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Tips and Guides

How to get accepted by affiliate networks

Andrej Csizmadia

August 26, 2021
Last modified on July 19, 2022 at 11:50 am

How to get accepted by affiliate networks

With how many affiliate programs and networks there are now, you might think there would be no problem finding a good program and joining it. No matter whether your blog or social media account centers around fashion, health products, DYI, or gadgets, you can find an affiliate program in that area.

So you researched affiliate networks and applied to a few programs that looked like the best choices. You waited patiently for a reply… only to learn that your application was rejected. Oops. Shouldn’t affiliate networks approve everyone without much hassle?

For many programs, that is the case. But if you want to join the most popular programs, then you need to be prepared for picky affiliate managers.

Having a hard time getting approved by affiliate programs as well? Keep reading. In this post, we will share a list of things that affiliate managers regularly look at when examining each application. We’ll also give you some hints on what you should do to show your best side and get your affiliate applications approved.

Why don’t some affiliate networks accept everyone?

After getting your application rejected a couple of times, you will probably wonder why those networks can’t just take everyone as they come. And later judge the affiliates by their results alone.

The thing is, affiliate managers from the biggest and most popular affiliate programs get hundreds of applications a day. So they obviously don’t have enough room to hire everyone. What’s more, the majority of those applications are usually not even worth the company’s time.

Dozens of them come from people who are lured into affiliate marketing by imagining it as a fantastic way to get rich. So they are signing up for affiliate programs without actually knowing much about affiliate marketing or only knowing what they saw on a shiny ad.

But the very moment that reality dawns on them and they realize that affiliate marketing requires far more effort than just spamming several message boards with their affiliate links, they quit or get thrown out. If a company doesn’t want to waste their time and money on this type of “affiliate”, they need to carefully look through all of their applications and weed out people who clearly don’t know much about the job they have signed up for.

Another problem is the growing number of fraudsters who want to earn commission no matter what. On the surface, their applications might not raise any suspicions and the results they show look impressive, but those “results” may have been created by using fake traffic, leads, or purchases.

Fraudsters usually work in a given program for a while, get paid for their “work,” but then they disappear the moment the program owners start to suspect something is not quite right. Such as finding out that the vast majority of their “new leads” are bogus. So the owners get nothing of value in return for paying such “affiliates”. What’s more, their identity was most likely forged from the start, they are basically untraceable now.

No-entry sign

So as you see, affiliate program owners take a risk every time they let someone inside their program without scrutinizing them first. Sure, they might find a diamond in the rough, but they might also hire a person who puts the program owner in the red and then disappears, or someone who brings dozens of angry clients to the company’s support team because the product they bought does not work like the affiliate said it would.

How can you get accepted into an affiliate network?

So now that you know why affiliate program managers are so picky during the selection process, let’s talk about how you can show yourself as a marketer that affiliate managers DO want to have in their program.

The main thing all affiliate networks are looking for are affiliates who have realistic plans on bringing customers to the company and the right skills. And that doesn’t mean you need to have thousands of followers or years of experience in the industry. If you can prove that you are serious about joining an affiliate program and you know what the program owner expects from you, then your chances of being accepted are high even if you are a beginner. So what should you do before reaching out to affiliate networks to increase your chances of being accepted?

1. Polish your website

The very first thing affiliate managers will check about you is your main website. But as they have several pages to check every day, you don’t have much time to make a good impression. You should therefore assume that their first visit might be the last and deciding one. What affiliate managers want to see is a clean, uncluttered, and easy-to-navigate website without too many ads, widgets, or stock photos. Keeping your important pages (like Privacy Policy, About, and Contact) clearly visible will also score you points.

Besides the main design, affiliate managers will also look through the content on your page to see if it is original and attractive for readers, but also if it is targeted to the affiliate program’s key audience. If your website design is pleasant and your content fits their product like a glove, then the choice will be easy for them.

2. Apply only to relevant programs

This is a very important point to make – you should only apply for those programs that match the content of your video channel, blog, or website.

Why? The main point of affiliate marketing is that you will be creating content centered around a product or service and then encouraging your audience to try it out. For this to work, though, the main topic of your blog or video channel and the affiliate product/service must match. Otherwise your audience won’t be interested no matter how hard you try to promote the product.

And would you even be able to create coherent and engaging content centered around banking services or a piece of gym equipment for a fitness channel if you run a food blog? It would be pretty hard, wouldn’t it?

If your website or social media channel topic is different from the affiliate program’s industry, then don’t waste time on sending an application on them because it will most likely be automatically rejected.

3. Read the terms and conditions of the program carefully

I know, most of us don’t read lengthy “Terms of Service” documents but just accept them straight away. But you should read the terms and conditions of an affiliate program you want to join before starting to fill in your application. For example, the program you want to join might not accept any promotional activities through social media. In this case, would there be any point in applying there if you are an Instagram influencer? Not exactly.

Knowing what affiliate program owners accept and what not will also prevent you from making a blunder in your application, such as telling them you plan to use PPC ads in your campaigns when they are not allowed!

How to get accepted by affiliate networks

4. Answer all questions in the application clearly and provide all the requested documents

Affiliate managers receive applications that have half of the questions blank or only vaguely answered, or forms that have no contact information. Not submitting any documents or different ones to what was requested are pretty much a norm too. Does that make a good impression on affiliate managers? No – such applications are rejected immediately. If you don’t bother to answer all questions in an application or provide the correct documents, then the managers will have every reason to doubt that you’ll be a dedicated affiliate.

By providing your full contact details and providing all the requested data, you will show that you are serious about joining the affiliate marketing industry and that you treat the other side with respect as well.

5. Show your knowledge and ideas about promoting the program

Affiliate managers are looking for people who can give them good results and targeted leads regularly. That’s why inside every single affiliate application, you’ll see fields asking about where you found out about their program, why you think you are a good fit for it, and how you plan to promote their product.

Showing affiliate managers that you have picked their products for a reason and that you have created a plan through which you hope to bring more people to their business is a sign to them that you have put some thought into the application.

This is also an excellent place to mention your strong points – do you have any relevant skills that they might find helpful? Have you worked for a company from a similar industry? Are you familiar with specific affiliate tools? All of those things show that you have already put some work into your affiliate career and won’t need to be taught everything from the very beginning.


You need to be prepared to wait a while to receive an answer to your application. Affiliate managers usually have to go through dozens or sometimes even hundreds of applications every day, so be patient. As long as you can show program managers that you can produce the results they want and you know HOW to do so, your chances for being accepted will increase. And now that you know what they are looking for, you can show yourself as an asset to any affiliate marketing program. Good luck!

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