People who look to the internet to earn an income have many avenues to choose from. One of the popular ways to earn money online is by becoming an affiliate and joining an affiliate program. This enables anybody to gain money on a commission basis. Many online businesses regardless of size offer affiliate programs these days.
What is an affiliate?
Affiliates are people (customers) that are happy to advertise a product or service, in exchange for a percentage of the sale their advertising generates. Basically, it’s like an online version of a salesperson working on commission-only and not employed by the company they are promoting: an independent representative if you like. Any lead they generate to a website is tracked back to them, so when that lead buys a product or service, the company makes a sale and the affiliate earns a commission.
How do affiliate programs work?
Once you join an affiliate program, you’ll receive a unique affiliate url or link. This is the link that is used to track sales back to you as it will “cookie” anyone clicking on that link. A cookie is a small piece of text stored on a user’s computer that remembers information about the user. Over 99% of Internet users have cookies enabled in their Internet browser. As a rule, once a cookie is set it never expires, so that person will always be linked back to you.
Even if someone clicks on your affiliate link and visits a website but does not buy straight away, that person is still linked to you should they make a purchase in the future. Depending on the program, an affiliate link can remain active to track future purchases back to you for life.
How do affiliates earn commission?
Affiliate programs differ in the way they offer commissions to their partners. There’s no standard percentage for commissions although this can range from 5 percent to as much as 100 percent or more of the advertised cost of a product or service.
Compensation methods often practiced by companies include:
- the cost per sale (CPS);
- cost per action (CPA); and
- cost per click (CPC).
Under the CPS and CPA methods, an affiliate earns a commission once the person he or she refers purchases a product or avails of a service. In other words, site visits are not counted because a purchase has to take place before payment can be made.
The cost per click also associated with the cost per mile (CPM) system is no longer widely used today because of the click fraud issue. The CPM method used to be the easier way to earn an income as a publisher needs to display only advertisements on his or her website and a commission was earned straight away. The CPC way, meanwhile, required web users to click on an online advert before an affiliate earns a commission.
Affiliates earn in the form sales as well as in advertising and promotion. Members are often given freedom as to the way they want to promote a product or service for the specific program they have chosen to partner with. Some common methods are writing and publishing reviews and articles, direct selling on websites as well as using affiliate links in forums.
How do you join an affiliate program?
Joining an affiliate program is easy: just register on your preferred site. An email confirmation and instructions on how to start earning will then be sent to you via email. You need to be clear on how much commission you’ll earn and for what products and services. Once you are ready to get started, you can promote your chosen product or service to encourage people to click your affiliate link and start earning income.
About Wendy Moore
Wendy Moore is founder of www.savvywebwomen.com and creator of the Savvy Web Secrets Mentoring Program – the step-by-step, hold your hand program that gives you the tools and confidence to become internet savvy. To receive your F.R.E.E. Special Report and weekly how-to articles to expand your online internet toolkit, visit www.savvywebwomen.com.