Affiliate Programs: What Are They and Can They Benefit You?

There is no shortage of ways for making money in the web. Some options are more profitable than others. Affiliate programs are one of the most popular ways of getting income from some easy actions. We will introduce you to the concept of what these are and how do affiliate programs really work.

Affiliate programs marketing

Parties In an Affiliate Program

Any program includes several parties included. And each party plays their own role.

The Merchant

The merchant is the company interested in promoting themselves. They decide how does their affiliate program work. They establish the rules and decide on the benefits you can get.

The Affiliate

This is you. You basically become a partner of the company in a way. You promote them on your own website or elsewhere. As an affiliate, you receive some benefits from the merchant.

The Customer

The end-user is someone, who gets interested in the merchant business. They follow the link you posted and depending on the type, they might be required to perform some actions. If all the conditions are satisfied, the customer brings you a reward.

The Network

The network is not always included in the program as not all merchants use networks. But if they do, you might have to deal with it to become an affiliate. The network ensures the security of a payment and delivery of a product. It can also become a database of available products (for example, Amazon, eBay, etc.).

What is an Affiliate Program and How Does it Work?

The different types of affiliate programs are available. The most used ones are the following:

  • PPC (Pay-per-click). This type suggests that you are getting money for every person who clicked on the link you provided. It doesn’t matter if they did anything on the website afterward.
  • PPA (Pay-per-action). This is a more widespread version of an affiliate program. Besides clicking on your link, the customer will have to perform some action on the merchant website. This can be a sign-up and generally is called a pay-per-lead. The most popular is, however, a pay-per-sale type. This means a customer needs to make a purchase from the website for you to receive your money.

How Does an Affiliate Program Work?

Depending on the company the process may vary a lot. Most of the companies provide documentation or an FAQ about how does their affiliate marketing program works. The differences might include:

  • The way the payouts are made
  • The timeframe for payouts
  • The actions required to get your commission
  • The amount you get (can be a percentage of the sale or a fixed amount)

You can use this as a way of earning money or promoting your own business. For example, if you are looking to promote your blog, we have a few tips for you.

Affiliate marketing process

The Management

Even though the concept is a simple as they come, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work included in the management. One needs to monitor all the process, to see how many people follow links, how many of them sign up or make purchases, etc. A merchant also generally distinguishes a payout policy. For example, you will only get paid after the refund period has ended. To see in details how do affiliate programs work, you will need to go through the Terms and Conditions of a merchant.

How Payments Are Made

Payments can be made within the system of a merchant to your internal wallet or directly to your PayPal (or any other outside wallet). Some of the merchants will only allow you to use the commission within their systems. Some others also allow withdrawing the money after you reach a certain amount.

Advantages of Affiliate Programs

The obvious amount is of course, that you can make money with it. And the beautiful part is that you don’t even need to do much. But, some also provide you with benefits within their system. This can be a one-time discount, permanent special pricing, free delivery of their products, and so on.

What Income Can I Have?

The income you receive from a merchant depend directly on their conditions. Your profit can be anywhere from $0 to a few thousands of dollars per day. The commissions can be sometimes as high as 50% from a sale, especially in the digital business. If you take part in only one affiliate program your income will be definitely smaller than if you opt for a few of them. Just remember that it’s not a very stable business, so don’t rush into it without a backup.

Where Do I Begin?

To become an affiliate, you need to choose the service you like and see if the company provides some kind of partner programs. This can be as easy as putting a link on your social media or may require putting a banner on your website. Some other available options include sign-up fields, product-specific links, or anything else.

As soon as you sign up, you will receive your affiliate ID and will be provided with the options for promoting a particular merchant. Make sure to get acquainted with their policies before you start. This way you will know what to wait. Some companies might have an affiliate marketing guide for beginners available.

Amazon Associates affiliate program

Examples of Successful Programs

Probably the best example in the history is Amazon. Amazon is a network providing products from thousands of merchants around the globe. They have the partner program for anybody willing to participate. Most of the links are product-specific and require a purchase to be made.

Another popular affiliate software is Post Affiliate Pro. Post Affiliate Pro is the #1 ranked affiliate software on the market and is very easy to set up. It connects with virtually any website or payment gateway and currently trusted by more than 30,000 businesses around the world. Post Affiliate Pro features scalability, rock-solid tracking, endless amount of customization options and grows exactly with your needs.

Some other famous examples include IT companies like Their affiliate program requires a lead to sign up with the link and make a purchase. Then, you can get your commission. The payment is made to your internal funds, but as soon as you reach a certain amount, it can be withdrawn.


So, affiliate programs are easy to use as a source of an additional income. Of course, you should be prepared that it is not a stable option and may take some time discovering all the perks. But, as soon as you get used to various systems, it becomes no problem. You might want to look into several programs at once to find the one you like. The Travelpayouts Team has a broad experience in this field and we invite you to join our great network today.