If you have a website, perhaps only a small and simple one, you can make some money with it. It’s much easier than you might think; all you need to do is join an affiliate program.
What is an affiliate program?
An affiliate program is based on the agreement of two parties, called the advertiser and the publisher or affiliate. The advertiser pays the affiliate for every specific event, determined in advance.
There are a few different commission models available; some affiliate programs offer two or more ways of earning commission, but most programs have only one model available. If the affiliate program you are looking at isn’t using a commission model to your liking, there are numerous of other affiliate programs just waiting for you to find and join them.
How does an affiliate program work?
Upon joining the affiliate program, you will be given specific HTML code to add to your website. This code is used for tracking the visitors you send to the affiliate program. Different programs use different types of affiliate code; some allow you to change it it, some don’t.
The most common way of promoting an affiliate program is by the use of affiliate banners. The affiliate simply puts one ore more banners -with the tracking code embedded - on his website and hopes for his visitors to click the ads and buy what ever the affiliate programs are offering. Most affiliate programs have the option of using text links as another way of promoting the affiliate program, which can be a good way of promoting the programs.
Text links have the upside of not looking as obvious ads, thus making them more likely to be clicked. If you are using an affiliate program where you get paid per sale, just having people click the ad won’t make you any money, they have to buy something as well.
What commission models are available?
- PPS - Paid per sale
With PPS the affiliate gets paid every time he or she sends a visitor buying something from the advertiser’s site. The commission can be a fixed amount, or it can be a percentage of the order, often minus packing and shipping.
- PPC - Paid per click
With PPC the advertiser pays the affiliate for every visitor delivered. This is often a flat rate, making the profits fairly easy to calculate. Most contextual advertising, such as Google adwords, use PPC as commission model.
- PPL - Paid per lead
With PPL the affiliate gets paid every time he or she sends a visitor showing obvious interest in the product promoted. This can be pretty much anything from asking for a catalogue, filling out a simple form to signing up for the companies newsletter.
- PPM - Paid per impression
With PPM the affiliate gets paid every time he shows the advertiser’s ad, most often a banner ad. The commission is measured per thousand, thus the M (mille) in PPM.
How to I get paid?
Most affiliate programs pay monthly, or twice a month. Almost all programs have a minimum amount you need to earn before you get paid. This amount can vary greatly, so look out for payout thresholds hard to reach.
The payments are mainly done by check, but many use paypal or other online payment processors. Some offer wire transfers, but mainly restricted to higher amounts.
When the payment is made by check, make sure the cost of cashing it in doesn’t eat up to much of your revenue. If you are using an affiliate program with a currency different from your own, cashing the checks can cost quite a bit of money and, as we know, the object is to make as much money you can.
Theo Swan - Writing about affiliate programs and online revenue. Read more in his affiliate marketing blog , or find a better affiliate program of any commission model at Affiliate Ranker .