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What's An Affiliate Program?


  Affiliate Programs are also called Associate Programs, Re-seller Programs, Commission or Pay-Per-Sale, Pay-Per-Click and Click-Through Programs.

Joining an Affiliate Program is a great way to start earning a sizeable income on the Internet without many of the hassles that come with running your own business.

All you do is recommend someone else's product or service, and get paid a "referral fee" or "commission" for every sale that is made.  You are assigned a special "affiliate URL" that tracks all of the visitors you send to their web site and all of the sales that you generate.


Who Should Join An Affiliate Program?

  • People looking to start an internet business who don't have a product or service of their own.  If you want to start an internet business, but don't have a product or service of your own to sell, then promoting affiliate products to earn referral fees can be a good alternative.....if you're prepared to work really hard first!  (Remember, when you sell your own product you keep all of the profits;  when you sell someone else's product, you keep only a small portion of the profits)

  • Established e-business owners looking to diversify their income.  If you already have a we site, with an established customer base and opt-in email list, then you are in a perfect position to begin promoting affiliate products and services.  You simply find Affiliate Programs that offer products or services that your target market will be interested in, sign up, and then begin promoting them.  Developing another product or service of your own takes time, money and resources that you simply may not have right now.  So why not take advantage of existing products and earn referral fees by recommending them to your current customer base?
  • e-Business owners who have an established Affiliate Program of their own.  Many businesses with Affiliate Programs mistakenly think that because they have their own Affiliate Program, they shouldn't promote affiliate products to their customers and subscribers.  They are two completely separate things!  Don't make the costly mistake of denying yourself this powerful source of extra income.  With your own increased customer base (through affiliate referrals) you have even more reasons to get started promoting affiliate products and services.

How the Different Affiliate Program Models Work

There are basically four ways that Affiliate Programs are set up to compensate you, as an affiliate.

  • Pay-per-Click Programs:  With a pay-per-click program, you are paid for each person who clicks through your affiliate link (ie.  affiliate banner, text link, etc...) to the Affiliate Program's website.  Typical fees paid per visitor who clicks through range from $0.05 to $1.00 depending on the product type and profit margin.
  • Pay-per-lead Programs:  With a pay-per-lead program, you are paid for each "lead" that you send them.  For example, you might post a form on your web site and be paid each time a visitor fills it out.  The form could be anything - a request for more information about the affiliate product or service, a request for a quote, a free trial offer, or a request for free information.
  • Pay-per-impression programs:  With a pay-per-impression program, you will be paid every time the affiliate link or banner is displayed to someone visiting your web site.  Typically payment runs at a couple of cents per visitor and is calculated per 1,000 impressions.
  • Pay-per-sale Programs:  This is by far the most popular type of Affiliate Program.  With a pay-per-sale program, you are paid a percentage of the profits on every sale made to someone you refer.

Why Two-Tier Affiliate Programs Are The Way to Go

Another decision that you'll need to make when looking for Affiliate Programs to join is whether or not you're interested in a "two tiered" program.

With a single-tier Affiliate Program, you are paid a commission for any sale that you refer.......but that's it.  With a two-tier Affiliate Program, you are paid a small percentage of any sales generated by affiliates that you recruit to join their program (i.e.  you are paid a small percentage of the sales generated by your "sub-affiliates").

Joining two-tier programs is definitely recommended wherever possible, because once you've saturated your market with the affiliate product or service, you can then promote the actual Affiliate Program to them.

You can say something like, "I've made X amount of money in this excellent program promoting this really great product, and I think it might be a great opportunity for you too!"  When your customers and subscribers read your email or article promoting the Affiliate Program, many of them will decide that it sounds like an excellent opportunity and decide to join too.

Many of the new affiliates that you recruit will then promote the affiliate product to their customer and subscriber base..... and you'll earn extremely easy extra income by getting a small percentage of all the sales they refer!  


How You Get Paid

There a few different ways that Affiliate Programs compensate their affiliates.....

Some will pay in credit towards the merchandise or services they offer (not many do this though).  The rest usually pay in cash (more specifically, a check is mailed to you each month).

Many companies have a "minimum payout" balance.  For example, you might have to earn a minimum of $100 in referral fees (or whatever amount they choose) before they will issue you a cheque.  Other companies will pay you no matter how little you earn in a month.

Just be careful to read the Affiliate Agreement when you sign up for a particular program.  You don't want to do business with a company that has some really high pay out where you have to accumulate hundreds of dollars in sales before they will issue you the first cheque.








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