they're exclusive to your program with a click of a button.

Avelon Affiliate Search Function
Avelon Affiliate Search Function

You can take advantage of Avelon's Affiliate Search Feature, too. This will show you affiliates within your niche and even notify them that you're looking for new affiliates.


Monitor and Optimise Your Affiliate Program

Once your affiliate program is up and running, it’s important to monitor its performance and make adjustments as needed. Use Avelon to track sales, clicks, and other metrics to identify which affiliates are performing well and which ones may need additional support.

Conversion rates change on a monthly basis and are incredibly weather driven for sports brand. Check out the graph below to ensure you're sitting with 10% +/- of these numbers. If you're not, just reach out to us and we can help.

Conversion rate averages per month on Avelon

Consider offering bonuses or higher commission rates to top-performing affiliates to keep them motivated. You may also want to experiment with different marketing materials or promotional strategies to see what works best for your program. By regularly monitoring and optimising your affiliate program, you can ensure its continued success and growth.


Pay Your Affiliates on Time and Keep Them Engaged

One of the most important aspects of running a successful affiliate network is keeping your affiliates happy and engaged. This means paying them on time and providing them with the support they need to succeed. Make sure you have a clear payment schedule in place and stick to it.

We've designed and included a 30-day payment system in our platform, which pays affiliates directly into their bank account. If you're looking for a hassle free way of paying affiliates instead of paying each one individually, we recommend signing up for a free account.

Keeping affiliates engaged will ensure they keep promoting your products. The average number of affiliates who actually maintain sales is 35%, so don't be too hard on yourself if this number is lower to begin with. Yogi Bare, a yoga mat brand on Avelon, managed to maintain a 70% active affiliate rate, which is phenomenal:

Number of affiliates with sales vs number of affiliates in program

Yogi Bare Affiliate Marketing Case Study
How did Yogi Bare achieve a 1002% ROI? Community building, link tracking and fast affiliate payouts could be the answer. Join the world’s first zero-fee affiliate platform.

Consider offering bonuses or incentives for top-performing affiliates to keep them motivated. You should also provide your affiliates with regular updates and resources to help them promote your products effectively. By building strong relationships with your affiliates, you can create a loyal and dedicated network that will help your business grow.


With these tips, you should be able to set up and grow your affiliate program with ease. But, remember: affiliate marketing takes time and just like anything worthwhile, you have to nurture it to let it grow.

Let's recap:

  1. Decide on your goals for your program. Build the foundations.
  2. Find the right affiliate software for you.
  3. Recruit the right affiliates.
  4. Monitor and optimise.
  5. Pay your affiliates on time.

And as always, if you need a zero-fee affiliate platform, be sure to sign up to Avelon. The world's first and only zero-fee affiliate platform.