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Affiliate programs FAQ

What are Affiliate Programs?
Affiliate Programs are often referred to as associate programs, referral programs, pay-per-click or pay-per-lead programs and bounty programs. They are experiencing exponential growth on the net. The theory behind these type of programs is that in return for a modest cost (commission), the merchant who is offering the affiliate program has an opportunity to expand his exposure on the net. By effectively advertising his products amongst his 'affiliates', the opportunities to grow business is enormous.

Generally, as an affiliate you will be required to market a product or service at your web site. Quite often you will actually be supplied with a free prepackaged web site where all content, purchases etc., are handled by the merchant. You normally link to this site from your site.

Winning the Affiliate GameThere can be pitfalls to participating in Affiliate Programs. They are not a path to immediate riches! To be a successful affiliates require knowledge of how the net operates, some marketing skills and a focus on what you hope to achieve. One of the foremost experts on Affiliate Programs in Declan Dunn. He has written two extremely invaluable books:

Winning the Affiliate Game specifically targets Affiliates, showing you how to market your site and which programs you should join.

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What are Banner Exchanges?
LinkbuddiesYou should consider participating in a Banner Exchange as a way of marketing your site. We maintain an extensive list of Banner Exchanges that you can choose from. I recommend that you experiment with the different banner exchanges. Two that I have been extremely impressed with are CyberLink Exchange and They both offer a two-tier program where you can earn extra banner impressions from referrals, and in the case of you can earn $$. There is a lot of debate on the effectiveness of banner exchanges. They do have the potential to bring in traffic, but don't go overboard with them. I have tried a few and believe the above two offer the best service. There is also developing a fairly interesting debate on the effectiveness of banner exchanges. Do NOT use Banner Exchanges as your ONLY marketing strategy - alone they will NOT drive traffic to your site! However you can find a list of banner exchanges here.

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Other Sources?
Commission-JunctionOther sources for Affiliate Programs are those sites that provide online tracking and reporting. I am very impressed with Commission-Junction, who offer a two-tier affiliate program. They have a good listing of programs and are growing rapidly. LinkShare also has a good listing of programs and is a relative newcomer on the block!

BeFree Affiliate ProgramsOne of the largest and most respected sources on the net is BeFree. Some of the largest companies on the net have chosen BeFree to host and manage their affiliate programs. They also have their own affiliate program for referral to their site. There are a number of other affiliate directories out there - just be careful and read the agreements carefully before you sign up.

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