Before examining affiliate programs, namely what they are, it is best if you first familiarize yourself with Internet marketing. All business owners need to market their business to the general public. Since all online customers are Internet users, online business owners need to market their products or services to the Internet community. This is how the term Internet marketing originated. In some niches it is also referred to as eCommerce, a term used to describe a particular Internet marketing software used by large scale Internet marketers.
A wide variety of different marketing tactics are considered Internet marketing. Just one of those marketing tactics could be described as an affiliate program. What is nice about affiliate programs is, not only do they benefit online business owners, but they also benefit other webmasters. Webmasters just like you. When an online business owner, who is selling a product or service, wants to increase his/her sales, s/he seeks the assistance of other webmasters.
This assistance is typically sought from webmasters who have a website that is - in one way or another - related to the product or service being sold. For instance, if the product being sold is a work at home e-book, webmasters running work at home business sites are likely to be sought after. If and when this partnership is formed, the exact details will be worked out. In most cases you, the webmaster, will be asked to display links or banners on your website(s) that lead to the merchant's website; the one where the product, in this case a work at home e-book is actually listed for sale and can be purchased.
With affiliate programs, you receive commissions for helping an online company generate Internet sales. The amount of money that you receive will depend on the company in question, as well as the amount that you originally agreed to. Many of the businesses who are looking for affiliate partners advertise, upfront, how much their affiliate partners make. This amount is typically a percentage of the sale. As previously mentioned, that percentage will vary, but it is not uncommon to see percentages from three percent all the way to fifteen percent. If commission is not determined by percentage, it will often be a flat rate amount.
In a way, the affiliate program that you choose to apply to will have a large impact on the amount of money that you make. That is why it is extremely important that you choose an affiliate program wisely. It is important that you thoroughly examine the amount of money that you can make, through commissions. It is also important that you familiarize yourself with any rules or restrictions that an affiliate program has. For instance, there are some rules as to how you can link to or promote an affiliate product. It is important that you not only familiarize yourself with these rules, but follow them. If you do not, you could find yourself disqualified from participating in the program.
In short, affiliate programs are a great way to make money online. Affiliate programs allow you to legitimately make money online without having to have your own product. It is hard, if not impossible, to find other online money making opportunities like this one.