Affiliate programs are a way to make money online. While there are dozens of different ways to profit on the internet, affiliate programs are the most popular way it is done for those not directly selling goods and services themselves.
What is an affiliate program?
Affiliate programs, or associate programs as they are sometimes called, are programs that help bring online traffic to certain merchants’ websites. This is done by offering marketers rewards for traffic that is directed to the online merchant. The website that hosts the banners or links is known as the affiliate, while the site where the goods or services are offered is known as the merchant website. Affiliate programs are popular because they are relatively simple to get started in. All that is required is the ability to create a website or blog in which the affiliate links or banners can be placed and to join affiliate networks.
Types of affiliate programs and compensation
There are affiliate programs for virtually everything sold online. Every merchant wants to bring more traffic to their sites. However, they do not have the time or expertise to do so themselves. This is where affiliate programs come in.
Some methods of compensation
Pay per click is one of the most popular types of affiliate compensation on the internet. This involves the affiliate placing code on their sites that will automatically display ads for products related to the content of the site. This can easily be used on almost any type of website since it does not require referring specific products. There is also CPA marketing in which the affiliate is paid when the visitor performs a certain action such as completing a survey. However, most affiliate marketing involves selling some type of a product. This can be primary physical products such as with Amazon Associates or the digital products sold on ClickBank. The general rule is that digital products pay much better, but physical products are easier to sell.
Selecting affiliate programs
With the great variety of affiliate programs out there, it is possible to be selective and choose those that are most related to the website and personality of the marketer. For example, there are sports, pet, weight loss, health and beauty, music and even real estate affiliate programs. The following guide to affiliate programs is a good place to start. Apart from the interests of the marketer and the theme of the site to consider when selecting affiliate programs, other factors to take into account include the reputation of the program, the quality of the products and, of course, the interests of the visitors to a site.
Other features of affiliate programs/networks
Affiliate networks also provide a level of security and protection to both the affiliate and the merchant. Programs chosen through the network will serve as a go-between for the affiliate and merchant sites. It will track clicks, purchases and payments so neither side holds 100% of the responsibility for handling the payment or determining how much traffic was generated from the links or referrals. See the following articles for information that will help you find the affiliate programs that are best for you.