Build Your Own Affiliate Network with HasOffers

July 2, 2009 Posted by Michael Kwan
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The following is a paid review for TylerCruz.com written and reviewed by Michael Kwan. It is completely of Michael Kwan’s opinion and is not influenced by being paid. If you’re interested in having your site or product reviewed, please view my advertising page.

If you happen to be a fan of Tyler Cruz’s blog, then there is a good chance that you are interested in how to make money online. By extension, there is a good chance that you are reasonably familiar with the nature of affiliate marketing and affiliate networks. Have you ever considered working from the other side of the coin?

Rather than signing up for an affiliate network so that you can run offers on your site, have you ever thought about running your own affiliate network? It may sound like an incredibly daunting and potentially expensive endeavour, but the HasOffers platform provides "a robust tracking and management software solution with no barrier to entry." The best part? It’s free, so long as you stay under one million clicks.

Building Your Own Affiliate Network

Yes, you can create your own affiliate network. HasOffers, according to the official company website, is the "first white label affiliate network solution that gives you total control, with powerful technology, complete customization, and no startup costs or monthly fees." This is a white label solution, so your affiliate network can be branded however you would like it to be.

The signup process for HasOffers is very straightforward. After filling out the basic registration form, you will receive a confirmation email. It takes about ten to fifteen minutes for your new network to be activated, and then you’ll be able to log into your custom dashboard.

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For the purposes of completing this review, I set up a "dummy" affiliate network located at tylercruz.hasoffers.com. This configuration is the default (having your network as a subdomain on hasoffers.com), but you can also have it run from your own custom domain instead.

The administration panel for a HasOffers-powered affiliate network looks almost like the dashboard you would see when you log into your affiliate account elsewhere. The "snapshot" offers an at-a-glance look at your network, getting quick links, updates, and stats. From there, you can navigate to the various other areas to customize your network as needed.

Setting Up the Fundamentals

Obviously, before you can start scouting for new affiliates to sign up with your network and before you can start populating your network with affiliate offers, you need to get the fundamentals in place.

Under the "Company" tab in the user dashboard is an option to "Customize Application." The first option on the resulting page is "Change Preferences" and it is here that you can establish the basic settings for your affiliate network.

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You would have already determined the network name during the registration process, but this can be altered from this screen. Also from the preferences screen, you can adjust the support email, the requirement for a W9 form, the approval process, referral program, minimum payments, and your custom domain.

As mentioned, if you are already familiar with affiliate networks from the perspective of an affiliate or publisher, then you will already be familiar with some of these details from the perspective of the network. The difference is that you are now in control.

Creating and Managing Offers

Realistically, the single greatest thing that will differentiate one affiliate network from another is the selection of affiliate offers. When you have the fundamentals in place, you will then want to populate your affiliate network with offers.

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Since HasOffers is a white label solution, they are not necessarily there to help you shop for advertisers who want to use your newly formed network. That’s up to you to determine, just as it is up to staff your company (there is a section under "Company" to manage your employees).

From what I can gather, you cannot import a database of offers into your HasOffers-powered network. Instead, you must enter each offer manually. The Create Offer form provides fields for the offer name, description, preview URL, creative URL, payout type, lead caps, cookie lifespan, conversion tracking type, and more. You can also target specific countries and browsers.

Based on this Create Offer form, I do not see an area where you can upload and supply your affiliates with ad banners, email creatives, and other marketing materials.

Customizing Your Look and Feel

Let me preface this by saying that I am neither a web designer nor a web developer, but it seems that the design elements of HasOffers are lacking.

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From what I can gather, you can customize things like the logo and color scheme, but there are no obvious ways to upload information pages for your affiliates. I see an area where you can insert CSS stylesheets, but as you can see from my dummy network, there are no information pages.

How can I discuss the strengths and benefits of my network? How can I "sell" potential publishers on why they should sign up with "TC Media" over some other affiliate network? Where is the branding aside from a simple logo and customized color scheme?

And All That Administrative Stuff

HasOffers seems to offer a fairly robust administration panel where affiliate network owners (like you) can adjust and tweak their networks as needed. You can manage your offers (including offer categories and suppression lists), generate a variety of reports (including those related to your referral program), manage your affiliates and employees, deal with billing and invoices, and configure the details related to advertisers.

All of the administrative back end appears to be in place, but the front end seems to need some serious work. As I’ve already said a couple of times in this review, HasOffers is a white label solution, so it’s up to you to brand your network. However, I would have liked to see greater integration into this backend that allows for easier customization of information pages and branding.

Free for Up to One Million Clicks

HasOffers comes in two different editions.

The Pro Edition is free for up to one million clicks. With the Pro Edition, you have full access to smart tracking, live statistics, offer management, unlimited advertisers, a free subdomain, referral reports, and email support.

