My first affiliate program was up and running. Or so I thought. Instead, I found myself with a whole lot of egg on my face.

But now it's sorted out. And I wanted to share with you what I learned so you won't have to learn it the hard way too.

The affiliate program was easy enough to set up. There were videos to guide me. All looked great. I started creating a number of accounts for my friends and associates, and eagerly waited for the sales to roll in.


Absolutely nothing.

Eventually, one of my friends asked me why her link had expired. Whenever she clicked on it, she got an error message. So I got her link and clicked it and indeed: I got the same error message telling me it had expired. I tried other links. They all had the same message.

I was pretty frantic but I couldn't do much about it on the spot. It was late at night, so I had to wait till morning to investigate. Meanwhile, I worried how many of my new affiliates had actually sent their links to their lists and spent an hour sending out individual alerts.

In the morning, I called the help desk. It turned out that my shopping cart service had somehow forgotten to turn on a switch. My affiliate program looked great to me, but it wasn't set up to work all the way through. Well, they fixed it right then.

But there was a lesson to be learned:

What could I have done to avoid this snafu? I'm really embarrassed I didn't think of it earlier. I could have taken some of my friends' affiliate links, the very ones I emailed them, copied them into a browser window, and hit return. I would have discovered the problem immediately.

So I had to set up my affiliate auto-responder in a big hurry (which should have been in place before I mailed out that first link, come to think of it), and broadcast apologies and updates.

Now, everything is working perfectly. And to be safe and make sure I'll be instantly alerted to any possible troubles, I set myself up as my own affiliate and plugged a couple of my own banner ads into my blog. You better believe I will click them regularly. I'll also double-check any link I'll send to my affiliates in the future.

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And if you would like to join Elisabeth's team, just go to her blog, sign up for her newsletter and send her a return message once you get your emails.

Or, even better, if you ever have one of those days and want some quick-fix tools that will make you feel better, just get her ebook with lots of feel-good strategies and you'll get a follow-up message that will invite you to become an affiliate.

And last, but not least, if you'd like to accelerate your success in the new year, just tap away your money and success blocks.