Are you looking to get more out of your blog? Whether it’s more money or more credibility, joining affiliate programs may be an important step in your quest to get your blog on the map. Beyond begging to be on your best friend’s blog roll, there is a more potentially profitable way to built strong relationships and enhance the presence of your blog.

As an affiliate, you sign up with merchant that offers to pay you when you display the merchant’s advertising and promote the merchant’s products on your blog. As an affiliate, you’ll receive cut/paste HTML code to display textual or display advertising encouraging your blog’s visitors to ‘click-through’ from your site to the merchant’s website.

In addition to providing the advertising copy and the appropriate link to the merchant’s website, the HTML code also contains a unique affiliate account number which identifies the source of a click through to the merchant’s site. Each time the affiliate sends a lead to the merchant’s site a tracking system tells the merchant the exact location of where the click through came from. As an affiliate, you’ll be paid only if the person visiting your site clicks on a merchant ad on your site and then purchases a product or service from the merchant.

When one of your site visitors makes a purchase at the merchant’s site you get paid a percentage. Top affiliates earn six and seven figures per month. But be aware of the fact that top earners have websites that attract millions of visitors each month. They also take advantage of special merchant programs that promote seasonal products. In essence, top earning affiliates earn top commissions by being top-notch affiliates 24/7.

Merchants are becoming more selective of whom they will approve as an affiliate. As more and more sites and blogs pop up around the web, merchants will approve only those sites that attract certain levels of traffic minimums. Merchants are also very selective about the content that their affiliates host and an increasing number of merchants are targeting specific niches that fit the demographics of the customers they tend to attract and sell to more often.

As an affiliate, your site becomes an extension of the merchant’s advertising strategy. As an affiliate, the merchant truly wishes that your site becomes a top-ranking producer. Everyone in the game wants you to succeed and succeed big! The more people visiting your site the greater the chances are that they will ‘click-through’ to the merchant’s site. The more times your site’s pages are viewed with the merchant’s advertising, higher numbers of ‘impressions’ are cast in front of a pre-qualified audience.

A merchant’s affiliate program will track the number of impressions coming from your site and generate click-through ratios in addition to calculating and tracking sales that have earned commissions for you. Your site’s metrics will be reviewed periodically to see if having you as an affiliate is worthwhile. Most merchant affiliate programs will provide basic parameters that must be met prior to being approved. Even after approval, an affiliate’s status may be revoked by the merchant or the merchant’s agent, at any time and for almost any reason.

For example, let’s say you are specializing in personal technology. Adding a Microsoft or Apple display ad to your site can greatly enhance your authority and presence. Visitors to your site see that large corporations are allowing you to display their brand on your website which adds credibility to who you are and what you do! Choosing a creative format for displaying affiliate ads is also a sign that you have developed a sophisticated approach toward your subject matter versus slapping an ad into a space that may look awkward just because it may happen to fit. Take great care in how you choose to promote the merchants who have taken a risk with you as an affiliate. Never hesitate to reach out and contact the merchant’s affiliate contact. Building a relationship with your merchants is an excellent way to add traffic to your site and gain respect as an affiliate.

Whether you become an affiliate to individual merchants or through large affiliate programs, such as the Commission Junction or Linkshare platforms, you must conform to the Terms and Conditions set forth in the affiliate agreement and apply due diligence in maintaining a site that places the merchant and their ads in a positive light.

Looking to join affiliate programs ? Get the exclusive low down on how to join the right program now in our comprehensive affiliate overview on
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