On the internet, there are just so many ways to earn money today. One tried and tested method is through the affiliate program. The way this program works vary by merchants or networks. But the most common feature is allowing those who have signed up for the program to earn commissions on a regular basis based on their sales performance.
Being a member of an affiliate program means being a partner of an online merchant and earning a commission for every product you are able to sell or for every member you add to their membership program, if any. Payment methods also differ among companies. Data from the internet show that eight percent of these programs utilize the cost per sale (CPS) or revenue sharing system, 19 percent use the cost per action (CPA) system while the rest use the cost per click (CPC).
The challenge these days, though, is in choosing the right affiliate programs for you that will ensure you a steady stream of income. With numerous online businesses offering affiliate programs, it can be hard to find out which pays the most and offers a good tracking system.
Basically, there are two major types of affiliates – the direct and network. With direct affiliates, one works directly with the merchant. Experts believe this is a great way of establishing a favorable working relationship. Through this method, there’s also a chance for the member to earn higher commissions going forward.
With network affiliates, on the other hand, one works with a big organization managing different affiliate companies. A major advantage when joining a network is getting more exposure to big and top brand companies. And then when you are lucky to be selected to join in the firm’s affiliate program, you are increasing your chances of getting more traffic. This is because your site displays very familiar advertisements which can encourage visitors to click on them once it catches their attention.
Most of these programs encourage members to engage in affiliate marketing to earn more income. By this, people can promote a merchant’s products on a particular web page or an independent website and earn a certain percentage for every sale made such as in the case of eBay and Amazon.
But that’s not all there is to it. With the cost per action or sales system, for instance, a publisher needs to convert his visitor first before being paid his commission. In other words, the publisher has to do his very best then to drive the advertiser’s specific target audience to the company’s site and ensure a conversion takes place. And this can be a real challenge to any affiliate member.
As of January 2009, the top three affiliate programs according to the Affiliate Tip affiliate program directory include AzoogleAds on the top spot followed by Shopzilla and Amazon.com.
Azoogle Ads screens every publisher applying to become a member to ensure a quality program all the time. After submitting your information, a staff will follow up with you through a phone call to confirm your details. Failure to be reached by phone will result in non-acceptance of your application. Currently, only applicants from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Israel, Germany, Italy and Spain are accepted.
Shopzilla is a leading comparison shopping site. Its affiliate program is open to publishers and website owners who want to place shopping links on their sites. Unlike the usual system, though, the links created are directed to Shopzilla’s catalog covering more than 30 million products and offers.
Amazon is one of the leading online marketplaces that sell a wide range of products. Its affiliates are provided access to the site’s latest features and tools such as links and banners, widgets and its online store. It also boasts of a competent customer support service.