THE BLOG
12/10/2010 03:17 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

How to Chart Your Course for Finding Affiliate Partners

In my previous blog post, I introduced you to the basics and now I want to show you how to plan and execute your efforts to find affiliate partners. Create a chart to track your efforts. This can be done in either a Word program or Excel, whichever you are most comfortable using. Here are the columns I use:
  1. Website address
  2. Keyword search used to find website
  3. Contact name, address, e-mail address
  4. Do they have a newsletter? Subscribe?
  5. Do they accept articles?
  6. Do they do giveaways?
  7. Comments and observations about site?
  8. Date contacted
  9. Date to follow up (2 repeat columns as you may need to do it twice)
  10. Response from site owner?
  11. Commitment? When and how?
  12. Send personalized thank you
  13. Set up individual affiliate link
Create a second chart once affiliates are on board:
  1. Date sent email copy for their subscribers with affiliate link
  2. Received confirmation that they will send email on launch day
  3. Agreed upon percentage of sale (this may vary)
  4. Date commission was paid (keep your own records in addition to what your shopping cart software provides for you)

For those of you who resist the structure of charting your actions, I highly recommend you move outside your comfort zone. You will be amazed at how easy it is to quickly scan your next move as well as reduce the time you spend retracing your steps. You don't want to make the mistake of sending duplicate email requests or the wrong content to potential partners. Being organized and professional in your approach will help you land the big affiliates who screen out amateur requests.

If you need help drafting your email to potential affiliate partners, you can find samples in my book, Viral Explosions.

What strategies have YOU used to approach affiliates? What approach has proven to bring in the best results? Please share them in the comments below.

Peggy McColl is a New York Times best-selling author and an internationally recognized expert in the field of personal and professional development and Internet marketing. As an entrepreneur, business owner, mentor and professional speaker Peggy has been inspiring individuals to pursue their personal and business objectives and achieve ultimate success. She provides effective Internet marketing solutions for entrepreneurs, authors, publishers, professionals, and business owners, who want to establish an online presence, achieve bestseller status, build their brand, grow and/or expand their business online. You can find out more about Peggy at her website, Destinies.com.