Which Affiliate Programs Will Make Me Money?

Before you get involved in an affiliate program, you should have any questions you have answered. Do your research on any program you are thinking of joining. Get answers -they will help you to determine what program is right for you.

Will it cost anything to get started? Most affiliate programs out there are free to join – so there’s no reason to sign up with a program which will charge you to get involved.

Find out when commission checks will be disbursed. Every program does this on a different schedule. Some send out checks monthly, quarterly, etc. Choose one which works for your needs. Some programs set a minimum amount of commissions you must earn before they will issue a check.

Also find out what the hit to sale ratio is – this is the number of hits, on average it takes to get a sale. This is an important figure, since it gives you a good estimate of what you could make from the program and how many hits you’ll have to get before you begin to earn.

How are affiliate referrals tracked and how long will they stay in the merchant’s system? You will want to be sure that customers you refer will stay in the system for a while so that if they do not make a purchase the first time, you will still receive a commission if they return later and buy.

What affiliate statistics are available to you? Any affiliate program you get involved in should offer detailed statistics to you. These should be online so that you can access this important information whenever it is needed. Keeping an eye on your statistics helps you to know how well your advertising campaigns are working and to fine tune your marketing messages.

Does the pay you for hits and impressions, or for sales alone? It is good to be paid for all of the above – while the commissions for hits or impressions will not be large, they add to your commission income. If the program has a low hot to sale ratio, then being paid for hits and impressions is especially important.

Who is the merchant? You need to know who you are doing business with. Make sure they are a legitimate company with a good track record and one which sells a quality product and gets good results from their affiliate program.

Is this a one tier or a multiple tier program? Single tier programs pay you only for the traffic you generate, while a two tier program pays you for your commissions and those generated by an affiliate that you have referred to the program. Others give you a flat fee for new affiliates, much like a finders fee.

Finally, what is the commission rate? Somewhere between 5% and 20% is typical for sales (digital is more) and .01% to .05% per hit or impression. If you can find a program which pays for both, this is a good choice. These figures also illustrate the importance of finding a program with a favorable hit to sale ratio.

These are just a few of the things which you need to know before becoming involved in an affiliate program – there are a lot of factors which should go into your decision. Ask the affiliate program any questions you have before signing up. These questions can help you to make the right choice of affiliate programs.


  • Reimund Lube

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    Hi Reed.

    Many thanks for this great article. You are right, it’s not easy to find the right affiliate program. Many Clickbank programs pay between 50 and 75%. But for someone it’s not so easy to get the money because they need 5 creditcard purchases first.

    Best Regards

  • Dan

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    Why not recommend some of the best affiliate programs instead of leaving us to wonder?

  • PV Reymond

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    Everything boils down to getting all the info you can about the affiliate program to know if you can make the amount of money you want and if everything in the program flows easily.

    Then you have to analyze if it is what your prospects need.

    ^PV Reymond


    PV Reymonds last blog post..Internet Marketing For Newbies… The First Step

  • 3d animation studio

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    Good advice from Reed. Thanks! 🙂

    3d animation studios last blog post..Miyazaki Embaressed by Japan’s Prime Minister

  • 3d animation studio

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    Which affiliate program works best for you Reed? Do you have more luck with CJ or Clickbank or something else?

    3d animation studios last blog post..Miyazaki Embaressed by Japan’s Prime Minister

  • iBizReviews

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    More questions than answers! I tend to come at it the other way, starting with the product, then the merchant, then the affiliate program.

    But of course once you sign up for an affiliate program, such as Tradedoubler or Affiliate Window (in the UK) then you get a deluge of merchants’ special offers etc in your inbox. Sometimes helpful, sometimes just time consuming.

    iBizReviewss last blog post..The Ultimate Blog Theme

  • kelly

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    I agree with Dan if he knows so much then why not just tell us what he thinks the best programs are!! The email he sends makes it sound like he is going to tell you what you need to know but he really doesnt!!

  • Arthur

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    Base over apex?

    IF you are getting enough visitors to your site.

    IF you can afford to test nd refine PPC

    IF you have a responsive mailing list.

    If you have these factors in place you should be able to make any affiliate programme work. Without them, no affiliate programme will make you money.

  • Laurence Parr

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    Very good info for newbies and even those who have been around a while.
    Of note is that some programs even give
    instant payout on request , after reaching the min of course , but still better than an undetermined waiting time of months.

  • Ari Lestariono

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    What you need to find out is the plan scheme, in my opinion using PayPal is more friendly users than checks, also do research if affiliate your joining has a good back office if in future arise complain, and it better that they come up with quick response to resolve dispute.The rest check their background as how long they have been in business.That’s all from me

  • John Bandy

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    Hi Reed,
    Thanks for another good article. This is a great lesson for me. I get something from each of your articles. I’m always looking forward to reading the next one. Have a great day and I will takk with you later.

  • Graham Price

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    Yes come on already Reed – spill the beans 🙂
    Regards Graham.

  • arllan

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    Awesome article, yes i would like to say it is getting very hard to identify programs which will be profitable…..great article!!!

    arllans last blog post..Should Small Businesses Invest In SEO During A Recession?

  • Beata Skrzekowska

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    There are tons of good affiliate programs. Sometimes it is better to join a new one because of a contest or a special promotion.

  • Michael Silva

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    I always try to do as much due diligence as possible before getting involved with an affilitae program. After I make sure the product is top quality and the commission structure worth of my time to promote it I make every posible effort to contact the creator. Might take a while to track them down but well worth a short chat to give me that warm and fuzzy feeling before I commit.

