Best Affiliate Programs

What is an Affiliate Program?

Affiliate programs, also known as associate programs, are agreements in which an online merchant Web site pays affiliate Web sites a commission for sending them traffic. These affiliate Web sites post links to the merchant site and are compensated in accordance with a specific agreement.

This agreement is typically based on the number of visitors the affiliate sends to the merchant’s website, or the number of visitors who buy something or take some other action. Some arrangements pay based on how many people visit the page that contains their merchant site’s banner advertisement. Essentially, if a link on an affiliate site brings traffic or money to a merchant site, the merchant site pays the affiliate site according to their agreement. Recruiting affiliates is a great way to sell products online, but it can also be a cheap and effective marketing strategy; it’s a great way to spread the word about your website.

There are at least three parties in an affiliate program transaction:

  • The customer
  • The affiliate site
  • The merchant site

Affiliate Program Payment Arrangements

There are three basic types of affiliate program payment arrangements:

Pay-per-sale (also called cost-per-sale)

A pay-per-sale arrangement is illustrated by’s affiliate program. In this arrangement, the merchant site compensates an affiliate when the affiliate refers a customer who makes a purchase. Some merchant websites, such as, pay the affiliate a percentage of the sale, whereas others pay a flat fee per sale.

Pay-per-click (cost-per-click)

The merchant site pays the affiliate based on the number of visitors who click on the link to visit the merchant’s site in these programs. They are not required to purchase anything, and it is irrelevant to the affiliate what a visitor does once he arrives at the merchant’s site.

Pay-per-lead (cost-per-lead)

These programs compensate affiliates based on the number of visitors they refer who sign up as leads. This simply means that the visitor provides the merchant site with some requested information, which the merchant site may use as a sales lead or sell to another company as a sales lead.

Becoming an Affiliate

If you want to get involved in affiliate programs, the first step is to decide whether you want to become an affiliate, acquire affiliates, or do both. If you have an e-commerce site and want to increase sales, you should consider starting your own affiliate program.

Joining a few affiliate programs as a hobby would be a good option if you run a small content site as a hobby and would simply like to bring in a little money to cover production costs.

Your best option is determined by which aspects of affiliate programs would be most beneficial to your site and how much money you are willing to spend.

It is relatively simple to become an affiliate. To join an affiliate network, go to their website and fill out an online application. The application will request personal information (name, address, payment method) as well as site information (URL, name, and description of content) and will require you to agree to a service agreement. Affiliates can join most affiliate networks for free.

If your application is approved by the affiliate network, you can begin selecting affiliate programs that interest you. Because so many affiliate programs are free to the affiliate, you should probably avoid programs that charge a fee. Once you’ve chosen some affiliate programs, the online merchants who run these programs will be able to review your website.

If you are accepted, the affiliate network will walk you through the process of posting the appropriate links, which will come directly from the network’s website. They will also work with you to make payment arrangements. Most affiliate networks have a minimum payout amount because the amount of money you earn per action can be extremely small. This means you won’t get a check until the total amount owed to you reaches a certain threshold.

After you’ve completed all of this and the affiliate network has explained its system to you, you can return to your Web site’s content and wait for your money to arrive.

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