Make Money Online with Affiliate Programs

Ask any Internet marketing guru to list the top revenue-generating programs and you can be sure that affiliate programs will be at or near the top.

An affiliate program is an agreement or business relationship where you are compensated for selling the products or services of another. The two parties in this agreement are the affiliates and the merchants.
The merchant sells products on the web and pays other website owners (affiliates) who attract customers to his products online. A commission is paid for every sale generated from the affiliate site.

I mentioned my mini-site, thebigfree.com, in the mini-site section. I signed up for the cellularphones.com affiliate program when I created this website. Cellularphones.com were the merchant that paid me a commission when a visitor made a purchase after they came from my site, thebigfree.com.

These programs are not limited to sales. Webmasters can get “rewards per click”, “per lead”, or “per sale”. They can even combine these three affiliate incentives.

Some of the pay-per-click search engines that I mentioned above have affiliate programs and pay their affiliates on per-click basis.

However, most well-paying affiliate programs pay their affiliates a percentage of the sale or a flat rate commission per sale. For the cellularphones.com affiliate program, I received a flat rate of $37.00 per cellular phone activation. As you can see from these checks, I’ve made a decent amount of money participating in this affiliate program.

Participating and joining a websites’ affiliate program is just one way to profit from an affiliate program. The two ways to directly profit using affiliate programs are:
1. Participation – earning commission on sales you make
2. Starting your own – create a massive sales force to increase your sales volume and profits
Many people online have made huge amounts of money with affiliate programs, either participating or starting their own. I’ve made money participating in affiliate programs but have not yet started my own affiliate program.

I intend to set up a very generous affiliate program for the “Proven Ways Package.
Participation

Affiliate programs are a great way to start making a profit on the Internet because they require little or no initial investment on your part. If you already have a website, you can easily add affiliate links from merchants whose products match or complement your site’s current content.

The beauty of affiliate programs is that they are completely free to join – at least the legitimate ones. If you are ever requested to pay to join an affiliate program, be very cautious. I have yet to hear of any reputable affiliate program where an affiliate needed to pay to join.

How do I find these affiliate programs?
Because affiliate programs are a proven aid for anyone selling products to increase their sales, they are increasing in number rapidly. You’ll find that many web businesses now offer an affiliate program to increase their traffic and sales.
Many more websites start an affiliate program each day. It can be difficult for webmasters to find out about new and current programs.

These are the best ways to research and find affiliate programs to promote.
Search the following:
1. Look for an “affiliate program” (sometimes called “partners”) link on websites that you visit. or email them and ask if they have an affiliate program.
2. the major affiliate networks
3. affiliate program portal sites

It’s easy to find merchants who offer affiliate programs. Their websites have links to information about their affiliate program. When you visit your favorite websites, see if they have links to an affiliate program. If they do, the affiliate program link will be prominently displayed in their menu on the Homepage.
For example, let’s visit the website Amazon.com. I know they have an affiliate program, they are actually the pioneers in affiliate marketing. The first check I received from any online company was from them. Click to see it here.
On the Amazon.com website, you’ll see a link to their “affiliate program.” If you click on that link you’ll see a page that explains the details of their program.
Here are some examples of direct affiliate programs:
http://www.cellularphones.com/
http://www.ezinetactics.com/
http://www.marketingtips.com/
These websites have their own tracking software which means that they handle all of the tracking and payments themselves. When I join affiliate programs I usually do some simple research on whether or not the company is reputable – meaning they actually do pay their affiliates in a timely fashion. A more efficient way to search for reputable affiliate programs with proven track records is by searching the major affiliate networks.

Affiliate networks to find reputable affiliate programs
Affiliate networks are websites that offer a complete affiliate marketing solution for merchants. The networks provide software, tracking and payments to the merchants’ affiliates. The affiliate networks handle many affiliate programs for probably more than 100 merchants.
If you have a website ready and are looking for appropriate affiliate programs to join, visit these affiliate networks and search for the merchants whose offers relate to your site’s theme.
One major advantage of joining an affiliate program through an affiliate network is peace of mind. You’ll know that your statistics and payments are handled by a third-party provider and most part have good reputations.
These are the biggest Affiliate Networks that handle hundreds of merchant websites:
http://www.cj.com/
http://www.linkshare.com/
http://www.befree.com/
http://www.referback.com/
http://www.websponsors.com/

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http://www.clickxchange.com/
http://www.plugngo.com/
http://www.shareasale.com/
These Affiliate Networks have numerous programs from which you can choose. They all display listings in an organized way, showing the commission rates and details. This makes it easy when you’re looking for the highest paying, relevant program to promote on your website.
Affiliate program portal sites
Another efficient way to search for affiliate programs is to visit affiliate program directory websites. These sites have comprehensive lists of reputable affiliate programs for virtually any kind of products – auto parts, DVDs, electronics, artwork, etc. These sites are affiliate program portals; they include a great deal of information about affiliate marketing. Some affiliate program portals I frequently visit are:
Associateprograms.com
Cashpile.com
Affiliatesdirectory.com
These portal sites show which merchants have proven results. There are message boards for people to post their opinions and experience; which programs are hot, and which are not, which pay on time and which are inconsistent.
I joined some affiliate programs, now what?
Affiliate marketing is a simple concept – link to a merchant, and you earn money if your visitor goes to their site and makes a purchase. There are many webmasters who already earn hundreds or thousands of dollars per month by connecting to just a few of the merchants listed in these affiliate networks.

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