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Making money online through affiliate programs

Updated on July 13, 2011

Consider this when trying to make money online

The attraction to making money online seems to be growing as more and more people turn to the internet as a source of income.  Along with that growing interest in the subject of making money online, there are also those who find they try & try and yet make no money online whatsoever!

A lot has already been said on the subject, but there is always room for more comment, especially on something so central to all our lives as money! We all need it, and we can all do with finding ways to increase it.

In this article, I want to provoke your thinking a little on some things related to making money online. It is important you understand what you are getting into when you step out in this area. There are all kinds of articles promising you incredible income, and they make it sound so easy, but the truth is it is not, and it takes work.

Making money online is definatly possible, and I am into doing it, however it seems like the information published online often presents a 'one sided' view, and if we really want to be good at making money online, we need to ensure we get a two sided view of the whole thing and what we are getting ourselves into.

The more we understand about it, the more we can use that knowledge to help us be more effective.

As a result, this article is aimed at presenting to you some things you may not have thought about related to an online income.

we all want more money
we all want more money

Making money through affiliate marketing

I specifically want to talk about affiliate schemes or affiliate marketing.

In brief an affiliate scheme is where a company that sells a product, offers to give 'you' a percentage of the sale price for that product, if you advertise their product online for them (on your blog, website or other means) by putting a text link or a banner link to their product. However you do not get paid just for advertising their product, you only get paid if someone clicks on the link and actually makes a purchase from their site.

This may sound great at first, because it sounds like you can get lots of money, by advertising things we all know people want to buy. Using this means, your blog or website can become a source of income.

Affiliate marketing HAS made it possible for 'the average person' to be a part of selling products that are in demand and to make some money from those sales.

However, as attractive as this may sound, there is a side to it many have not thought about:

The issue I want to look at it: Who gets 'the Raw end of the deal' with affiliate schemes?

In the real world, companies pay FOR Advertising, not for 'results from advertising'.

In other words, if they want to advertise in a magazine, they must pay for the spot, whether they get any results from that advert or not.

Most advertisers know that the average advert does NOT produce results by itself. What produces results is building up a name for yourself or your product through LOTS of advertising. This is how a brand name develops. People become familiar with a brand by constantly seeing it, and for this companies pay.

In the real world companies have to invest a huge amount of money into advertising, realising that many of the adverts will be seen by people, but will not in themselves produce a sale.

However as the customer keeps seeing the advert, they eventually get to the place where they are likely to buy something.

In the online world, companies do not pay you to advertise their product. They ONLY pay you if someone sees the advert on your site, clicks on it AND buys something.

This is presented as an incredible deal FOR YOU!

If the real world operated like the online world in the areas of advertising, companies would be able to place free adverts on TV and in magazines, and only have to pay for any particular ads that produce money for them (if there were any way to track it of course, there isn't).

Oh wouldn't companies LOVE that? free advertising! However magazines would have no income and would go out of business.

I compare the real world and the online world to illustrate what is actually going on with affiliate schemes

The raw end of the deal

In the 'online world' affiliate schemes become a FREE way for companies to gain HUGE exposure through text links and banner ads all over the internet, which cost them NOTHING. Through this ongoing and huge exposure, they can build up a brand name for free. (free for them)

You as the affiliate actually get the 'raw end' of the deal.

You have to advertise them and their produces, with no money for doing so. You also have to put in the work to market and draw customers in for them, with no money for you.

You have to hope that some of the traffic you draw in to your site will click on their advert, still with no money to you, and then you have to hope that the customer who has clicked on their add actually buys something from them, and here is the first place you get any glimplse of money.

However that is not the end of it. Just because you get some sales from the traffic you have sent them, does not mean you will even see that money yet.

The companies set 'payment thresholds' which are basically the mimimum amount that has to come into your account before they will release any of the money you have now worked hard to earn.

They keep our money until you earn a certain amount with them.

This means that for many affiliates, they may actually go through all the work to get traffic in, get ads clicked, have the customers buy something from the company, and yet STILL not ever see any money from it.

If you do not get them ENOUGH buying customers, you will never get over that threshold and never see any money. Only those who work real hard with marketing and manage to bring in a lot of customers ever see their money.

So you see - that is why I saw as an affilaite, you get the raw end of the deal.

free advertising for them, work for you

The company you are advertising get a free ad on yoursite, helping to build their brand name. people become familiar with them by seeing their ads all over the internet.

They also get traffic into their sites through SOME of those ads, and then from that traffic they get some sales. The money they give you doesn't come from them, it is a percentage of the sale. of course if you never cross your payment threshold, they get to keep hold of that.

Also, like I said earlier in this article, one way companies build up brands by constant exposing people to their advertising. Advertisers know that people do not necessarily buy the first time they see an ad.

So apply that to the online world, you may go through all the effort of getting traffic and people come to your site and see your adverts - of the affiliates you belong to.

But that does not mean they will click the ad on your site. Seeing it on  your site, may simply build that persons exposure to the product, then they go to another person's site and click on the same ad there another time, meaning that although you contributed to this person eventually clicking the ad, you get no credit for it, no money!

Sounds to me like the company gets the better end of the deal.

I am not saying don't try to make money online

Now, I have not said all that to try to stop you making money online.

I have not said it to stop you joining affiliate programs. I have said it to make you think, and to help you be aware of the truth about this all. To make you approach this all with your eyes open, being aware of what you are getting into.

It is not some amazing scheme designed to put money on your pocket by companies. It is a scheme designed by them to get exposure, build a brand and get customers. You have to work hard (in fact you do all the hard work for them), and you may get a trickle of the benefits that all these online affiliate marketing schemes provide.

That is another reason I prefer google ads over other affliate programs. Since google ads pay you a step earlier in the process. They pay for people clicking on the ad, not for when the customer buys something. You have a far higher chance of getting money from that that affiliate programs but it wills till take work and effort


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    • ajayshah2005 profile image

      ajayshah2005 5 years ago from Mid Asia

      Good Hub!