When looking for the best online affiliate marketing programs, you need to look at them in 4 categories.
The four most popular ways to make money in affiliate marketing are pay-per-click, cost-per-action, pay-per-sale, and 2 tier affiliate programs.
Which is better?
Considering the top four ways, none is better in my opinion because there are so many good programs in each category. There are many examples of people making money and a lot of money on different types.
With that in mind, let me break down the best online affiliate marketing programs by the four different categories you can get started.
Pay Per Click
Get paid when people click on ads on your website. Sounds easy enough, right, but what if you do not know how to sell advertising to get the ads on your site?
This is where the PPC affiliate model gets even more accessible. You do not have to sell the ads.
When you join a pay-per-click affiliate program, the affiliate merchant sells all the advertising for you. They also provide you with a small piece of code to place on your website that automatically makes the ads show up for people to click on so you can earn revenue.
Google AdSense is the primary player in this space. Their algorithms do a great job of matching the advertisers to the page’s theme you have placed the code on, but it works.
For example, if you have a web page on puppy training, ads would show up for products that relate to puppy training. This is effective because it gives people more choices based precisely on their search online.
So what is your role in all this?
Your job very simply is to drive traffic that you have placed advertising code on your web pages. There is a skill to this, and Google does an excellent job of teaching it, as do other sources online.
Google is not the only affiliate program for PPC advertising. Yahoo! Bing Network Contextual Ads, BidVertiser, and Chitika are three others that come to mind.
Cost Per Action
Also known as CPA marketing, this is where you get paid for a particular action completed by your website visitor. These activities could include filling out a lead form, downloading something such as software, taking surveys, and so on.
The great thing about the cost-per-action affiliate program is your website visitor is not required to purchase anything for you to make money. Like PPC affiliate programs, you focus on driving traffic to your site where you have a link to the cost-per-action program you are promoting.
This link might be in the form of a banner ad, a text link ad, or just a form on the page that they must fill out. This may be easily one of the most popular forms of affiliate marketing because there are so many programs you can join.
However, the best way to find the maximum cost-per-action affiliate program is to join an affiliate network. As a network member, you will have access to various programs you can join.
I’ve always liked Offer Vault as a source to find the best affiliate networks. However, some of the best affiliate networks for cost per action include Max Bounty, CJ Affiliate, Peer Fly, and Share Sale.
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Pay Per Sale
You get paid a commission to sell products. The affiliate merchant determines the percentage you earn for the product you are selling.
Here’s a basic rule of thumb on pay-per-sale affiliate marketing. The higher the product’s price, the lower the commission percentage will be. The lower the cost of the product, the higher the commission rate will be.
The exception to this would be when you’re selling digital products.
Often your commission rates can reach as high as 75% with an affiliate network such as Click Bank.
Higher commissions on digital products are there are no ongoing manufacturing costs once the product has been created. That is not the case when you’re selling physical products in an affiliate program such as Amazon, which is the most significant affiliate pay-per-sale merchant in the world.
Here’s one key point to understand pay-per-sale marketing. It’s straightforward to find affiliate merchants to join in every category.
You can even go so far as to search for a particular company, such as Walmart, for example, and see if they have a Walmart Affiliate Program. They do, and you’ll find similar results for just about every business in the world. So finding products to sell and affiliate programs for them is very easy to do.
The key is finding the companies and products with the best affiliate programs. Things I look for include marketing support, training, references, etc. Check this out very carefully, and this is known as doing your due diligence before joining a pay-per-sale affiliate program.
Two-Tier Affiliate Programs
These kinds of programs are good if you enjoy recruiting and selling. Unlike network marketing, you only get paid for the sales or actions completed by affiliates you recruit. There is no benefit to building a downline of affiliates because you’re not making any money on their efforts.
The primary downside to this type of affiliate marketing is that most members you recruited are not going to make sales, so you don’t want to rely on them for your income. A better approach is to build an email list and then offer the two-tier programs to your subscribers. This way, you can continue to contact them for other products and programs you’re selling.
My Final Thoughts
At the beginning of this article, I asked the question; what are the best online affiliate marketing programs? I’ve done my best to give you the best programs by category.
I like selling memberships to Wealthy Affiliates because this gives me a residual income, and the product teaches people how to make money in affiliate marketing.
You can get started for free and see if it is the best fit for you. And once you are inside I and countless others will be able to guide you along the right path to take