There are also many different kinds of affiliate programs:
Pay Per Lead (PPL)-You refer a person from your site to the affiliate site, the referred person then has to signup / subscribe to something for you to make money.
Pay Per Sale (PPS)- You refer a person from your site to an affiliate site where they then buy an item off that site for you to make money.
Pay Per Click (PPC)-You refer a person to an affiliate site and you get money.
These are just some of the basic ways you can make money with affiliate programs.
Top Affiliate Programs
1. ShareASale-My #1 pick for affiliate programs because ShareASale pays good commissions and is reputable. One of the most important things to consider when looking for affiliates is their reputation. That is why ShareASale gets my top pick. When you join ShareASale you will pick from one of their 2, 500 merchants. Then you will promote their product on your site.Share A Sale
2.Amazon associates- Amazon receives my #2 pick because Amazon simply has a good affiliate program. First of all Amazon is one of the most reputable affiliate programs you'll find. The program is simple, you advertise Amazon's products on your site and you earn a 15% commission every time someone goes through your website and buys products from Amazon. Amazon will also load you up with nice banners and ads you can ad to your site.Amazon associates
3.GameFly-An odd pick for third place but Gamefly indeed has an excellent affiliate program. One I personally have experience with. My reasoning behind my decision is that Gamefly gives an excellent payout. When you refer someone to Gamefly and they signup for a free trial you get $15. The great thing about this is that the person you refer is a lot more likely to sign up for the trial because it's free. And when they do you get money. So if video games are your thing might want to consider GameFly.GameFly
Tips and Tricks
It is very important to consider a number of things when deciding what affiliate program to participate in. The by far most important thing to consider is the the similarity between your website and the affiliate program. Its common sense that the affiliate should be relevant to the content on your site. What is almost equally important when picking an affiliate program is its reputation. Now you don't need to do extensive research on an affiliate program but if it seems a little sneaky or if its foreign it may pose trouble. I know I have seem a lot of casino websites offering a lot of money for leads to their site. Being linked to a gambling site like that frightens me. Gambling is a little mysterious and can be illegal. to be safe, don't join a gambling affiliate programs. The last thing to consider is how much money you get. This isn't as important as you think. If you join a no name auction affiliate program that has high commissions you'll probably have better luck joining an affiliate program like Ebay's. People that visit your site are a lot more lucky to click on Ebay's link than that other affiliates link. Just take everything into consideration.