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MAIN Arrow to Computer Age Technology Arrow to Computer Age - Internet Internet Arrow to Affiliate Programs Affiliate Programs

affiliate program
Although the process is fairly
simple, lots of research goes
into making a commission.

In the early days of the Web, people simply put up Web sites to write about what they loved. Hobbies, movie reviews, recipes, or family updates and photos were simply shared without a thought to making a buck.

Today, the Internet is filled with opportunities for everyone to make a profit from the Web. Most are centered around advertising affiliate programs of all sizes that promise to help boost money-making opportunities for larger sites or even casual Web publishers.

A big caveat emptor is often included, however, since the number of advertising affiliate services for publishers have grown year by year. Among them are programs with shoddy customer support, complicated agreements or shady business practices.

Just up ahead, check out a simple guide for using and profiting from advertising affiliate programs along with tips, advice, and related Web resources that may help you enjoy the fruits of your labors while avoiding the common pitfalls after joining a typical affiliate program:

How do I ...

Usually, all it takes to join an affiliate program is to sign up, and then cut and paste a simple line of code that they provide.

Place the code anywhere you like in the html of your page for maximum exposure. The code will automatically call up current offerings from affiliate advertisers in either text or banner format. Advertisers get exposure to your visitors who, in turn, click on the ads that interest them - and you collect a commission on what visitors buy from the advertiser.


Trick question: Which affiliate programs
make the most money?


In short, your visitors must be willing to buy a product or service from your affiliate partner in most cases for you to collect a commission.

Rarely do affiliate programs pay for simple clicks (PPC - Pay Per Click) but most often it is PPP - Pay for Performance. That means your visitor will have to click on the ad and THEN purchase a product from your advertiser before you see a payment.

A prime exception to this rule? The Pay Per Click contextual ad program offered by Google Adsense, which only requires the visitor to click on the ad and simply view what's on offer at the advertiser's landing page.

Know your affiliate terms

Once you've signed up with an affiliate program, how do you know how your site is performing in terms of clicks or purchases? Most reputable programs will allow you to check your performance by logging on to their password-protected member page to check your earnings and/or percentages of clicks and earnings.

In addition to PPP and PPC (see above), important basic affiliate lingo to know includes:

  • Page Impressions : how many times the ad was called up on your site.

  • CTR : Click Through Rate - a percentage of clicks per impressions.

  • CPM : Clicks Per Thousand - a general overview of performance told in percentages.

  • Total Earnings : earnings percentage depend on agreements that vary among even the best programs. Prepare to receive an average 10-15% of earnings on a product or service purchased via a click tracked from your site.

Signing up with affiliate providers

Although there are literally thousands of individual programs you ma want to join, there are also 'one-stop shopping' affiliate providers. They provide an easy way to sign up with a number of companies providing an easier way to keep track of all your earnings with one login. As noted above, Google Adsense provides one of the best pay-per-click programs.

How much money can I make from an affiliate program?

Ah, the big question.

Most pay-per-performance programs award higher commissions to top sellers, but unless you're willing to devote all your time to marketing and selling your advertising partner, seller beware. At the end of the month, you may only collect a modest check that might pay for your bandwidth, a nice lunch, or the occasional dinner out.

If you're lucky and can beat out the competition in terms of getting actual visitors to your site, your odds of making money increases — depending on how your visitors respond by clicking on ads or, more often, buying products from your affiliate partners.

So. Should you join an affiliate program? The answer is a definite yes, as long as you go into a partnership already knowing your visitors likes and dislikes -- to help you find a perfect match between an affiliate program and your audience.

More information about affiliate programs around the Web:

Around the Web, find out more about how to start making money from affiliate programs with information on where and how to find them, along with step-by-step guides and online forums for very helpful tips and advice from other webmasters on the front lines ...

Advertising Sales and Affiliate Programs - Very active forum at Webmaster World with all the latest scoop from fellow webmasters with their opinions on what's hot and what's not.

Digital Point Forum - 24/7 discussions and exchange of ideas on SEO, affiliate advertising programs, Internet marketing, and related topics.

Affiliate Program Directory - Easily find an affiliate program searchable by keyword, or browse the feature how-to articles and site forum for been-there tips and advice.


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