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Tutorial: How do affiliate programs work?

First of all: What is an affiliate program?

An affiliate program (which is also the same as an "Associate Program") is a partnership between a webmaster and an online seller of products. The webmaster (In this case you) has a website with a certain subject matter such as telescopes. You put links on your website that direct a web visitor to the affiliate company where they can buy products such as telescopes or books about telescopes and you get a certain percentage of the sale - usually ranging from 5% to 10%. Most affiliate programs give you the option of receiving a check or getting store credit.


Wow! That sounds pretty simple, but what's the catch?

Well in actuality it is very simple, and it really works - the online retailers really do pay, and are very glad to pay! But if there is a catch here it is: You have to get visitors to your website and you have to get them to click on the links to your affiliates.


Ok so how do you get visitors to your website?

That is easy enough to answer. Anyway you can. But the best way to get visitors to your website is to offer great content. By content I mean offer them lots of great information about a certain subject. If your website is based on a certain subject such as "Conan The Barbarian" then offer them lots of great stuff about Conan; stories about the author, timelines, movie reviews, a chat room - whatever would interest them. And keep it fresh; always update your content. If you do this people will find your website and always come back for more. And you know these people are very interested in Conan so don't you think they might want to purchase books, movies or posters about Conan? Of course they would! That's where affiliate programs pay off. You give them quick links to buy these products, they buy them and you make a profit.It is as easy as that!


Some people make very serious money using affiliate programs. If you would like to learn more about how the affiliate process works, and how you can maximize your earnings you should check out some of the books at This link will take you directly to a list of some of the best books on the subject: Books on Affiliate Programs

OK, so lets explain some of the nuts and bolts of how to sign up for an affiliate program.


Step 1 Decide which program you would like to join depending on the products you want to sell. Movies, Books, Posters, etc.(Go here for a list of programs you can sign up for). Go to their website and look for the link to join their affiliate or associate program. Sign up for the program. For some programs all you need to do is fill out some information then verify that you exist by responding to an email they send to you. Some programs will make you wait a few days so they can verify your website does not have any material they would consider objectionable.

Step 2: Log into your newly created account and if necessary, fill out any remaining information they request.

Step 3: Create links and banners that reflect the types of products your customers would be interested in. The affiliate will take you step by step through this process, and offer you hints and tips on what types of links work best.

When you have created a link or a banner the affiliate will give you a block of HTML code. It will look something like this:

<a href="
Affiliatecode=Johnnyswebsite 1&PTID=1&LTID=19&LID=112&" target="_top">Sign up today!</a></font><img src="
&PSTD=1&LTRD=19&LID=112" border="0" height="1" width="1">

Make sure you copy this complete code -Do not change anything in it and do not leave one single character out> Use the cut and paste function to do this. If you do not get this right you will not get credit for any sales from this link.
Step 4: Copy and Paste this code into your website and once you have posted this up to your website (where people can see it on the web) be sure to click on it to verify it works.

Now how do they know they should credit you with a sale from this link?

When you created an affiliate account with the online seller they gave you a seller identification number. When you log into your account and create a banner or link this seller identification number is embedded in the code. below you can see the affiliate code highlighted in red.

<a href="
Affiliatecode=Johnnyswebsite 1&PTID=1&LTID=19&LID=112&" target="_top">Buy this great Matrix poster!</a></font><img src="
&PSTD=1&LTRD=19&LID=112" border="0" height="1" width="1">


Here is a typical affiliate link. --->

I got the code from the affiliate and posted it to this webpage. If you click on the image it will take you to And if you purchase something I will get the credit.


It is really quite simple. What you have to put the effort into is developing good content for your website and getting people interested in your subject to come and visit.

Part of the challenge of getting people to visit your website is to make sure the search engines have you listed in their databases. I have a tutorial on how to do this.

Getting web visitors to find you by listing your website with the search engines

The Rich Jerk - Lets get something straight. I am a jerk. I am obnoxious. I am lazy. And I don’t care, because I am FILTHY RICH. I am much too important to even be sitting here writing this right now. So I'll keep it short. I make several million dollars every year on the internet, doing almost nothing. Heard that before? Well you can see proof of my earnings. Have you seen proof like that anywhere else? Didn't think so. Do you make that much money? Didn't think so.


Put eBay on AUTOPILOT! Earn a serious income with a part-time effort.

Ad Word Analyzer is a great tool for affiliate marketers or anyone who advertises on Google or Overture. Well done Jeff!

How to Make MASSIVE Mounds of Money
In Record Time on Google
(Even Without a Website or a Product!)