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Making Money From Affiliate Programs


Donít have a product or service of your own to sell? Itís still possible to make money by selling someone elseís product. One way of doing this is by becoming an affiliate of another e-commerce site.

What is an Affiliate Program?
Under an affiliate program, an Internet merchant pays you to send people to their site. Some will pay you a percentage of sales resulting from your referral. Others will pay a specific amount per sale, click-through, or other action originating on your site. Some programs track sales from your referrals for the life of a customer. Others pay you on purchases made by a referral for a limited time only.

How do I find the right Affiliate Program?
The easiest way to find an affiliate program is to go to either Commission Junction or LinkShare.

These companies have set up systems for you to find, apply, and manage affiliate programs through their sites. CJ and LinkShare will also pool your commissions so that you receive one commission check in the mail, rather than separate checks from every affiliate program you join.

Once youíve registered, itís possible to find a program in almost any area that you are interested in. Affiliate programs are listed by advertiser name or by category. Take time to compare programs and select the ones that will work for you.

The two best known affiliate programs are run by Amazon.com and eBay. eBay will pay you up to $20 for each active registered user you send to eBay. They also pay a small amount for bids originating from your site. Amazon pays up to 15% on sales, and offers several ways to integrate affiliate links into your site.

How do I put an affiliate link on my site?
Each program will give you instructions on how to establish an affiliate link to their site. Usually, there is a Web page that allows you to generate some HTML code to put on your site. This code will display text or an image on your Web page that is linked to the merchantís site, and contains information that lets the merchant know which click-throughs come from you.

Tips and Tricks
Donít create a Web page that is simply a list of affiliate links. That kind of page looks amateurish and wonít bring you the kind of conversions you need.

Do create a site that adds value to your readers. For example, if you decide to join an affiliate program for a garden store, create a site that contains gardening tips, a calendar, and special landscape designs. Your readers will be much more likely to trust your recommendations.

Do focus on a niche market. An Amazon affiliate site with books on dozens of topics wonít sell as well as a site focusing on a specialty.

Donít sit back and wait for traffic to come to you. Do market the site to your target audience. If youíve selected your niche carefully, this will be easier to do.

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