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 Affiliate Programs

An affiliate program is defined as revenue sharing between online advertisers or merchants and online publishers or salespeople (affiliate), whereas compensation is based on performance measures, typically in the form of sales, clicks, registrations, or a variety of the three models. To put it bluntly, an affiliate puts a link to a merchant on his website, and, when someone visiting the affiliate's website clicks through this link and makes a purchase, the affiliate earns a commission from the merchant.

There are literally thousands of affiliate programs offered on the Internet. Some are hosted by large networks where the network handles tracking of the clicks and purchases, while some are "in-house" programs that are controlled by the merchant themselves.

The benefit to a webmaster is obvious: Money. Most websites today use some or many affiliate links to generate revenue for their websites. It is possible to make thousands of dollars a month by promoting a merchant or merchants. Also, there is no inventory to store, no customer service to provide, no orders to ship, and no credit cards to charge.

There are many questions you must ask yourself when looking for an affiliate program.
  • Will this merchant's product or service fit my website's theme?
    If you have a website about guitars, why would someone click on a link for a credit card?

  • Is the merchant's product or service something that I would buy myself?
    If a visitor to your website sees a link to a product, they believe that it is an endorsement of that product, and that it is worth their time and attention.

  • Is there another merchant who provides the same products or services?
    Why advertise for a merchant who only pays you a 2% commission when another offers a 5% commission?

Commission Junction
Summary: Increase your traffic and generate more revenue from your ad inventory through affiliate marketing in the Commission Junction advertising network. Develop strategic relationships with name brand advertisers and get paid for every sale and lead you generate. As one of the largest ad networks in the world, Commission Junction acts as a trusted third party that tracks and reports on every banner or link, sends a monthly payment to publishers, and provides online tools to help affiliates optimize performance.

Merchants: 1500+
Merchant Quality: Very Good
Payments: Consolidated
Payment Type: Check or Direct Deposti
Interface Simple navigation, easy to set up links and banners

LinkShare Network
Summary: LinkShare is an e-commerce business solution for over 10 million online relationships. Become an affiliate of the LinkShare Network for FREE and earn revenue by linking to over 500 premier online merchants.

Merchants: 600+
Merchant Quality: Very Good
Payments: Consolidated
Payment Type: Check and Direct Deposit
Interface Easy navigation and setup of links and banners.

ShareASale Network
Summary: The idea - and the implementation - are simple. You decide which merchants to promote - your information is hidden to Merchants before you apply for any program - so no SPAM for you. You decide how to promote that Merchant - using your web traffic, email newsletters and other tools that you have. When commissions are generated, you can see your stats in real-time. All payments are consolidated from the programs you participate in, and are paid with one check by Shareasale.com. All payments from Merchants are taken up-front, to ensure that your commissions will always be paid to you. Network excludes software affiliate (known as parasiteware) that can cause other affiliates to lose commissions.

Merchants: 600+
Merchant Quality: Good
Payments: Consolidated
Payment Type: Check or Direct Deposit
Interface: Difficult to navigate.

A Best Web
Summary: A Best Web offers a free webmaster / affiliate marketing forums. Issues discussed range from merchant ratings, fraud, building site traffic and site, logo and banner reviews by highly successful webmasters. Make your site the best and make more money with your site for FREE Today!

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