Affiliate Marketing 101
Affiliate marketing programs are a great way to get income for your website, and a great introduction to e-commerce. The more people that drop by your website, the great your chance will be at creating an excellent income.
Affiliate marketing programs are where a company offers to pay you a set amount for either a click through from your website, or a set amount for visitors signing up, or even a percentage of a purchase made by visitors as a result of being referred from your website.
Even if visitors don't make a purchase immediately, almost all programs offer cookie duration, normally consisting of 30 – 90 days. What this means, is that as long as the visitors have the cookie in their cache, you'll still receive a profit from the sale. I believe a three day cookie is just fine but I will always take a longer duration on the cookie. Lifetime cookies are the best believe it or not there are some companies that have their tracking cookie last an hour. These programs will never ever get a place on any of my sites. This is another reason to only work with a few affiliate managers as they would never do anything so bad to a program as this shoots themselves in the foot so to speak.
The biggest amount of time in maintaining your site will be searching and implementing affiliations with various companies. Even though there's a lot of money in affiliate marketing, you have to take the time to search for the best affiliate programs.
One thing that you may not be happy with, is the idea of other companies banners littering your website. If you use too many banners or links on any web page, it can confuse and help to irritate your visitors. More than one animated element on a web page can be very distracting as well.
Affiliate tracking can also be a problem
Once you have applied to become an affiliate for a company, they'll usually supply you with a personalized link or code. It's very important that you implement this code into your page correctly, or you may be sending visitors to the company without receiving any profit.
A majority of snippets in the code will contain a unique user ID, which the company uses to distinguish which site sent traffic. Odds are this piece of code will also let you know what page on your site the sale came from. This information is gold as you will be able to tell what pages on your website are driving customers to the merchant site where the sale took place.