Creating your affiliate network is a bit more complicated process than it might seem at first glance. In this section, we will try to talk about everything in stages and show you unforeseen costs and pitfalls along the way.
Step 1. Identify goals and objectives
Before you start building your network, be sure to determine the following points of your future plans:
- What role do you want to play? You can be affilate network, merchandise supplier, service provider, affilate team, personal webmaster or combine all these traits.
- What offers do you plan to use? The platform is suitable for working with almost any type of offers. You an read about building mrchandise network, info-product networn, working with financial offers, and this will only be a superficial review possible solutions.
- Where do you plan to get traffic from? You can receive traffic from your own webmasters or third-party sources.
- Where will you process the orders? Incoming leads can be either proceses in platform internal call-center interface or transfered to third-party CRM and affilate networks.
- How many clicks and leads do you plan to have in your network? The platform has no restrictions on the number of incoming clicks and leads, but traffic volumes will be useful for estimating the required server capacities. For serious loads, it is possible to build distributed systems.
- Do you need our platform? Strangely enough, AlterCPA is not suitable for solving all tasks in the sphere of affilate networks. Before buying, be sure to check out the system description, look at the demo version. If you have any questions or doubts, contact us - we will help.
Step 2. Prepare hardware and domains
AlterCPA CPA Platform is not cloud solution, it is self-hosted server product. This means you need to have a server and domains. Depending on your tasks, the servers may require several.
What you really need
Without these purchases, the CPA platform can not be deployed at all.
- Server to setup the platform. The whole network will work on it. It is recommended to purchase a virtual or dedicated server based on the Debian Linux x64 OS of the current stable version (clean installation without control panel). When choosing a server, pay attention to the RAM. Usually ready-made configurations of popular providers with 4 GB of RAM will suite the average network with all other components. The server is purchased before purchasing a license - you will need its IP-address at the time of purchase. The average cost of such a server - from $15 per month.
- Main domain for control panel. It will become the address of your network. The control panel can be placed on both the main domain and its subdomain (for example, panel or cpa). The domain is purchased before purchasing a license - domain (or subdomain) will need to be specified at the time of purchase. The average price tag for a domain ranges from $2-20 for classical zones to $50 and higher for interesting zones. Promotions to domains at a low price are often at RegRu, lowest prices - at 2domains.
What is strongly recommended
At the testing stage, you can do without these elements, they can also be superfluous in some network configurations. But with a high probability, you will also need them.
- Landing domain. You will definitly need it for classic product or info-product network. Required for networks working whth their own ladnings (guaranteed - product and info-product, the rest - not always). It should be named like "shop" - for example: tvshops, bestshop, buyonline etc. Prices and advices - same as main domain.
- Prelanding (transit page) domain. Required if you use prelandings (transit pages) in your traffic. As practice has shown, they are required by most webmasters. It should be named like "news" or "blog" - topnews, bestblogs, topreviews etc. Prices and advices - same as main domain.
What can be useful
These elements may be required for some network configurations, under high loads and other non-trivial cases.
- Separate servers for landings and pre-landings. At a high load, it is recommended to separate the landings and prelandings to separate servers with the appropriate configuration.These servers may have slightly less RAM, but a wider channel and more disk space. In addition, some cloud server providers do not allow you to add IP addresses to existing servers, so to separate IP under the servers of landings or pre-landings it is required to establish separate virtual machines.
- Dedicated IP-addresses for sites of landings and prelandings. For domains parking to sites with landings and prelandings, you will need dedicated IP addresses (one for land and preland, respectively). Typically, providers give the ability to add multiple IP addresses to a single server, average cost per IP address - $2 per month, so mothhly price for server increases by $2-4. If multiple IP-addresses are prohibitet - see previous advice.
- Domain for redirects. When working only with external offers, you dont require domain for landings, and instead of it, you should have a domain for redirects. It should be named like "jump" - jumpto, jmp, goto etc. Prices and advices - same as main domain.
- Multiple servers for load balancing. For highly loaded projects, a special scheme for allocating roles. More details about it can be found in the manual in the section "Optimizing Performance".
