If you want to get started earning an income online, or add to an online business you already own, a popular way to do that is to join affiliate programs. The beauty of this is that you don’t have to worry about credit card transactions, packaging up your items, or shipping. All you need is a home computer where you can earn commissions from every sale you make after directing a targeted audience to a product, program, or service. This is considered an affiliate program based on commissions. There are other types of affiliate programs, but this is the one I want to focus on in this article.

Not only can you make money with these programs, but it’s a fabulous way to add new and fresh content to your website. These days, content is the top way to get traffic to your site and to get noticed by the search engines, so adding not only affiliate programs, but a good description, report, or blurb that pre-sells the item should make your site worth visiting. You can increase your website’s traffic quite a bit just by offering products and services that are relevant to your site’s content.

Choosing commission-based affiliate programs means that you will earn a percentage of each sale you make by referring others to the product, program, or service. This commission can be, and is usually a set commission like 20%, or it can vary if you choose a program that rewards you additionally for having a lot of traffic for example.

The best way to make use of affiliate programs and earn from them is to pre-sell the item on your site or on a landing page. What I mean by this is that you don’t just want to provide a link to a product or service that you hope your visitors will click on and buy something from you. If you hope to make sales the affiliate-program way, then you must test the product yourself, or at least do your research on it. Then you want to provide a valuable report or landing page to your website visitors. This report or landing page will perhaps describe a problem that needs to be solved, then will describe the benefits of the product or service you are recommending, and finally it will move the visitor to take action by purchasing the item as a means to solving their problem. This is the key to getting people to click!

It’s also important to keep in mind that building a relationship with your website visitors is of the utmost importance if you expect to make any sales from affiliate programs. You may need to take the time to build a newsletter subscriber list, communicate with them frequently, establish rapport, and build trust. Once you have earned people’s trust, they are more likely to return to your site, and respect the opinions and reviews you present to them about the products and services you are recommending.

Commission-based programs sound all good and wonderful until you realize how difficult it is to get people to click and then buy. Even if you’ve followed every rule in the book, and have a lot of website traffic, you may get very few sales. One reason may be that you are trying to sell too many things in one place. This may just turn people away. Another reason may be that you are trying to make sales in a highly competitive niche. All I can suggest is to narrow your subject matter down as much as possible and focus on a very specific thing that people will find when searching for something very specific. Either that, or combine your commission-based affiliate programs with other types of affiliate programs and other sources of income.

Liane Bate owns a Plugin Profit Site web business, and is a member of the IAHBE. Visit: http://www.HonestMoneyMaking.com and HonestMoneyMaking.com’s Home Business Blog
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