Affiliate Programs - Making Money With Your Website

Affiliate programs have been around since the burgeoning of the Internet. An affiliate program is “a revenue sharing program where an affiliate web site receives a portion of income for delivering sales, leads, or traffic to a merchant web site.”

“Affiliate programs have grown today to become one of the most popular ways for you to earn an income from your web site's traffic,” reports “Most affiliate programs are designed to allow you to simply set up and begin earning commissions on visitors and sales you refer.” How much money you can earn depends on the number of visitors to your site and on how many of them click on the text ads or banners that lead to the merchant site.

When you join an affiliate program, you receive a specially formatted URL that allows the merchant—or a 3rd party service provider—to track the traffic coming from your site and to determine when a commissionable transaction has occurred for which you should be paid.

Many programs, so choose wisely

There are hundreds of affiliate programs to choose from. The variables to compare when considering a program include: commission rates, frequency of payment, and if there is a minimum dollar amount required before receiving a check. Be sure you understand how they track leads and determine sales. Are you being paid per-click, per-impression, per-lead, or per-sale?

Look for programs that have been around for a while and that have a large network already in place. Avoid any programs that require a fee to join.

The most popular programs these days are the pay-per-lead type, primarily because thy do not require a purchase to be made in order for a commission to be earned. Most pay-per-lead programs offer a free service or product, and although they usually pay lower commissions than pay-per-sale programs, they often have more conversions, which mean higher overall payments.

A good example

One industry that pays consistently high commissions for quality leads is the mortgage and home loan business. Take for instance the Easy Home Equity Mortgages Affiliate Program, EHEM pays for completed leads (form submissions) for a variety of loan types: mortgage refinancing, second mortgages, home equity loans, and debt consolidation loans. They specialize in bad credit loans that other lenders might reject. This means they accept more leads (and pay more commissions) than many other affiliate programs.

EHEM is an example of a two-tier system. They pay commissions to both the affiliate that refers a lead and to the person who referred that affiliate to the program. They train affiliates, provide tech support, and supply all the needed text links and banners. Their program features:

* no start-up fees
* $21 per-lead payout
* 25% second tier payout
* high conversion ratio
* 1-page simple form
* timely commission payments

There are several online directories where you can research and compare various affiliate programs, such as: Affiliate Guide, 5-Star Affiliate Programs, and Affiliate First. If you are looking for a time-effective, no-risk way to earn cash from your website or e-newsletter, affiliate programs could be just the ticket.

About The Author
Mike Hamel is the author of several books and articles. His material is featured on sites like