Broadly speaking, affiliate programs, otherwise known as associate programs, are a type of arrangements whereby website owners pay affiliate websites a commission to send them traffic. These affiliates essentially spread the word about the website (by posting links to it, for instance) and are paid according to a particular agreement.
Recruiting affiliates for advertising purposes
This agreement can take a number of forms: pay-per-sale (in which you pay an affiliate when the affiliate sends you a customer who purchases something), pay-per-click (you pay the affiliate based on the number of visitors who click on the link to come visit your site) and finally, pay-per-lead (whereby you pay your affiliates based on the number of visitors they refer who sign up as leads).
Recruiting such websites to do marketing work for you is an efficient way to sell your products online and generally spread the word about your site and what it has to offer, in an easy and cheap way. Affiliates usually advertise your website in three main ways.
Most commonly, they use text links, the advantage of these being that they are ingrained in the content of your website and don’t look so much like advertisements. But can also use banner links, which appear as boxes containing words and a graphic element or search boxes.
To acquire affiliates, it’s best to join an affiliate network. This will spare you the time spent setting up an affiliate program by yourself and recruiting affiliates. Of course, you’ll also have to agree to the terms of the affiliate network and make a number of deposits, depending on the payment arrangements of that particular network. Once that is done, the affiliate network will assist you, will keep track of all the activity in the program, issue your affiliates checks and distribute your links to appropriate affiliates.
Becoming an affiliate yourself
Affiliate marketing is beneficial to all parties involved. So if you’re just starting out and you need a quick boost of revenue, you might consider becoming an affiliate yourself. The process is quite easy, you can go to an affiliate network site and fill out an online application to become a member. You must give out some information about yourself such as name, address and payment method and about your website, and finally agree to a service agreement.