In this article you learn how to tap into the affiliate marketing money stream. The most important thing you learn is that you'll be devoting a lot of work and advertising inventory (page views) to an affiliate program, so it's best to research the program throughly before you join.
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Tap Into the Affiliate Money Stream

An affiliate program is where you sell other peoples products or services and get paid a commission on each sale. After you join an affiliate program, you're provided with banners and links which you post on your Web site. If a visitor clicks on a banner or link, they're taken to the affiliate program owner's Web site. If they purchase something at that Web site, you're paid a commission.

Just because a certain affiliate program sounds interesting, and you guess that their product or service should sell like hotcakes, is not a reason to immediately join the program. You'll be devoting a lot of work and advertising inventory (page views) to an affiliate program, so it's best to research the program throughly before you join. Below is a list of some things to consider.

1. Check the affiliate program's reputation.

Many affiliate programs view their affiliates as "the help". They stick it to them, and if an affiliate doesn't like the way they're treated, they can quit the program, forfeiting any commission they've earned up to that point. To investigate an affiliate program's reputation, enter the phrase "NAME affiliate program review" in Google (substituting the programs name for NAME).

Beware of webmaster's sites that praise the affiliate program and then provide a "click here to sign up" link that has groups of characters attached to its end like this: http://www.sitename.com?pid=14806&tid=6084

This is actually an affiliate link. When you click the link you're taken to the affiliate's Web site where you sign up, and become a member of the webmaster's downline. Every time you sell something, that webmaster gets a percentage. Can you really trust that webmaster's review?

One place to get valid affiliate program reviews is AffiliateScout

2. Check the affiliate program's CTR and EPC.

CTR is the Click Through Ratio and EPC is the Earnings Per Click. Affiliate programs make these statistics difficult to find unless you're a member and have a password to log in to their Web site. To investigate an affiliate program's actual ability to make sales, enter the phrase "NAME Earning Per Click" in Google (substituting the programs name for NAME).

Remember, You'll be doing a lot of work promoting the affiliate program's products, if the statistics show that sales are scarce, do you really want to put forth the effort?

3. Check the affiliate program's commission structure

Affiliate commissions can be a certain amount per sale, or a percentage of the sale. If the commission is a percentage of the sale, it can range from 5 percent or less, up to 75 percent or more. Again, You'll be doing a lot of work promoting the affiliate program's products, does the commission make it worth while?

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