For $799 a month, you can upgrade to the Enterprise Edition of HasOffers. This provides you with unlimited clicks, telephone support, dedicated service resources, and a custom tracking URL. This is quite the vast discrepancy in pricing, especially when the only "main" difference is number of clicks allowed.

Should you create your own affiliate network with HasOffers? The free Pro Edition is worth giving a try, but you have to realize that is not completely free. You still have to invest in your own domain, employees, branding, and all the other things that go along with running a successful affiliate network. HasOffers only provides the software platform.

This is akin to asking if you should buy a motherboard so that you can run your eBay business. The motherboard is only one part of the puzzle, just as HasOffers is only one part of your affiliate network endeavour.

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Posted: July 2nd, 2009 under Paid Reviews  

19 Responses to “Build Your Own Affiliate Network with HasOffers”

  1. I have done some affiliate work before and as the other reply said it will take time to get your first sale, just be patient and good luck!

  2. Enda says:

    I’m pretty new to blogging and although I am a regular reader here this is my first comment. Again, I haven’t done much with affiliate marketing but this is one thing I’ll definitely have a closer look at in the near future.
    Love the theme and the content Tyler. Keep up the good work!

  3. Enda says:

    I’m pretty new to blogging and although I am a regular reader here this is my first comment. Again, I haven’t done much with affiliate marketing but this is one thing I’ll definitely have a closer look at in the near future.
    Love the theme and the content Tyler. Keep up the good work!
    OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

  4. Luke says:

    I’ve signed up and was checking out their service. Amazing!

  5. Wow. This has totally blew me off. I’m just starting to go learn to internet marketing from blogging tips for me to effectively market my soon-to-be released blogging ebook. Will this be able to handle paypal payments too? You mentioned it’s free Tyler right?

  6. This was an interesting read. I just checked out the site. Smart solutions for budding affiliate marketers. But as the author mentioned, the front end really needs some tuning up and there is an acute necessity in the ACP for provision of resources to enable the admin to do so.
    And yes, as Mr.Tyler mentioned.. if ur looking to sell an ebook or software, you should look at Clickbank instead of wasting time on this.

  7. HasOffers does offer you an opportunity to build a great network. All you have to do is stay on top of things. Great post Tyler!

    Regards,
    Jermaine

  8. gurtey says:

    i just never am patient for an affiliate network, but maybe sometime in the future!

  9. Dustin says:

    I think they meant to say that the BASIC version was free. It was mentioned that the “Pro” version was free, however its actually $99

    At the same time, you only get up to 500,000 clicks with the Pro version. The free version offers up to 250,000 clicks.

    None the less, the program seems promising. I may start a small affiliate network and target it to some local/regional affiliate marketers if I can find any. Maybe use Meetup202 and find some nearby affiliate marketers.

    • Michael Kwan says:

      Those details changed in between the time that I wrote the review and the time that the review was published here. It seems that they are constantly adjusting and tweaking HasOffers.

  10. I want to start my own affiliate network. My buddy used to have his own network a while back and he was making good coin. It would beat fighting for organic search engine rankings everyday.

  11. JR says:

    Why would a Network (Tatto Media, the owner of HasOffers) license their proprietary software out for free to create unlimited competition against themselves. What could they possibly have to gain by doing this???

    Answer: As Google does by giving away free tools (ie. urchin = Google Analytics), they will collect as much industry insider information as possible to benefit their own network. Meaning.. any network that starts their business on HasOffers has Zero Privacy and will expose ALL of their affiliate and publishers information to Tatto Media. Your business becomes their business.

    Its a genius business model but I certainly hope REAL business owners don’t fall prey to this scam.

    • @ “JR” (whoever that is) – I am getting tired of seething this same comment across all the blogs. Again, this is an outrageous accusation. We cannot steal affiliate data any more than our competitors can. Our prices are so good because our technology is more efficient and we are also looking to provide more paid services in the future.

      Thanks Michael for the solid review. I agree, there are definitely more front end features we can work on. For now, most of our networks develop their own info and sales pages and just use our system for after their affiliates have signed up. Great suggestions though! I’ll be passing them along!

  12. I’m familiar with affiliate network because I always heard about it in many blogs, but when it comes to experience, I’ve never experienced it before. Anyway, HasOffers is a site where we can build our own affiliate program to make money right? This might be different with those affiliate network that we might need to promote their products and we earn commission. Anyway, it’s cool to give it try. I’m going to read more about it and see what I can do with this.

    -Davis-

  13. I find it hard when you don’t have a huge userbase to set up a successful affiliate program

  14. Ros says:

    Is this still a possibility – article a bit old now?

  15. Excellent conquer! I would like to novice although you modify your site, how will i register for a web log? Your profile helped me a appropriate package. I had been little bit acquainted of the your own send out offered bright obvious strategy

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