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What Are Affiliate Programs?

Nov 25, 2007
Affiliate programs, also sometimes referred to as associate programs, are partnerships between your website and an online merchant website. The merchant will pay your affiliate website a commission to send traffic to them. If a sale is made by a visitor using your link to get to the merchant website, then you will be paid. The amount you will get paid varies but you will know in advance the commission rates before signing up to participate in the program.

The process of recruiting affiliates is a profitable way for merchants to their sell products and services online. The merchant can increase their online visibility dramatically by partnering with websites owned by others to display their banners and links.

If the internet business that you have chosen involves selling your own product or service, then you must seriously consider acquiring affiliates to assist you in your promotion efforts. Pay a generous commission and you will have created a powerful and profitable partnership.

This partnership equates to a WIN-WIN situation for all involved. The merchant sells more products, the website owner gets paid a commission, and the visitor receives value from a content rich website and is referred to products that meet their needs.

The best way to profit from an affiliate program is to choose products and services to promote that you feel will offer genuine value to your visitor. Research the product or service yourself to assess the quality when possible.
How much money you can make should be a secondary concern, not the primary. The primary concern is that your website is a valuable source of information for the visitor. If you can remember that, the rest will easily fall into place.

There are two ways to join an affiliate program. You can contact the merchant directly or you can access a third party affiliate network that takes care of the accounting on behalf of the merchant. Becoming an affiliate is as easy as submitting an online application. In most cases, you will be instantly approved.

You will save time by joining an affiliate network such as ClickBank or CommissionJunction. These networks allow you to choose from a wide variety of merchants within their network. Some affiliate merchants require you sign up with them directly and they do their own accounting and do not participate in the affiliate networks. My suggestion is to avoid any affiliate merchant that wants you to pay to be a member. There are so many great free programs. It is just not necessary to pay money to become an affiliate.
About the Author
Nina Greene is owner of BennettWealthSystems.com and provides sound practices for starting an internet business. To learn more about this topic Nina recommends you visit: http://www.BennettWealthSystems.com
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