IN THIS CHAPTER
Setting up affiliate programs that match your site’s objectives
Recognizing and avoiding rogue revenue streams
Affiliate programs, or revenue-sharing plans, have been around for quite some time, both online and off. Online versions became more than a passing fad when companies such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy started offering them. A big-box retailer doesn’t set up this type of program unless it has something to gain — usually, money. As online ads and paid searches became more competitive, the door for affiliate programs was opened even further. Affiliate programs, in a nutshell, pay you to send them customers. If a purchase is made by one of your referrals, you receive a small percentage of the profit.
Brand-name retailers aside, some affiliate programs are good, some are (admittedly) a little cheesy, and others are an outright bust. In this chapter, we help you sort out the winners from the losers so that you can earn affiliate income from your own website.
Revenue-sharing programs are simple to set up and easy to run as a sideline to your existing website. No kidding: Earning money through an affiliate program boils down to five steps: