If you have a low-traffic site and you want to make your own associate program, the only way is to set up it manually. This method is to set up a "mirror
page" or even a mirror site. You have to set up a separate page... or a separate site, for each associate. There is almost no cost involved other than your time.
We will use yutrend.com as an example. You'd set up a page for the first associate partner with URL: www.yutrend.com/sale1.htm. Then, for every new associate
partner you must create new page (for example: www.yutrend.com/sale2.htm, then .../sale3.htm .../sale4.htm ... All of these pages are identical. The only difference between them is
that every page has a unique tracking number. You have to put a hidden code in the order form. This allows you to manually track and give your associate credit for the sale.
This is good method if you don't have money for associate software and if you have few associates. But there are a lot of shortfalls in this method. With this method
you can sell only a little number of products. Having a lot of products at your website or having a lot of associates will cause you many problems. For example, if you want to change price or to
improve your sellings in some way, you will need to change every miror page. This requires a lot of time.
The second drawback of this method is that you can't offer real time statistics to your associate partners. You can tell them how much they have earned at the end
of the month, when you calculate it manually. This is bad - associates must be sure that you are not ripping them of, and you are the only one who knows real number of sales
Most prospective associates will not sign up with you if they are not sure that you are reporting to them in real-time how they are doing with sales or visits. Many Web Directories
of Associate Programs will not list your site if you don't have real time tracking in your program.
This method is recomended for use if you don't have money for installing associate program software and if you have a lot of time and knowledge in HTML. It is better
to have this system, then not to have system at all.