How To

Make Money With Affiliate Programs

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Make Money With Affiliate Programs

Affiliate programs are (usually free) opportunities to make money from your web site.

The way that they work, is you join the program, you add specially coded links to your site, and then you are paid based on your results. Results can be measured several ways, including:
  • Per Click: You are paid for each person who clicks on the affiliate advert.

  • Per Lead: You are paid for each person who signs-up for a (usually free) offer from the affiliate program provider.

  • Per Sale: You are paid based on the number and/or value of sales that you generate. Most commonly, such payments are based on a percentage of your sales.
Elsewhere on this web site, we have put together a number of resources to help you get started and succeed with affiliate programs: There are basically two ways that you can get involved with affiliate programs:
  1. You can create your web site first, then try to find suitable affiliate programs.

  2. You can find suitable affiliate programs, and then try to create a web site around them.
In my opinion, both approaches can work, but the best way to do it is to combine a bit from both schools of thought:
  • Before you start building your web site, at least have a general idea of what sort of topic you want to deal with (web sites about single specific topics ("niches") usually do better than web sites than are about everything and anything (for example, most online malls don't do well).

    I recommend that you try to choose a topic for which you both, already have some knowledge about (so you won't spend forever researching it), and also which you have a real passion in (so you won't get quickly bored).

  • Next, again before even starting to create your site, research what kinds of affiliate programs are available which tie-in with your theme. This is important because affiliate links related to your web site content will almost certainly generate more revenue than affiliate links which are unrelated.

    I think probably the best places to start looking for suitable affiliate programs are Commission Junction (reviewed here), and ClickBank (reviewed here), and chances are you will find some matches, at least for most topics.

    Disclosure: We participate in both the Commission Junction and ClickBank affiliates programs. We also use ClickBank as a retailer for some of our company's products, and our products hence have a ClickBank affiliate program.

    If you can't find any suitable affiliate programs after a good hunt around (including looking at both of the above mentioned two, and browsing through some affiliate program directories, you then have these options:

    1. You could just use Google AdSense, which is reviewed here. Many people who use AdSense focus heavily on this program, don't really worry too much about other affiliate links, and instead concentrate on building your content and traffic.

    2. You could give-up on the idea of making money from affiliate programs, and instead build your content into a for-sale eBook.

    3. You could give-up on this topic, and try to find another topic for which you can find suitable affiliate programs.

  • Finally, only after you have a good idea of both the general content of your site, and the affiliate programs that you plan to use, are you ready to start creating your web site.


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