Hello, name's Kevin.
My website is a user-generated review site that targets a specific niche. My planned revenue model is a Cost-Per-Aquisition affiliate model. Here's how it would work:
1) Customer searches and reads vendor reviews on my site
2) Customer chooses a vendor and clicks a tracking link to their site
3) If customer purchases their product on their website, I earn an affiliate commission.
My question is: how do I implement the conversion tracking? It seems like affiliate management programs focus on an advertiser building a base of publishers. My model would be different. I am one publisher trying to reach out to a few specific advertisers. However, I can't use an affiliate network because many of these vendors don't already have affiliates. Also, I need to target about 40 specific companies. I'm going to have to contact them directly and make a deal. What would be a credible, safe, and reasonably inexpensive way to do this?
Note: I understand there is a bit of a conflict for my business model. I am earning money from advertisers who I am also publishing reviews for. However, I'm sticking to the principle of maintaining honest reviews for my visitors (not deleting bad reviews to make a vendor look good, for example). If users give bad reviews to a vendor, then so be it. I'll earn more money from the vendors who receive better reviews.
To see an example of a similar business model that works, go to www.softwareadvice.com. I am not affiliated with them at all and in a completely different niche, but they do have a similar model if you want to get an idea of what I'm trying to do.
Thanks to everyone in advance!