Affiliate programs are probably the easiest way to make money on the internet. There are affiliate programs out there for just about every type of service and product you can dream up. Your task is to promote a merchants service or product using your own website, mailing list, or whatever other methods you find.

This is a very simple process really because the majority of merchants provide you with ready made links, banners, and even pre written sales letters to make your job of promoting even easier. They also keep track of sales, clicks and/or leads for you. This leaves you free to promote and make even more money.

There are a variety of affiliate programs out there, each type will pay you for performing a different type of task, but with all of them your earnings are a fixed percentage of the sale, click-thru, view, or lead.

Here is a very basic overview of the different types of affiliate programs that are available for you to participate in.

1.) Pay Per View – These affiliate programs will pay you each time a user views their ad on your website. These ads are typically in the form of graphical ads such as banners or buttons. Payment on Pay Per View ads are usually a set rate per 1,000 impressions.

2. ) Pay Per Click – This type of program pays you for valid click made on the merchants ad from your website. Ad types can be text ads, inline text links, or graphical banner ads. Payment for this type of ad can vary greatly depending upon the amount the merchant bid to have his ad shown. It’s not unheard of to earn upwards of $ 3.00 and $ 5.00 per click.

3. ) Pay Per Sale – This one is pretty self explanatory. You’re paid for each sale generated from your website or ezine. This type of affiliate program can be very lucrative if you have good marketing skills and know how to advertise well.

4. ) Pay Per Lead – With this type of affiliate program you’re paid for each sales lead you generate. Leads are usually a simple email address so the merchant can follow up with the perspective customer/client at a later date.

Joining these programs are very easy, and you can usually be generating income within a few hours of getting setup with a few. Before joining any affiliate program though be sure to do your research and follow some simple guidelines.

1. ) Be sure to choose programs who’s products or services fit in with your website’s niche. You probably won’t generate many sales or leads if you’re advertising video games on a website focused on geriatric healthcare.

2. ) Always read the terms of service, and especially the fine print ! Pay special attention to payout terms. Some programs will pay weekly, some monthly, and some only pay quarterly. Be sure they payout in a payment form you can easily accept. If you don’t have a PayPal account, programs that only pay via PayPal wouldn’t be a good match for you.

If you’re not sure where to find affiliate programs, just stop by your favorite search engine and do a quick search, you’re bound to come up with a ton of programs that you could join. In the end, affiliate programs are a great way to start making money online, so why not check some out and get started making money !

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