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So what are the best online affiliate programs?

You have probably heard about them where ever you go on the internet. The best online affiliate programs are one way to earn some money with your content site, it is one step towards accepting your own products. Why? Well, with affiliate products you recommend a product then when someone clicks through your link to the supplier site and buys you get a referral fee, a percentage of that sale. The fee is usually 5-10% for hard goods, and 10%+ (upto 70%) for software. There is no real down side to affiliate programmes apart from 2 concerns.

What the best online affiliate programs do not offer, the problems with some affiliate programs:

1) When someone clicks through to an affiliate software site, their computer is tagged with a cookie. This cookie states that the person has been sent to the site by you. Unfortunately a time limit is set for when that person buys and is usually placed within the cookie. The time limit is set by the affiliate company. However, usually a customer doesn't buy from a site straight away, usually it takes a few visits, or if it is software some weeks of trials. If the company sets the time limit on which someone buys at 30 days (quite common) you could loose valuable commissions if someone trials the software and decides to buy in 2-3 months. Also how about if they buy something else in a few months time? You loose the secondry commission. Also cookies can be deleted by anti-spyware software, ruining your commission chances.

2) How about if the company's site is bad, and instills poor confidence within the customer who clicked through? You don't get the commission because the customer has been scared off, and you don't get cash just because someone has clicked through. Quite frustrating really when your logs show that you have x amount of people clicking through (they obviously like the recommendation that you wrote) but the company's end is bad...argghhh!!!

What can be achieved through using the best online affiliate programs?

The rumours of people earning $10,000/ month or so from the best online affiliate programs has some truth in it. However those sites have someone working 24/7 everyday creating content, leads, and various marketing efforts. They have worked to get that site to where it is- but they fail to mention that.

What you do is find a good programme via the search engines or by the various directories out there. You subscribe to their programme for free. They offer various links, banners, graphics with your "affiliate id" attached to each. You then insert the link into your text on your site and once someone clicks through and makes the purchase you get a percentage for that sale.

The best online affiliate programs tip:

One thing to note though. Always recommend a program. Give its plusses and minuses- review it. State how it helped you. If you recommend a program that your surfers won't like, or if you have lied about the product and it is really awful you will get returned goods and commissions taken away and a poor reputation. Always be sincere, it is the best way to operate. In some of the cases being totally honest gets you a bigger click through value. People trust you, they feel that you have actually seen the product and are giving an unbiased view (something that is sadly lacking in some sites). A bigger click through value is also achieved by a trial version being offered- it cuts down the risk of the product.

The best online affiliate programs and directories are found below. They have all search functions for ease of use.

Clickbank is a good site to allow you credit card access- selling your own stuff. So far it can not be beaten for the cost and what it actually does. There are some vendors out there on Clickbank that will give you 50-70% of their product's value. If you can not download, trial and test then don't bother with them. Remember try out first- review, then recommend if needed.

If you want a very good range of software applications then Regnow is probably the best one to go with. They list the product, percentage commission, and trialware if applicable (there are some that are freeware as well). They give you your own admin area and it is all professionally done. I would recommend Regnow as they have a good clear interface, professional, easy application, and they house some great bits of software that are really really good, and can be quite a find- great for being one-step-ahead of your competitors.

Commission Junction (CJ) houses the named brands. If you want to be part of some of the most successful global brands, then CJ is your place. Same with the above directories, I find CJ has everything that you need to manage your affiliate account. The only slight problem that I have is that CJ is really only good for services, or for goods that you will sell on an estore- as the named brands have the "behind the scenes" strength of delivery of hard goods and a high customer service.

SiteSells 5 Pillar affiliate system is one of the best out there. I know it isn't part of a musical background, but it is a really good affiliate system. The main features are that they have lifetime commissions, when a person clicks through their ID is saved for life. So if they buy now or in a years time, you get the commission. Also they do not save via cookie. The computer's ID is saved on their database so you always get credited with the sale. Very good and well recommended and is probably one of the best online affiliate programs out there.

This is the main dilema that you really have to take. Which one do you go for? Which ones of the best affiliate programs do you use? I go for all four, with a softer spot for Regnow and for SiteSells 5 Pillar. Regnow suits me and my site. That is the main reason. Why? Well my site is based upon free things and with trial goods you can use and delete them where neccessary (sometimes you can not have totally free goods that are good quality). Also they offer a great range of similar products. If one is no good (there usually is one) then you have a range of other similar products then to choose from. They also support the smaller businesses, which I like and as I said, sometimes you can find a real gem that no-one has and it makes it all worthwhile. Sitesell can be used within your site, and that will be shown in the next page.

The best online affiliate programs really depend upon the site that you have running and which ones to choose depends upon that main fact. There are plenty of Affiliate systems out there, and software links and reviews within your site should be a must.

Now we have found the best online affiliate programs, how do we make money by literally doing nothing? Click to find out.