Affiliate Program Basics

Affiliate Program Basics

Affiliate programs have become a regular feature of most online companies. For thousands of companies and hundreds of networks providing affiliate services it can be difficult to know where to start. Understanding the basics will help you make good decisions when starting your marketing affiliate business.

3 Types of Affiliate Marketers
  • Full-time Affiliate Marketing

Your whole business model will be based on affiliate marketing in this situation. Your only source of revenue in your business is to promote products and make money as an affiliate.

  • Part-time Affiliate Marketing

In this case, affiliate marketing is a major source of revenue but not the only source of revenue for your company. You can also make money on your platform by ads, selling your own digital goods or other products and services.

  • Side-line Affiliate Marketing

The focus of your company in this case is mainly on your own products and services. You can recommend other products and services as necessary, and earn additional income as an affiliate.

The amount of time needed to introduce an affiliate program is minimal, because such programs are most often put on your current website(s), and most programs have ad copy, photos, and links to monitoring. The most persuasive explanation for beginning affiliate marketing, of course, is revenue generation. So regardless of your online type of company, you should find at least some kind of affiliate marketing.

Monetize traffic on your Website

You are working hard for your site to generate traffic-you are creating a busy route. Now, if you’re making billboards on that busy street, you’re going to make more money. Of course, you get paid for making an activity for affiliate schemes, not only for showing an ad, but if you can produce more revenue from the same amount of traffic – well, it just makes good business sense.

Popular Affiliate Marketing Platforms
  • Click Bank: primarily digital products, which include downloadable e-books and product information. If you are not already, you should seriously consider the promotion as an affiliate of digital information products.
  • Commission junction: includes all big industries: transportation, banking, marketing and even the automotive industry.
  • Maybe the grandfather of it all; if it’s on Amazon for sale, you can advertise it and earn a fee to do so.
  • Skimlinks is a middle man-acturing system. You put raw links from each of the advertisers that they contract to add a piece of code to your web, and they turn them into affiliate links for you.
  • Google AdSense: Text ads and payment are mainly focused on “clicks,” not transaction.

Besides these common networks of affiliates, other organizations will run their own in-house affiliate programs for the goods and services they sell.

Affiliate Marketing Program Details to be considered
  • Payment details: Some services pay a finder’s fee – ranging from $0.50 per lead or sale to over $100. Others offer a percentage of any sales generated from your site referral (from 1 percent to more than 75 percent).
  • How they’re paying: Some fringe programs may never pay. It is best to stick to established programs, at least in the first place, to make sure you get paid. Some require checks to have PayPal accounts or a mailing address. Others pay into your bank account by direct deposit.
  • Refunds: When a credit is made to a company, the payment balance for that order will be deducted from your account. Confirming with the program other details regarding refunds is good.
  • Tracking: Does the software provide a system for monitoring clicks, transactions, and leads? Without this, how do you know if they pay you properly? Most sites have your account dashboard, which displays daily, weekly and monthly traffic stats.
  • Use of cookies: A larger system will use 14 or 30-day cookies, which ensures that if you refer a visitor to a website and they leave without making a purchase, but return next week and then buy, you will earn referral credit and you will collect your fee.
  • Allowable marketing techniques: Many policies forbid particular marketing methods, the use of trademarked content (logos, photos, and slogans) or the use of their company name in search marketing.
Basic requirements for the Affiliate program

Not all programs are equal, however several do allow you to have:

  • A well-programmed, working website
  • A website which does not contravene clear terms and conditions
  • A clear policy regarding anonymity, terms of use and legal disclaimer
The Bottom Line

Affiliate marketing is one of internet’s quickest, simplest, and most efficient ways of making money. If you have not already done so, consider incorporating affiliate marketing as part of your portfolio of online products.