Friday, September 15, 2006

Your Guide To Making Money Online with Affiliate Programs

Affiliate (aka Associate) programs are a win-win situation
for everyone involved. Internet-based merchants hook up
with affiliates to generate traffic to their web sites.
Affiliates get paid if the traffic from their site visits
the merchant web page. The smart Internet entrepreneur does
some research to determine the best affiliate programs for
her business.

Where to Look

Affiliate networks are the middle man between affiliates and
web sites with affiliate programs. Look for affiliate
networks that provide all the tools needed to set up and
maintain an affiliate program. is a
popular directory with information about merchants that pay
you to sell their wares.

Commission Junction is a free network that offers access to
thousands of the best affiliate programs. Commission
Junction combines all your affiliate earnings (product
sales, on-line ads, links) into one monthly check.

What to Look for

The best affiliate programs will be those that target your
customer base. An on-line florist would get little traffic
from a pet supply website. You want an affiliate whose
business is similar or comparable to your product. Avoid
affiliates with low quality products. Ask to speak to
existing affiliates to find out if a company is reputable.

Referral traffic may link to the merchant site and not buy
initially but return to make a purchase weeks later. Look
for affiliate programs that remember your site was
responsible for that customer. The best affiliate programs
remember you for 60 days by using cookies to tag the
customer's computer when he visits the merchant site.

The best affiliate programs offer reliable support such as
ads, logos, and sales advice. Good programs also provide
timely updates on click through sales and earnings, and,
respond to questions or problems within 24 hours.

Getting Paid

There are three common affiliate payment plans. With pay
per sale, the merchant pays when the affiliate sends a
customer who buys from the merchant's site. The payment
could be a set amount or a percentage of the sale.

In a pay per click set up, the affiliate is paid based on
the number of people who visit the merchant's web site
regardless if a purchase was made.

With pay per lead programs, affiliates are paid based on the
number of people who sign up as leads. A lead would be a
visitor who filled out an information page on the merchant
web site thus becoming a potential customer.

Multi-level payment plans allow affiliates to earn
commission on sales, clicks, or leads from their sites as
well as commission based on activity generated by affiliate
sites they refer to the merchant site. Another form of
payment is residual commission. Affiliates continue earning
money after the original sale has been made. This is common
in situations where customers pay monthly fees for merchant

The best affiliate programs pay at least 25% commission with
some going as high as 50%. Payments should be made at least
once a month although some affiliate programs pay quarterly
or twice a year.

Honorable Mentions

SFI - Top Rated Affiliate Program

*This is what your SFI affiliate storefront will look like*

For Work at Home Ideas, Opportunities, E-Books, and Training Visit:

Home Based Affiliate Business