Requirements and Recommendations for New Publishers
We are often asked for help in getting started in affiliate marketing. Here are some requirements, recommendations and resources for you if you're just beginning your program.
! Stop and review these affiliate marketing requirements and recommendations before joining the Rakuten Affiliate Network and getting started with your affiliate marketing efforts !
First, it is important to understand that affiliate marketing is NOT a "get rich quick" scheme for "passive income".
It is a marketing channel that, like any other successful business effort, requires time, planning, effort, creativity, commitment, quality, integrity and communication and relationship-building with your advertiser partners and your consumer followers. If you are not ready with the items below, you may want to wait to apply to join the network. Our Network Quality team screens and monitors publishers to ensure the quality of our Network. If you don't at least meet the minimum requirements below, your publisher account will be terminated.
At a minimum, you will need to:
- Sign up on the Publisher Registration form, as your primary website information, you will need to include your own live, working (i.e., not under construction) website, blog or customized social media page URL. As an example for a website, you will need to include your own domain, such as https://fashionistaheaven.com, not https://google.com. If you wish to use a social media page, then you will need to have a URL like: https://www.facebook.com/momshoppingtips/, not https://www.facebook.com.
- Read carefully and agree to all Publisher Membership Agreement terms and conditions, including but not limited to following all applicable laws and privacy regulations.
- Read carefully and agree to all Network Policies, including but not limited to FTC Endorsement Disclosure Requirements for affiliate marketing, and compliance testing and approval for any DSAs (Downloadable Software Applications).
- Provide content that is original (not content copied from another site, data feed, or other source), of high quality, and that adds value for your visitors. "Google believes that pure, or "thin," affiliate websites do not provide additional value for web users, especially (but not only) if they are part of a program that distributes its content across a network of affiliates. These sites often appear to be cookie-cutter sites or templates the same or similar content replicated within the same site, or across multiple domains or languages. Because a search results page could return several of these sites, all with the same content, thin affiliates create a frustrating user experience. Added value means additional meaningful content or features, such as additional information about price, purchasing location, or product category."*
*From Google Webmasters Support quality guidelines for affiliate programs.
Read the entire quality guidelines for affiliate marketing programs from Google Webmasters Support for more tips and best practices.
There is a two-step process to using affiliate marketing in your business efforts:
2. Apply and be approved into each advertiser's affiliate program. After you join the Rakuten Affiliate Network, you will then apply to join the specific advertisers' affiliate programs. Each advertiser has certain criteria that you need to meet in order to be approved into the program. Your website content must also be relevant to the advertiser's products and meet brand guidelines.
Read about the road map to success for new publishers, and some resources to help you get started.
Still have more questions? Use the SUPPORT tab at the top of the page or this link to find the email or phone Customer Support contacts for your location.