PaymentThere are three basic types of affiliate program payment arrangements:
- Pay-per-sale (also
Amazon.com's affiliate program is an example
of a pay-per-sale arrangement. In this
arrangement, the merchant site pays an
affiliate when the affiliate sends them a
customer who purchases something. Some
merchant Web sites, like Amazon.com, pay the
affiliate a percentage of the sale and
others pay a fixed amount per sale.
In these programs, the merchant site pays
the affiliate based on the number of
visitors who click on the link to come to
the merchant's site. They don't have to buy
anything, and it doesn't matter to the
affiliate what a visitor does once he gets
to the merchant's site.
- Pay-per-lead (cost-per-lead): Companies with these programs pay their affiliates based on the number of visitors they refer who sign up as leads. This simply means the visitor fills out some requested information at the merchant site, which the merchant site may use as a sales lead or sell to another company as a sales lead.
basic payment plans:
Two-tier programs: These
have a structure
known as "network
marketing") such as
Amway or Avon, which
commission sales and
In addition to
commissions based on
sales, clicks or
leads stemming from
their own site,
affiliates in these
receive a commission
based on the
affiliate sites they
refer to the
- Residual Programs: Affiliates in these programs can keep making money off a visitor they send to the site if the visitor continues to purchase goods or services from the merchant site. Many online merchants who receive regular payments from their customers (such as monthly service fees) run this sort of affiliate program.
Becoming an affiliate is relatively easy. Go to an affiliate network site and fill out an online application to become a member. The application will ask for some personal information (name, address, payment method) and information on your site (URL, name, and description of content) and will have you agree to a service agreement. Most affiliate networks are completely free for affiliates.
If the affiliate network approves your application, you can begin picking affiliate programs that interest you. Because so many affiliate programs are free to the affiliate, it's probably in your best interest to steer clear of programs with a charge. Once you've chosen some affiliate programs, the online merchants running these programs will have the opportunity to review your site. If they approve you, the affiliate network will walk you through the process of posting the appropriate links, which come directly from the network's site.
They will also establish payment arrangements with you. Because the amount of money you earn per action can be extremely small, most affiliate networks have a set minimum payout amount. This means you won't receive a check until the total money owed you reaches a certain amount. After you have set all this up and the affiliate network has explained its system to you, you can get back to work on your Web site's content and wait for your money to come in.