There are several types of affiliate programs. Most will pay you a flat rate or percentage of the sale you make (pay-per-sale). Another common type is when you're paid per action or lead. For example, if you refer someone who signs up for businesses free trial, the business pays you for the sign-up. Although not seen as often anymore, some will pay you per click (this is seen most in contextual ad programs such as Google Adsense) or per impression (each time the ad is loaded on your website).
Affiliate Marketing - A marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate's own marketing efforts. An affiliate is someone who joins a free network or for more prestigious products or services signs a contract or agreement with the online business to promote their products or services using an affiliate link. The business will pay the affiliate a percentage from the sale that was made through their affiliate link.
The concept of rewarding customers for their business has been around for decades. From ‘savings books’ that allowed consumers to save stamps that could be exchanged for products, to modern day schemes like reward cards, brands have long been leveraging customer data and using incentives to encourage customer loyalty. So how can marketers best take advantage now of the ever-developing rewards market?
When we talk about marketing on the internet, we're talking about driving traffic or boosting visibility via a number of means. Any type of advertising done on the internet to promote any product, person, service, business or place for that matter, can be deemed as online marketing. However, to succeed in this arena, whether it's SEO, social media, email marketing or beyond, you need to ensure you adhere to the three pillars of trust first and foremost.
The problem with affiliate marketing, like many other home business options, are the so-called gurus and get-rich-quick programs that suggest affiliate marketing can be done fast and with little effort. Odds are you've read claims of affiliate marketing programs that say you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month doing almost nothing ("Three clicks to rich!"). Or, they suggest you can set up your affiliate site, and then forget it, except to check your bank deposits.