Affiliate programs, (also known as associate programs) are marketing arrangements which enable an affiliate webmaster to earn commission payments from sales that are generated for a merchant through the affiliate webmaster’s site.
When an affiliate webmaster joins an affiliate program, then that affiliate webmaster is given a unique linking code. The affiliate webmaster then publishes the unique linking code on his/her website. When a website visitor clicks on the link, then the visitor is directed to the merchant’s website through that unique linking code. If the visitor makes a purchase, then the referring affiliate webmaster is credited for the sale, and receives a commission.
Some of the most common payment structures include:
Pay per sale: The affiliate earns a fixed amount of money per sale, or a percentage of the sale that he/she generated.
Pay Per lead: The affiliate earns a fixed amount of money for sending leads, or potential customers who sign-up for a free trial offer, a newsletter, etc at the merchant website.
Pay Per click: This usually refers to paid search engine marketing. An affiliate webmaster joins a search engine affiliate program and displays advertisements from the search engine on the affiliate website. When a visitor clicks on the advertisement, then the affiliate earns a commission whether a sale is generated or not.
Affiliate programs are great for webmasters who don’t have a product or a service of their own to offer.
Of course, there are also disadvantages and risks associated with joining an affiliate program. The affiliate program might not generate any sales or be plain dishonest and not pay you the commissions that you have earned.
When deciding on which affiliate programs to join, one should always consider the following points:
– Read the terms and conditions of the affiliate program very carefully before signing up.
– Read about the experiences of other affiliate webmasters with the affiliate program. Does the affiliate program have a good or bad reputation in the affiliate industry? The best two forums to ask for advice about any affiliate program are Warrior Forum and Digital Point
– Visit the websites of other affiliate webmasters and take note of which affiliate programs they are promoting. If most of the big, busy and well established affiliates websites are promoting a particular affiliate program, then it usually means that the affiliate program is profitable and worth joining. If on the other hand you notice that hardly anyone is promoting a particular program, then it usually means that it is either quite new, or is not very profitable.
– Email the affiliate program and ask questions about the affiliate program. How promptly do they respond and how helpful are they? If an affiliate program doesn’t respond or isn’t very helpful, then take that as a warning bell and think twice about that affiliate program. In other words, think about how responsive they are likely to be when you contact them about late commission payments, etc
Recommended affiliate programs
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