Every affiliate program has their own unique set of Terms and Conditions, which affiliate marketers must follow in order to participate in the program. Not following these guidelines can get your site banned or your affiliate account canceled, which could result in lost profits so it is important to follow the rules to the letter.
There are some common rules that most programs have in place, although they may differ largely in other areas. For example, sites that promote sexually explicit material, violence, discrimination or hate will not be approved by most programs. Most affiliate programs also will not approve websites that are filled with content that promotes illegal activities. While there may be programs that cater to adult sites, most of the popular ones do not and will not tolerate that kind of material linking to their site.
In addition, the domain name you choose for your website could result in a rejected application from affiliate programs if it is too much like their own domain name. For example, if you misspell the name of a famous site and use it for your site, don’t count on being approved for their affiliate program.
Rules About Links and Graphics
Make sure you abide by the Terms and Conditions regarding the links and graphics you place on your website. Not complying with this guideline can get your site banned and your account closed before you can make your first sale. Most affiliate programs provide links, graphics, and instructions as to what is acceptable use of them on your website. Follow these instructions to the letter.
Buying Products Through Your Affiliate Links
Affiliates should pay special attention to this rule as the purchase of products through accessing your own links is prohibited though they may be allowed by some of them. Even when it is allowed though, you still have to have so many referral sales before you’ll qualify for payment. Affiliates who join affiliate programs with the idea of getting discounts for themselves will quickly discover that this practice won’t work and they will lose their affiliate privileges.
Once your website is approved for the program of your preference you apply to, be aware that most of these programs have safeguards in place to ensure your further compliance to their program rules. Your site will be monitored to make sure you are following the rules on a continuous basis. Learn from the affiliate marketers who came before you who did not read the Terms of Service and had their sites disallowed when they had no idea they were in violation of the affiliate program rules.