How you make money with affiliate programs depends on which type of program that you choose. Let me explain. With any affiliate program, you as the affiliate, in order to receive compensation, are required to cause a predetermined action to happen.
For example, if the affiliate program involves selling widgets, then you as the affiliate are required to sell widgets, if you want to be compensated. If the affiliate program involves taking surveys, then you are required to take surveys,and so forth.
When you cause the predetermined action
to happen, then you are compensated by the merchant of that
affiliate program. To the merchant, your compensation is a
cost-per-action (CPA). To you, your compensation is a pay-per
Most affiliate programs are internet based and conduct business
via websites. Therefore, a merchant for an affiliate program
will pay compensation(1) when the affiliate sends visitors to the merchant's website (pay-per-visit),
or (2) when the affiliate sends visitors to the merchant's website and
the visitor completes a predetermined action (pay-per-action) such as
buying a widget, or completing a survey, and so forth.
There is another action which is a cost-per-click (CPC) to the merchant or a pay-per-click (PPC) to the affiliate.
To make money with affiliate programs will more than likely require
that the affiliate has a website of his/her own. A link leading to the
merchant's website is placed on the affiliate's website. When a
visitor lands on the affiliate's website and clicks on the link that
takes the visitor to the merchant's website, and that visitor's click is
all that the Merchant requires for the affiliate to receive
compensation, then that action is a cost-per-click (CPC) to the merchant
or a pay-per-click (PPC) to the affiliate.
If you don't have a website of your own, don't worry. Many affiliate
programs provide a website and/or squeeze pages for the affiliate to
market the program.
When you make money with affiliate programs, it doesn't stop with the actions described above. Many programs have the added benefits of being residual income affiliate programs or a 2 tier affiliate program.