Affiliate programs have been around for years but many people still think these are solely involved with sales. This is only partly true. They are also a great tool to start a business with.
The idea of affiliates is to get people to click on an affiliate link, such as a link to a company, product or service and this is done by the affiliate site by directing the visitor to the advertiser’s pages. If the person who clicks goes on that advertiser’s site and purchases what the advertiser offers, then through your link on that page, you will get paid a commission from the advertiser.
If it was a product, then the advertiser would provide the product such as a CD or DVD. If it was a service, such as an SEO or web design, then a page would provide the services. Either way your role is to get people to go to the advertiser’s site by means of the affiliate link on your site.
The most popular affiliate programs are pay per lead or pay per sale such as Google AdSense or ClickBank which pay a cent for each click through on your site. For example if someone clicks on an ad for a product on your site and they go to the advertiser’s site and purchase, you will get paid a cent which is equivalent to the cost of the product. This means that you need not earn big commissions to be successful.
There are other kinds of programs such as pay per click that pay based on the number of times the link is shown on your site. A link can be one simple click or it can require dozens of clicks over time if it is used in other ways.
Another form of affiliate programs are those that pay for leads such as a request from someone who goes to an affiliate website and enters their name and email. In this case there is no purchase but the person would be asked again in the future. This is a different form of affiliate program because the visitor has not given their personal information. The amount of money the referrer will get will vary by company to case.
Finally there are programs that pay based on sign up. For example a membership site may pay a member each time they sign up. This would be similar to an insurance or credit card affiliate program. It is not a form of affiliate program for these sites as there is no third party involved.
Affiliate programs are a great way to get started in an online business. They also work well overseas. Many large companies use this model. There are even thousands of people making a full time or semi-full time income from promoting affiliate products and programs. Many people have quit their jobs and made their own business from affiliate programs. There is not limit to the amount of websites you can build with affiliate programs.