I talked about how Affiliate Business is done in Affiliate Marketing. In this article I talk about different kinds of affiliate programs and where to find them. Merchants conduct affiliate programs by themselves or with the help of a third party to increase the number of sales. To become an affiliate of a particular affiliate program all you have to do is filling out an online registration form. Almost all affiliate programs are free to join.

There are thousands of affiliate programs on the internet. But keep in mind to choose quality affiliate programs that you feel worthy to promote. Following facts are some common guidelines to choose best affiliate programs.

  • The product is actually valuable (use your sense on the subject and decide whether the product is actually valuable as it describes).
  • Merchant has an attractive web site which gives all required information about the product and earns the credibility.
  • The price of the product is reasonable (you know well about the subject and therefore decide whether the price is reasonable or not. Never recommend overpriced products just for the higher commission and loose your reputation).
  • The commission is reasonable (compare the effort you should spend to promote the product and the commission you get).
  • Real time statistics (how many clicks you have made to the merchant, how many sales you have made etc).
  • Promotion aids (freebies, graphics, advice to increase sales, prompt answers to your questions etc).
  • A reasonable agreement (affiliates have to accept merchant’s agreement when they register. Usually this is a long statement describing merchant’s legal policy and don’t have to worry too much. But if you are going to put a special dedication to a particular merchant, it is better to understand this agreement properly for the sake of your business).

Now you know what you should consider when choosing an affiliate program. Let’s examine different types of affiliate programs.

First Level Affiliate Programs

This is the most common type of affiliate programs. In this type of affiliate programs you get commissions only for sales that you made. If anyone becomes an affiliate through your links you don’t have any advantage. This is different for tier type affiliate programs which we consider next. In first level affiliate programs it is common to give reasonable commissions on sales.

Second Level Affiliate Programs (2-Tier)

In second level affiliate programs, in additions to the commissions for sales that you made, there is another type of commissions. Those are the commissions of your second tier.

If anyone becomes an affiliate through your links he is added to your second tier. While he receives the full commission for his sale you also receive a commission (which is usually less than the full commission) since you introduced him to the affiliate program.

If you get this wrong you won’t have a profitable affiliate business. That means if you only concentrate on introducing new affiliates to the program and don’t concentrate on your own sales, you are going along the wrong way. Think what will happen if your second tier also follow this method.

Therefore give the priority to increase your own sales and when you meet new profitable promoting methods share them with your second tier. To get a comprehensive list of 2-tier programs, visit 2-Tier.com.

Third Level Affiliate Programs (3-Tier)

In third level affiliate programs, in additions to your own commissions and second tier commissions you are also paid a commission for your third tier.

Multi Level Affiliate Programs (Multi-Tier)

The concept is same as in second tier and third tier affiliate programs. Here your downline goes up to five six tiers and sometimes it is endless. As mentioned in second level affiliate programs, the major drawback of multi level affiliate programs is concentrating only on increasing the downline and giving a less priority to own sales.

For almost all multilevel affiliate programs, the merchants impose a certain own sales limit that you should pass to receive your downline’s commission. Therefore for a fruitful affiliate business with multi level affiliate programs, concentrate on your own sales. Experiment new methods. Whenever you find a profitable method spread it to your downline.

Lifetime Commission Affiliate Programs

Usually the visitors who arrive to merchants’ web sites through your links don’t buy at the first time. Affiliate programs track these visitors and stick them to your unique ID for a period of time.

If the visitor comes back within that period and buys from the merchant (The visitor also should not pass through links of another affiliate in your program), you still get the commission. This method is to improve affiliates’ interest and the period varies from program to program. The more long the period is the greater your chance to get paid.

For some affiliate programs this period is endless. That means when a customer comes through your links he is stuck to your ID and whenever he buys a product you get the commission. These types of affiliate programs are called lifetime commission affiliate programs. To get a comprehensive list of affiliate programs which offer lifetime commissions, visit LifetimeCommissions.com.

Affiliate Networks

As mentioned above merchants conduct their own affiliate programs or use a third party to conduct their affiliate programs. These third parties are called Affiliate Networks. Any merchant can join these affiliate networks to get their service under certain fees.

Once a new merchant joins to an affiliate network, the network makes available that merchant to their existing affiliates. After that, any affiliate can promote that merchant’s products (In some cases merchants have the right on the acceptance of new affiliates and can impose some conditions when they register).

The affiliate network provides all promotion aids (links, banners etc) to their affiliates and show real time statistics. Usually the affiliate network handles all the money transactions (Accepting credit card payments of customers etc) and pays merchants and affiliates their portions. Almost all affiliate networks are free for affiliates to join.

Affiliates have some advantages with affiliate networks over individual affiliate programs.

  • Affiliates can sign up for greater amount of merchants at one place (Affiliate networks have categorized their merchants according to the subject).
  • Affiliates can get to know their statistics for all merchants at one place instead of logging into individual affiliate accounts.
  • Usually a category consists of more than one merchant and therefore affiliates can do an easy comparison at one place.

Below are the leading affiliate networks which are free to join. Upon the registration they may ask for your web site which is not a must for many affiliate networks. You can change your profile at any time after joining and you can provide your web site details later.

Below are major affiliate directories which have categorized affiliate programs according to subjects.

Sometimes browsing through directories may be tedious. In case you want to find a subject specific affiliate program, incorporate phrase “affiliate program” into your search. For an example, if you want to find a credit card affiliate program, just type below phrase in Google and it will bring you good results.
credit card affiliate program

Now you may have a good knowledge on affiliate programs. The key point of a successful affiliate business is not how many affiliate programs you have joined. It’s your successful content rich web site which drives a greater amount of traffic and makes significant amount of clicks to your merchant partners. Follow a course like Affiliate Marketers Handbook to create successful affiliate web sites.