One of the ways to make money online is to participate in affiliate programs. You can usually participate in more than one, and if you are savvy, you can earn money on the commissions.

What are Affiliate Programs?

Basically, companies are looking for ways to market their products and services. In order to increase their reach, and get others to do the work of marketing on their behalf, many companies offer affiliate programs. Marketers like you do the work, and send customers to their sites. In return, you receive a commission.

Each affiliate is assigned a specific code. This reference code is included in the link or banner that you promote. When someone clicks on it, your reference number is noted, and you are credited for the transaction.

Affiliate programs pay out in different ways. Some programs will pay you when someone visits the site — even if the visitor doesn’t buy anything. Other programs, though, require that someone buy the product or service, or complete some other action before you are credited. You might be paid a flat amount for each transaction, or you might be paid a percentage of the sale.

Essentially, the more traffic you, as an affiliate, can send to the company web site, the more money you are likely to make. Some affiliates join more than one program to boost their opportunities. Just make sure you read the terms and conditions, since some affiliate programs won’t let you join other programs, or join competing programs.

Affiliate Marketing from Your Web Site

One of the most common ways to earn affiliate income is to sign up with ad networks and host ads your web site or blog. Visitors to your web site can see the ads, and it looks like normal advertising seen almost everywhere else. When they click on the ads after visiting your site, they are taken to the company web site, where they can complete a transaction, and you can earn a commission.

It works best if the affiliate program matches the content on your web site. If you have a financial blog, it makes sense to join affiliate programs related to different financial products and services. If your web site is about gardening, you can look for companies that have affiliate programs related to plants, and gardening equipment, or lawn care items. The more traffic your web site brings, the more likely it is that visitors will click on your affiliate ads and that you will end up earning some money.

If you don’t have a website or blog and would like to set something up, you can contact us for consultation info [at]

What If You Don’t Have a Web Site?

The good news is that you don’t need to have a web site to be involved in affiliate programs. Many people don’t want to run their own web sites. They may not want to pay the costs associated with development and hosting, or they may not want to bother with creating landing pages, and content. This makes sense.

If you don’t want to create your own web site, but you still want to make money as an affiliate, you have some options.

Many companies provide you with feeder web sites. This is a web site that seems unique, and that looks professional, and comes with your affiliate code as part of it. These web sites are usually provided free of charge by the company, and they exist to feed customers so that they will complete a transaction. Instead of worrying about maintaining your own web site, you just have to concentrate on sending people to the feeder web site, where they can buy products or services. You can market the web site using your social media profiles, or by buying ads to place in search engines or on other web sites.

Indeed, buying ads is one way to make affiliate income without having a web site of your own. You don’t even need to send people to a feeder web site. You will have your own unique URL to use as an affiliate. Do a little keyword research, and determine which are likely to be most effective for the product or service offered by the affiliate program you are using. Then, create a text ad and submit the keywords to a search engine. You will have to pay if you want it to show up as a sponsored result. When the ad is clicked, the user will be taken to the company with your affiliate URL, and you will get the commission (of course, your earnings will be offset to some degree by what you pay to the search engine).

You can also use a similar method to place ads on specific web sites. There are ad networks you can plug into in order to “buy” spots on several web sites and blogs at once. Again, though, your earnings will be the difference between the cost for the ads and the commissions you earn.

As you can see, these methods allow you to reach a more general population — without the need for a web site of your own. With a little hard work, and some insight, you can earn money as an affiliate.

List of affiliate programs:


Commission Junction

Google Affiliate Networks




Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.