Copyright © 2005 Suzanne Morrison

If you want to make money on the internet, there are numerous lucrative affiliate programs that you can join for free.

In basic terms, all you need to do when you join an affiliate program is add a special link containing your unique affiliate ID to your website or blog. Whenever someone follows that affiliate link from your website and makes a purchase, you are credited with a commission for that sale.

Affiliate programs are good for you because you make money from your website visitors without having to worry about shipping and payment processing. They are also pretty good for the owner of the affiliate program too as they are receiving traffic and sales that they wouldn’t normally have received if they hadn’t come via your website.

If you already have your own website, it should be easy to find affiliate programs that complement the theme of your site. For example, if you have a travel website you can sign up with Commission Junction for free and promote companies such as Expedia and National Geographic. Or you could sign up with the first ever online affiliate program, Amazon and make money by reviewing and recommending travel books. Regardless of your website’s niche you should be able to find some sort of affiliate program to help monetize your traffic.

Most good affiliate programs will provide you with banners, images, links, sample ads and sometimes even articles and emails to help you promote their products. They should also have a support system for you to ask questions, plus statistics and a reporting function to allow you to view your click-throughs and sales.

Affiliate programs for companies that sell physical products such as books and CDs, or travel related products such as hotels, flights and car hire tend to pay a small amount of commission, for example 5%.

If you aren’t lucky enough to be getting thousands of visitors to your site each day and you want to make lots of money from affiliate programs the best plan of action is to choose an affiliate program that has a combination of the following

1. A high commission
2. A residual income
3. Multiple Tiers

Affiliate programs offering a high commission are usually selling intangible goods. Examples of these include e-books, software and membership sites. The owners of these affiliate programs can afford to give large commissions because although there is a cost associated with producing the product, the cost generally stays the same regardless of whether the owner sells 100 copies or 1000 copies. This is why these affiliate programs can offer a commission of 50% and sometimes more, meaning that you can sell less of these products and make more money than you would with a traditional affiliate program offering a 5% commission.

Affiliate programs offering a residual income tend to be those that offer a service such as web hosting or access to a membership site. For example if you direct a visitor from your site to a web hosting company that offers an affiliate program with residual income and that person purchases a hosting package, you would receive a commission every single month, for as long as that person stays with that hosting company. The power of this is that you can build up a more reliable income, which means a steady pay packet during the months when new sales are slow.

Finally, a multi tier affiliate program is one that rewards you for recruiting your own affiliates. As well as receiving a commission for sales that are made through your affiliate link, you will also receive a percentage of the sales made from the affiliates that you’ve recruited yourself.

So it pays to promote affiliate programs, but it pays even more to be choosy when deciding on which affiliate programs to promote. Choosing programs that pay high commissions and offer multi tier or residual income can make a huge difference to your bank balance at the end of each month.

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Suzanne Morrison is the webmaster of http://www.homebiz-direct.com. She makes an online income with the Plug-In Profit Site – a money making website built for you within 24 hours, promoting 5 of the best affiliate programs with high commissions, residual income and
multiple-tiers.

Thanks to Suzanne for allowing me to publish her article

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