Affiliate marketing management is a must if you intend to offer your website’s products and services to what are effectively sales agents.

You have a choice of course. You can sign up for one of the well established networks and let them do all the legwork and paperwork, and wait for the leads to start coming in. But there is often a better choice which means you get to take control of your own affiliate offering and negotiate your own deals, and controls. That’s when affiliate marketing management becomes essential.

Using an established network can boost your profile, ensure your offering gets accepted by a large number of affiliates and keep the administration to a minimum.

But, let’s be frank, it’s not a solution for everyone. And certainly not the best solution if you have products, or services that are niche, low volume, or complicated to explain.

If you’re in this situation, then devising your own affiliate programme is a good idea, as you’ll be able to control the messaging to a greater extent, pick your partners and also, hopefully, get a better return on investment.

The downside is of course that it takes time and effort. You have to do a lot of research to identify the right affiliates and then have the patience – and the negotiating skills – to work out the right sort of deal; one that benefits both parties.

But that deal can often be easier if you are targeting a particular affiliate with an arrangement that suits their business model.

In the end, common sense plays a great part in what you’re trying to achieve.