Understanding Affiliate Programs

Understanding Affiliate Programs


Just imagine yourself making thousands of dollars/month… no, that sounds like a scam! Well… Although it really isn’t that easy to make that kind of money on the web, it really isn’t impossible to make a few hundred a months without spending any money at all. This article is intended to raise the interest of the possibilities to make money from the internet, by selling other companies products.

If you are a webmaster and are interested in making money off your webpage, you have probably already heard about these affiliate programs – but even if – keep reading! You might stumble upon something you haven’t thought of before.

What are affiliate programs – and how do they work?

Affiliate programs offer webmasters to sell other companies products. Every affiliate gets their own “id” so the companies can keep reports of the webmaster’s success in marketing/selling their product. Depending on the payment plan, the webmaster will get paid either by CPM, CPC, or CPA.


  • Cost per 1000
  • You will be paid a flat rate per thousand times you display their banner
  • Might be an alternative if you have several thousand visitors/day


  • Cost per click
  • You will be paid a flat rate every time one of your visitors click their banner (usually around 5-10 cents/click
  • Might be an alternative if you have several thousand visitors/day


  • Cost per action
  • You will be paid when a visitor of yours click on their banner – then order something – or are some cases just sign up for something free
  • The most appropriate for websites with a smaller number of visitors

In this article, I will not bring up CPM and CPC, since I believe these programs apply to such a small group of webmasters, already well familiar with this subject.

How do I know which type of program I should pick?

Well, that really depends on you. Although – if you have a smaller webpage I’d advise you to sign up for the most common one – CPA.

Let me explain this program step by step.

  1. Sign up for an affiliate account (my advice would be LinkShare)
  2. Pick products/brands you think fit on your site
  3. Place their banners (containing your own “id”) on your site
  4. Start earning money

How much will I earn?

Of course, I’d like to tell you you’ll earn just a bunch of dollars from every visitor you get. As you probably know this really isn’t the case. How much you will earn all depends on how how much traffic you have, and how targeted the banners are. That is – do the visitor know what he clicks on? Are the banners you have chosen appealing for your visitors? Is it connected to the content of your website? Is it a well-known brand?

Another thing you have to think of is picking products that actually pay well. There are lots of affiliate programs offering 5-10% of the value of the product. Just don’t! You will never make money selling products for companies like this. What you should look for is a flat rate that is good – or numbers like 30-50%. There are products like this out there, you just have to find them.

I’ve tried many different affiliate programs, but my advice would be LinkShare, who offer a wide variety of brand names, and most of them offer a much higher payout rate than other affiliate programs out there.

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