Different types of affiliate programs pay affiliates for different things. We will discuss briefly the way that affiliates pay their affiliates and why they may choose this type of affiliate program. This will help you in your choice of affiliate program.
Pay Per Click – While this type of affiliate program may yield the lowest earnings it can be a great way to generate web traffic. Because of the low conversion rate (less than $.10 per click) you may want to think twice about this affiliate method unless you have an extremely high amount of web traffic. The pay is based on unique site visitors so if you have plenty of those this may be very lucrative for you.
Pay Per Lead – The best example of this type of affiliate program is what credit card companies do. They will have you place a banner ad or other type of advertising on your website. Whenever a site visitor clicks on one of those ads and fills out the information you will get paid. However, credit card companies and others have gotten wise and many will now only pay you if the lead generates into a sale (or in the case of credit card companies, the visitor must be approved for a credit card). The bottom line is that the affiliate program wants you to get people to sign up for some sort of service or to make a purchase.
Pay Per Sale – A great example of this is Amazon, the online mega store. They offer an affiliate program where you can place general links or links for certain products on your site or blog and then as customers click through and it generates sales, those sales are tracked and you make a percentage. There are other affiliate programs that if you generate a sale in say web hosting services or enrollment in a school you make a flat fee for each sale that you make. These programs can be a great way to make money online.