If you are interested in getting involved in affiliate programs, the first thing you have to do is decide whether you want to become an affiliate, want to acquire affiliates, or both. If you run an e-commerce site and would like to increase your sales, you might want to start your own affiliate program. If you run a small content site as a hobby and would simply like to bring in a little money to cover production costs, joining a few programs as an affiliate would be a good option. Your best option depends on what aspects of affiliate programs could best serve your site and how much you are willing to spend.
Becoming an affiliate is relatively easy. Go to an affiliate network site and fill out an online application to become a member. The application will ask for some personal information (name, address, payment method) and information on your site (URL, name, and description of content) and will have you agree to a service agreement. Most affiliate networks are completely free for affiliates.
If the affiliate network approves your application, you can begin picking affiliate programs that interest you. Because so many affiliate programs are free to the affiliate, it's probably in your best interest to steer clear of programs with a charge. Once you've chosen some affiliate programs, the online merchants running these programs will have the opportunity to review your site. If they approve you, the affiliate network will walk you through the process of posting the appropriate links, which come directly from the network's site.
They will also establish payment arrangements with you. Because the amount of money you earn per action can be extremely small, most affiliate networks have a set minimum payout amount. This means you won't receive a check until the total money owed you reaches a certain amount. After you have set all this up and the affiliate network has explained its system to you, you can get back to work on your Web site's content and wait for your money to come in.