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An affiliate marketer sells products online on a commission basis. The marketer, though, is not responsible for delivery or shipping of the products. The products are promoted through the affiliate's website, or blog, which includes a link to the product's sales page. When a visitor clicks on the link it's tracked through the affiliate's "cookie." The affiliate is given credit for the sale and paid.
Find products that offer an affiliate program. Check companies that list product owners with affiliate programs such as Clickbank.com, Neverblue.com or Commission Junction. Amazon.com has an affiliate program as well. Service providers such as web hosts, autoresponder distribution firms and review sites of consumer, professional and business products are other alternatives.
Verify the reliability of the owner of the product for payment. Also check the return rate and customer reviews. You don't want to offer a product that has a high return rate and bad customer reviews.
Determine how the affiliate is paid. If it's directly by the product owner, there's a possibility — however slim — that you won't get paid. Third parties such as Commission Junction automatically pay the affiliate when a sale is made without the input of the product owner.
Set up a method to receive payment. Some affiliate programs pay through direct deposit, echecks, hardcopy checks or through a money transfer service firm such as Paypal.com, Google Checkout or Money Bookers.
Complete the affiliate application and submit. You may have to have an established website in the niche of the affiliate product to be accepted. Other programs don't require anything more than agreeing to their terms. You might have to be located in the United States to qualify. States that charge sales tax on Internet purchases may not be approved by some affiliate programs.
Promote your affiliate link by setting up a website or blog that promotes the product. Drive traffic to the website through building backlinks, article distribution, participation on relevant forums and discussion groups. Other methods include social bookmarking, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Promote products that interest you. Marketing will be less of a challenge. Focus on two or three market niches rather than a shotgun approach.
The Federal Trade Commission has rules and regulations concerning testimonials and endorsements. Make sure not only you follow those rules but the sales page of the product does too.
Katie Jensen's first book was published in 2000. Since then she has written additional books as well as screenplays, website content and e-books. Rosehill holds a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University. Her articles specialize in business and personal finance. Her passion includes cooking, eating and writing about food.