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A Look At Different Kinds Of Affiliate Marketing Programs

Aug 18, 2007
Anyone interested in starting an affiliate marketing business is faced with many options as far as what programs to promote. Some may wonder what is the best type for earning commissions. Here is an overview of the most common kinds of programs that pay commissions.

The most common and traditional way for affiliates to earn commissions is for every sale they make. The merchant pays you a percentage of the sale when a customer that you referred by you makes a purchase. Sometimes a merchant will pay a fixed amount for every sale. The percentage based compensation is actually much more common though. The actual percentage varies widely but the majority pay at least 50 percent of the sale.

There are some affiliate models that are based on pay per click. Under this system the owner of the website will pay you for every visitor you send to their pages. The amount of money for every referral is usually very small. The closest model to compare this to is Google adsense. Pay per click merchants are very hard to find and have not been very popular. Most would choose adsense over these merchants which is more likely to generate more income.

Pay per lead arrangements have become very popular with internet marketers. They pay for every lead referred to the site owner. A lead is usually where the visitor provides their information for follow up or signs up for something that is specified by the merchant. It is a popular way to make money because it is much easier to generate leads than sales.

The multitiered marketing model is where you earn not only commissions from every sale but also from sales that affiliates you referred to the merchant make. In theory multitier seems like a good idea. All you have to do is build an army of subaffiliates to do the selling for you and you collect income from their efforts. The problem is that most of the people under you will do the same thing instead of focusing on selling.

There are also sites that promise to pay resudual income to their affiliates. This is where everytime the customer you referred is rebilled you continue to recieve commission income. While there can be some big long term rewards promoting these sites there are also a couple of challenges that go along with it. First of all it is much more difficult to make a sale that has recurring billing than a one time sale. Secondly residual income isn't the same as lifetime income. Over time a certain percentage of people you refer will cancel their billing so to keep or grow your income you have to constantly refer new customers.

So what kind of affiliate program works the best? That is a hard question to answer. You can certainly make money with any of them. I personally have had the best luck with pay per sale and pay per lead. The methods you choose to generate traffic as well as the products you decide to promote will determine more how much you make than what kind of program you use.
About the Author
Aaron Ballantyne has been making money online for 2 years and has a squidoo lens where you can find free affiliate marketing information .
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