By Paul Jesse
Affiliate programs were developed in the mid 90’s by Amazon.com. Within a few
years, the company had hundreds of thousands of affiliates. The success is
probably due in part to the fact that affiliate programs work in an efficient
and easy manner.
The best thing about affiliate program is that they are free. Usually webmasters
with site content affiliated with the product a web company sells would want to
sign up as an affiliate of that company. There is no charge to join the
affiliate program, so it is a winning situation.
The affiliates are given hyperlinks to the website. These are usually banners
displaying logs, buttons, text, or basic links. They strategically place the
hyperlinks on their own sites where appropriate. This enables website viewers to
click on affiliate sites and view the affiliate’s products and often make
Most affiliates have agreements with the other company. Under this agreement,
they bargain that if the visitor buys something at the neighboring site because
of clicking on that hyperlink and being redirected, the affiliate is given a
percentage of the sale price as a small commission. These percentages are
different depending on the company. They can be as low as 5 % or as high as 50 %
of the sale price.
The good news is that there is no limit to how many affiliate programs you can
belong to. As long as you can keep track of them, and as long as they make
coordinate with the theme of your business, it is beneficial to have many
For example, if you own a furniture company, you may have affiliates who sell
wall hangings, candles, or other décor’. In addition to the revenue you generate
for your business, you could actually be profiting from referrals through your
affiliate program. Each time your customer bought a picture to hang on the wall,
you’d be pocketing a percentage of the sale.
For this reason, it is a winning situation for the business owner as well as the
affiliate. Although the business owner is required to pay a commission, keep in
mind that he is paying a commission on a sale he would not have made if not for
the affiliate referral.
Because of the high volume of affiliate programs, now there are online service
providers who act as third party brokers. The affiliate and merchants can
register with these companies and link up through them. The brokers oversee all
aspects of the partnership and in turn receive a small percentage of each sale.
This type of service is, of course optional. However, some people feel the extra
expense is worth the minimized hassle.
Based on the recent success of affiliate programs, it’s easy to see why some
people are calling these programs the most powerful marketing tools online.
About the Author: Paul Jesse is a retired government work and the author of
several articles on Internet Marketing. Visit his website: