How To Make Money With Affiliate Programs

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways for new Internet entrepreneurs to get started in Internet marketing. This article discusses what affiliate marketing is and how you can make money as an affiliate.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate programs are also known as referral programs, partner programs, revenue sharing and associate programs.

Affiliate marketing is an arrangement between a merchant and affiliate in which the affiliate receives a commission for generating sales, leads or clicks for the merchant.

Affiliate marketing is a win-win situation for both affiliates and merchants. The affiliate gets paid when selling other people’s products (or when generating leads). Affiliates don’t have to purchase or create products, stock or ship merchandise.  Merchants only have to pay affiliates when affiliates make a sale.

Some  programs pay affiliates for leads generation. For example, you can get paid when people provide their email address or zip code or phone number or other information. Rosalind Gardner gives this example: “Many credit card companies will pay you between $5 and $20 in commission for each visitor that you send to their site who completes a credit card application, and up to $55 for those whose applications are approved.”  Click here to see many different types of affiliate programs.

Benefits of promoting affiliate programs

  • You can make money almost immediately.
  • It’s one of the fastest and best ways to get started in online marketing.
  • You don’t have to create your own product.
  • You don’t have to purchase or stock merchandise.
  • You don’t have to ship products.
  • You don’t need a merchant account.
  • You don’t have to spend time processing orders, refunds or returns.
  • The only work of the affiliate is to promote the merchant’s products.

How affiliate programs work

Typically, you’ll find one or more affiliate programs and add your affiliate link(s) to your website.

Some merchants run their own affiliate programs while others join large affiliate networks like Commission Junction, Shareasale or Linkshare.  The merchant or affiliate network uses special software or a script to assign a unique link to each registered affiliate. When signing up for an affiliate program, affiliates receive a unique affiliate ID and link (text link or banner) and use that unique link when promoting the merchant’s products.

Affiliates display text links or banner ads on their website and provide affiliate links in emails and newsletters.

The affiliate agreement will specify the amount of money affiliates will earn from each generated sale or lead. Affiliates can earn from 2% to 75% and more in commissions. Many digital products (ebooks, software, templates, etc.) pay 50% and more commissions.  Some programs pay a fixed amount. Other programs even pay recurring commissions or pay on multiple levels.

You can promote affiliate programs without a website but you’ll have more possibilities if you have a website or blog. When a visitor to your site or email subscriber clicks on your links/banners, they are redirected to the merchant. The software tracks leads and sales when someone clicks on that link.  If someone purchases through your link, you’ll get a commission!

How to find affiliate programs
You can find affiliate programs at affiliate marketplaces and networks, individual companies or publishers. There are many directories specializing in listing affiliate programs.
Here are some popular affiliate marketplaces and networks:

Choose vendors and products carefully.

Choose reputable products you believe in and feel comfortable recommending. Choose a niche and products you understand and are familiar with. Or spend time to learn more about the product before you start promoting it. When choosing products you understand and are familiar with, you will be able to promote them better, write better recommendations, descriptions, articles and blog posts.

Some vendors provide you with promotional materials like banners, product images, articles and even training.

I am personally making money with affiliate marketing and recommend affiliate marketing as one of the fastest ways to get started in Internet marketing. That’s because you can get started without having to spend time to create your own product, set up payment processing and more.


There are many resources that can help you get started in affiliate marketing. But it’s important to choose the right resources so you don’t get overwhelmed or confused or get useless, outdated information.

Disclaimer: I only recommend products I believe in.  I have used most of the products I’m recommending for my own web sites or clients’ web sites. If you purchase a product through a referral link, I will get a commission. It won’t cost you a dime extra, and it helps keep this blog going.

Super Affiliate Handbook by Rosalind Gardner. Read on to find out how Rosalind Gardner earns 400,000+ per year … selling other people’s stuff online! – My review

Affiliate Blogger Pro  by Rosalind Gardner

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