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A good way to tell if the affiliate program you belong to is serious about their affiliate program commissions is the percentage they are paying you. If someone is offering you 10% commission, and they are keeping the rest, then you need to ask yourself "Should I really be in this affiliate program?".
An affiliate program I have recently joined called ‘E-Book Marketing Explained’, pays out 45% commission to their affiliates and another 10% to the 2nd tier. That’s 55%! They only keep 45% and it’s from this that they take their costs. Either they’ve gone completely mad or they are very smart! I suspect they are very smart.
By paying such high affiliate program commissions they are attracting many affiliates to their programs. This means they can sell a higher volume. With a higher volume of sales they can afford to give away such a high commission.
Because they are giving so much away to their affiliates with high commissions it shows they are supremely confident in the worth of their product or service and its ability to sell itself. Their product or service is that good.
The affiliates are doing all the pre-selling, all the hard work, getting the eyeballs at their web sites. You want to get paid for it. Do not accept 10% commission rates. Set yourself a standard of nothing less than 20% and make sure that the 20% is more than just a couple of dollars.
It is with the big-percentage payers where you can make some decent commissions. The 40%-plus hitters. These BIG affiliate program commissions are the ones that will see your bank balance explode each and every month.