    Michael Silvas last blog post..Working with images resources

  • Timothy Millar

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    Hey Reed,
    Knowledge is King, Every one should make sure they have enough before they get into
    something that could end up costing more than it’s worth. Is there another strategy for these
    Quick hit launches that everyone is doing now Reed? Mine does not seem to be working. Have a wonderful day, Timothy Millar

    Timothy Millars last blog post..Paid to Read update #3 Jacob mails

  • Paul Livingston

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    For all those asking what programs are best, I don’t think anyone could answer that simply because there are so many. And my guess would be that Reed is probably more into JV and affiliate stuff at this point.

    What Reed is explaining is how to find what can work well for you.

    But I do have a question for you Reed: Do you have any info on protecting affiliate links? I’ve read that cloaking and redirects can actually rob you of commissions. Is that true and, if it is, what is the fix?

    Paul Livingston

    Paul Livingstons last blog post..The Internet Marketing Success Formula…can it work?

  • Paul Livingston

    Reply Reply November 21, 2008

    Dang, no way to edit a post here!

    What I meant to say above was, “And my guess would be that Reed is probably more into JV THAN affiliate stuff at this point.”


    Paul Livingstons last blog post..The Internet Marketing Success Formula…can it work?

  • Anna Kindler

    Reply Reply November 22, 2008

    Hey Reed, You just hang in there, and keep writing those articles. Newbies like me need all the knowledge you can throw our way. Thanks. Anna

  • Richard

    Reply Reply November 22, 2008

    Hi Reed. Another very informative post. Re Dan and Kelly’s comments, I think it would be near impossible for you to recommend an affiliate product for them as there are so many and in different niches.
    Re cloaking, could I suggest Richard Legg’s MyLinkGuard? It’s available as a free download from this link: http://www.moneymaker4u.com/linkprotect.html

  • bet

    Reply Reply November 22, 2008

    Thanks. As the above lady said, “we need all the help we can get.”

  • Pat Gunning

    Reply Reply November 22, 2008

    Sound advice Reed.

    Income producing marketing is 70% research and 30% marketing. Always – Always do your research before you start any campaign.

    In addition to our other income streams, we make a great income off of affiliate marketing. It all boils down to preparation mixed with some good ole fashioned common sense.

  • John Bonzo

    Reply Reply November 22, 2008


    Affiliate marketing can be really challenging. People like you help mor than you ralize. I look forward to what you have to say and then I try to put it all to work for me. You’re the greatest!

    Keep up the good work.


  • Jerry Goodwin

    Reply Reply November 22, 2008

    Great article and great advice. We should always do research on whatever we decide to sell, and how we get paid etc.

    This is one of the reasons I really like to see if people I am buying stuff from and that I am happy with have an affiliate program. Then I sign up for theirs. This way I already know they have decent customer service and good products and that they deleiver what they say.

  • Taufik Ramly

    Reply Reply November 23, 2008

    After reading your post i still wandering which affiliate program that will make me money….
    Anyway thanks for your infos.

    Taufik Ramlys last blog post..Turn Key Cash Kits -Get Free Here!

  • Wayne Bell

    Reply Reply November 23, 2008

    Great post Reed. Before joining any affiliate program it is always wise to do your research.

    Regards – Wayne

  • normz2

    Reply Reply November 23, 2008

    Good post again. I have many affiliate connections and am still trying to find out which ones work best. I think the link guard mentioned above would be a good one to use. I feel that I am missing out on some commissions.

  • Geoff Dodd

    Reply Reply November 23, 2008

    Reed, Thanks. I like the advice and want to add: an absolute redirect, i.e. without cloaking by frames (no frameset) is perfectly safe for ensuring you get your affiliate commissions, because the full affiliate URL goes into the buyer’s browser. That just clears up one point. Which affiliate program? For a beginner I’d recommend Clickbank for its variety and ease of creating your affiliate URLs. Also, for the 50-75% commissions on digital products like software and ebooks!

    Geoff Dodd

  • Felix Makmur

    Reply Reply November 24, 2008

    Great tips here Reed on how to choose the most profitable affiliate programs. Mainly I promote products from Clickbank, but I also use other affiliate programs such as Paydotcom and CJ as well. Anyway, thanks for sharing this informative article.

    Felix Makmurs last blog post..5 Easy Strategies to Boost Your E-Book Sales

  • Jussi Koiranen

    Reply Reply November 24, 2008

    Good points once again…


    Reply Reply November 25, 2008

    Thank you very much for your tutorial. Please let me have the lists of affiliate company that I will be able to join and sell their product.

    RAJI AYOBAMI AKEEMs last blog post..google36d3a1607b930e2d.html

  • admin

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    @Reimund what do you mean by 5 credit card purchases first?

    @Dan that’s really hard to do since I don’t know your niche, what you find reasonable and what you’d want to promote

    @PV agreed

    @3d you’re welcome. Of the ones you mention I use ClickBank more

    @iBizReviews agreed it can be very time consuming

    @kelly sorry you didn’t find it useful

    @Arthur interesting points

    @Laurence yeah I hate waiting for these affiliate checks

    @Ari good tips

    @John you’re welcome

    @Graham sorry that’s hard to do for this amount of people

    @Arllan thanks

    @Beata I’m going to edit your post

    @Michael I’m glad you are doing your research

    @Timothy offering bonuses can help with those

    @Paul I just have aweber track my links it seems to work for me

    @Anna you’re welcome

    @Richard thanks

    @Bet you’re welcome

    @Pat good tips

    @John thanks

    @Jerry agreed

    @Taufik there’s some more posts on this blog that may help you I suggest doing a search for affiliate program on my search box

    @Wayne thanks

    @normz2 even if it’s the most secure cloaker we can miss out on commissions. It’s frustrating but I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

    @Geoff agreed hard to go wrong with ClickBank

    @Felix you’re welcome

    @Raji you’re welcome

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