In the context of e-commerce, affiliates are entities which are paid to direct people to a certain website.
One of the ways by which affiliates can earn money is through the use of the pay-per-click method. This simply means that revenue is generated based on the number of clicks a certain advertisement has received. However, this kind of program has proven itself to be problematic, as it becomes an easy target for click fraud.
Another type of program is known as pay-per-sale. Under this, payments are only made if the click results in the completion of a transaction.
Pay-per-lead programs, on the other hand, generate revenue for affiliates if a click results in a sales lead. This may be come in the form of an inquiry or a form completed by a site visitor.
Over the years, affiliate programs have become easier for aspiring affiliates. It is possible to get very quick approval for acceptance into an affiliate program.
Vendors often have their own sites where an applicant can submit required information. A link may then be supplied to the applicant, for pasting onto his or her website. This enables the vendor to track impressions and even visits which result in actual transactions.
Since the process is quite easy and has the potential to generate some passive income, this arrangement has quickly gained popularity. Furthermore, it is possible for an affiliate to host several websites. If an affiliate owns five websites which focus on different topics and cater to a variety of audiences, he or she may run a wide variety of advertisements and gain more financial rewards.