In Internet marketing, an affiliate is a person or company which sends visitors to a website in exchange for commissions.
Affiliates can earn commissions in three ways: per click, per sale and per lead.
Pay-per-click programs have declined dramatically in numbers because of click fraud.
Pay-per-sale and pay-per-lead programs are still very common.
These days, affiliate merchants or vendors the whole process easy for affiliates. You go to the vendor's site, type in your name and address, and wait for your website to be approved. In some cases, approval is automatic.
Each affiliate is given a unique link to paste into his or her website, so the vendor can track which affiliate is responsible for generating a sale.
Most affiliates own a website or several websites. However, some earn commissions by paying for advertising and sending the visitors directly from the ads to the merchant.
This “affiliate arbitrage” is a tough field for a newcomer. It's easy to spend more than you earn. Instead, I strongly recommend you start by creating your own website.
Here's a common misuse of the word “affiliate”:
WRONG: “I want to add some affiliates to my website.”
CORRECT: “I want to add some affiliate products to my website.”
CORRECT: “I want to add some affiliate links to my website.”
Being an affiliate is a bit like being a commissioned sales person – online.
There are many advantages in having this sort of business.
For example, you don't have to create a product, you don't have to carry any inventory, you don't have to worry about handling products, or postage, or refunds.
You work from home, choosing your own hours. You are your own boss.
Affiliate programs are usually free to join.
I've being doing this stuff for years. I love it.
Disadvantages? You have to have discipline and determination to succeed.
For newcomers to Internet marketing, joining an affiliate program or two is an excellent opportunity – a good way to earn money without producing your own product.
Are you new to affiliate programs?
Start here – FREE
The “Affiliate Masters Course” has been described as the best course on affiliate marketing – and it's free. Print it out, find a quiet spot and study it carefully. Do that, and you'll save yourself an awful lot of wasted time. Download the free Affiliate Masters Course