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Affiliate Marketing Program Basics

May 26, 2008
Affiliate marketing programs allow ordinary people to make money online without an initial investment of money or having to start their own business. When you sign up for an affiliate program, you agree to drum up business for a company and promote its product online. You make money every time someone clicks on your ads, purchases the product or service, or visits the merchant's website and signs up for a newsletter. Basically, affiliate programs such as Pay Per Click work on a commission-basis so you only make as much money as the amount of effort you put into marketing.

There are several different types of affiliate programs - Pay Per Click, Pay Per Action, Pay Per Lead, and Pay Per Call. Here is a brief breakdown of each one:

Pay Per Click - This type of affiliate marketing is pretty straightforward. When you place these affiliate ads on your website, every time a visitor clicks on the ads you get paid. This is essentially how Google AdWords works. You don't necessarily have to make a sale to make money through this kind of affiliate program because you get paid each time someone simply clicks through to the site for which you're advertising - hence the term, "Pay Per Click." If you can attract a large amount of visitors to your website through savvy Internet marketing, you have the potential to make a good and steady income from affiliate marketing.

Pay Per Action - Affiliate programs of this kind are relatively new, and only give out commission payments if users who click on the affiliate ads complete a specific action once they arrive at the destination site. So for example, if a visitor clicks on an ad the merchant will set up the affiliate marketing program so that you only get paid if the person signs up for a newsletter, purchases a product, or views a particular page. Affiliate marketing like this is more specific in how payments are made to participants in affiliate networks.

Pay Per Lead - Affiliate programs that pay for each lead are becoming more common. The way this works is that you only get paid for each user that clicks on the ad link and then goes on to sign up with their information on the merchant's site. When it comes right down to it, the merchant is paying affiliates to generate strong leads that have a greater potential to turn into actual sales.

Pay Per Call - This is exactly what it sounds like. If someone uses your affiliate ad to call the merchant and purchase something, that's when you get paid. It's a more specific way of taking advantage of affiliate advertising and allows merchants to limit commission payments to times when they actually make a solid sale or lead. Talking to a customer on the phone has the added benefit of making it easier for the merchant to make the sale and generate new and repeat business.

Affiliate networks offer all kinds of affiliate opportunities, so it pays to spend some time searching for programs and merchants that will be a good fit for you. Once you find that diamond in the rough that you can market online it will only be a short amount of time before you're making a steady income through affiliate marketing.
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To learn more about Affiliate Marketing, check out the Affiliate Marketing Web Site.
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