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Affiliate Programs - The Fundamentals

Basic information about affiliate programs

Affiliate programs offer one of the easiest ways to start your own online business and generate income from your own website. Affiliate programs are simply revenue sharing plans, and they are very popular on the internet. Many new entrepreneurs get started online by using affiliate programs. 

When you team up with an affiliate program, your job is to promote the merchant's products or services on your website or in your newsletter.

Most affiliate programs make it very easy to promote their goods by supplying their affiliates with banners or links back to their site to promote the product(s). And the affiliate program even does the difficult task of tallying up your clicks or sales for you! 

But you need to be careful when selecting an affiliate program. Make sure that you completely understand all the program details. Read the fine print and be sure to adhere to all rules that are spelled out in the affiliate agreement. 

The vast majority of affiliate programs pay their members a fixed dollar amount for each sale, click through, banner impression, or lead. 

Here's a simple breakdown of the most common payment plans used by affiliate programs:

  • Pay per sale - You earn a commission for each sale your website or newsletter generates. 
  • Pay per click through - You earn a set amount for each valid click on the affiliate program's link, regardless of whether the prospect ends up buying or not. 
  • Pay per lead - You receive a payment for each sales lead generated by your website or newsletter. 
  • Pay per impression - You earn money each time your affiliate program's banner or link is displayed on your website. 
It's very easy to join an affiliate program, but be sure to select affiliate programs that would be of interest to your site's visitors or your newsletter readers. In order for your affiliate programs to succeed, you must deliver the "ads" to targeted customers.

If your website or newsletter attracts outdoorsmen, you wouldn't want to promote maternity clothing or baby items. Likewise, if your site attracts teenagers, you don't want to promote items intended for senior citizens. Choose your affiliate programs wisely!

Again, be sure to read the fine print! Make sure you completely understand the payment clause. Most affiliate programs will only send you a check after you have accumulated a specified amount of commissions (usually $10.00 and up). 

Most affiliate programs pay once per month or quarter. You'll receive a check if your account reaches the minimum amount during that pay period. Most balances are cumulative. This simply means if you don't reach the minimum threshold during one pay period the account balance will be rolled over to the next pay period and added to any new commissions.

Once again, read the fine print in the affiliate agreement carefully so that you won't miss any important details. You'll be held to everything in the affiliate agreement whether you understand it or not.

To find some affiliate programs that are a good match for your website or newsletter, just do a Google search on Affiliate Programs. You'll have gazillions to choose from!

Do you want an easy way to get into a business of your own fast? Just join a good affiliate program! 

Article courtesy of B.B. Lee.

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