Step 3. Required staff
Depending on the specific tasks, your staff may require the following specialists:
- Technical Specialist. For a successful network, you almost certainly need a programmer with knowledge of HTML and PHP. The tasks of this specialist will include: preparing sites for offers and cleaning downloaded sites from third-party code; setup and uploading landings and prelandings on servers; work with non-standard integration with partners. You can also require server support and support for the platform itself.
- Offer manager. Tasks: creation of new offers, setting prices and payments, configuring order distribution, monitoring of payments on the side of the system and payments on the side of the advertiser. Allocation of this functions to a separate post is mandatory for aggregator networks.
- Personal managers.The task of the personal manager is to maintain the webmaster on all aspects of working with the network: technical support, traffic quality monitoring, advices.
- Arbitration specialist. The presence of a full-time arbitrator or a small arbitration team is required for testing new offoffers, selecting optimal links for webmasters, ensuring stable traffic for important advertisers.
- Web developer. One full-stack or small team of designer and layout-maker. Will be usefull when you need to create new advertising materials for offers or to change the design of existing ones. Also help to make high-quality promotional materials for the network itself.
This list does not specify the bookkeeping, call center, marketers and other "standard" personnel for any company. The technical specialist is a critical and necessary person within the network, can also combine the functions of a web developer and offer manager. The functions of the personal manager and the arbitrator may be performed by the network manager for the first time.
Step 4. Purchase license and deploy the platform
When you have a server and a domain, you can start purchasing a license. You can do it on purchase page. You should sign up and sign in to do it.
Which option to choose?
We recommend that you consider two approaches to obtaining a license:
- For doubters. If you are not totally sure that your project wil succeed, purchase license for 1-3 months. This time will be enough to test your concepts. If successful, go to the full lifetime version. Starting expenses including deployment: nearly $315 ($200 for the license, $60 for deployment, $15 for the server, $30-50 for 2-3 domains).
- For self-confident. If you are already working in CPA and just plan to transfer all your work to our platform, purchage lifetime license. Setup and deployment is included in it. Starting expenses: nearly $2050 ($2000 for the license, $15 for the server, $30-50 for 2-3 domains). Notice: you can ask us about the discount for this license.
How does the purchase and start process take place?
Your sequence of actions when buying about this:
- Set up server. You can use the setup script from our manual.
- Purchase license. You can do in the purchase page by entring domain and IP-address. Notice, that only one active license can exist for one domain.
- Pay for the license. You can pay for the license directly from the site with Robokassa service or use alternative ways. If Robokassa is not supported in your country, please, contact us.
- Get your license file. After your payment will be completed, you can download license file by pressing "License" button on the purchase page. You need to doanload license file and place in on your server. You should update this file each time you prolong the license.
- Download setup files. You can find setup files for your server in download center after purchasing the license. Installation process is described in manual. You can order the server setup and the installation of the system by our experts for greater reliability.
Step 5. Preparing your network for work
So, you have your network set up, you got your access keys and opened shiny green interface. What should you do next?
- Read the manual. Yes, we are sure you still haven't done it. Now it's time to read "Working with your network" with your first steps. Add at least one offer and supplier with that manual.
- Prepare the technical support. We strongly recommend to have technical specialist in your staff for network support, without our technical service If you need, you can order basic support package or one-time consulting.
- Integrate with your suppliers. As practice shows, suppliers often prefer to work with their own CRM-systems, rather than using CRM of the affilate network. It is described in "Integration with third-party netrowks" of the manual.
- Integrate with your traffic sources. If you want to get traffic from third-party networks, prepare accounts for them as described in this manual.
Step 6. Keep your eyes open
When the network is launched, you definitely need to keep everything under your control:
- Check webmasters. Before making a payment to the webmaster, be sure to check his orders for the presence of fraud. For product networks, this is done by analyzing the buy-out of goods on the webmaster in the section "Delivery Analysis".
- Check payments. If you work as an aggregator, check regularly the paymetns on the side of your partners. Make sure that payments on the side of your system do not differ from the payments on the side of partners, to whom you send traffic.
- Check your transactions. Mandatory record all transactions of funds for suppliers and agencies. Verify the data on the amounts on the account of your partners on the side of your system and on the side of the accounting department of your partners.
- Check backups. We have no doubt that you make backup copies of your server. Periodically test them for integrity.
Step 7. Force Majeure and Emergency Incidents
If everything suddenly breaks down and nothing works, contact us - we will help!