Affiliate marketing programs are great for generating income from your website if you created a website with that goal in mind, and are committed to working toward such a goal. These programs can also be instrumental in introducing you to the fascinating world of eCommerce. That having been said, it is important to point out the one inescapable fact that most affiliate marketers learn very early in their careers: As website visitors increase, so does the probability of generating income.
An affiliate marketing program can be described as: A company (also referred to as “vendor” or “merchant”) offers to pay website owners/publishers (affiliates) a set amount for either a click-through from their websites, or a set amount for visitors signing up to their service via the affiliates’ links. The most popular method of payment, however, is a percentage of purchases made by visitors as a result of being referred from the affiliates’ websites.
There are some protections built into affiliate programs to safeguard affiliate commissions in the sense that, understanding that visitors often decide against making purchases immediately, a majority of affiliate programs utilize a cookie duration of between 30 and 90 days. What this means, is that as long as the visitors have the cookie in their cache (a small computer file), the affiliate will still recieve his/her as long as that visitor returns and completes the purchase during the specified time.
Proper maintenance of an affiliate’s website combined with searching and implementing affiliations with various merchants constitutes the most important work a new affiliate marketer might have to do in the early days of his/her affiliate marketing business. Yes, there is a lot of money to be made in affiliate marketing, but those who excel in this business take the time to keep their sites up-to-date and well-maintained; but they also search for the best programs to form affiliations with.
So if you’re thinking about affiliate marketing as a career or means of generating income, the one thing that you should keep in mind is to do proper research in order to find reputable programs (vendors/merchants) with which to establish affiliations, while providing them with an active and viable website on which to promote their products, because many merchants will ask to review the site on which their products/services will be promoted.
One other thing to keep in mind is keeping your site competitive, but also neat; so you may not want to place too many banners on your website because this will have an adverse affect on your site in more ways than one. First, too many banners or links placed on any web page will confuse and irritate visitors; second, such displays will drown out your valuable content; and third, visitors will click away from your site, thereby spending the bulk of their time on other sites; fourth, its distracting.
Affiliate tracking can also be a problem in the sense that once you apply to become an affiliate with a company, you will be issued a personalized link or code by that company; and it is very important that you implement (embed) this code into your page correctly, or you could end up sending visitors to the company’s website without recieving compensation for your efforts. Keep in mind that a majority of snippets in that code will contain a unique user ID, which the company uses to identify you as the referring affiliate and insure you receive payment.