January 3, 2011

Affiliate programs...are they worth it?

If you shop online a lot, then you've probably noticed links for affiliate programs.  Most of the big websites (Amazon, Vista Print, etc) have them now.  Even some of our favorite stores, like Cloth Diaper Outlet and Nature's Nappies, have affiliate programs.  What are they, how do they work, and is it worth it?

Simply put, it's a commission program that pays you to advertise for the store. 

Usually you have to register or apply, then have your account approved.  Once approved, you get your own unique "affiliate link". Then you use the link...put it on your Facebook page, add it to the signature in emails or forum posts, put it in your blog.  Anytime anyone clicks through to the website using your link, and places an order, then you get credit for that order.  Sometimes it's store credit, sometimes it's cash. 

How much each store pays varies.  Usually it's between 2 and 8% depending on the store and what is purchased.  Most are around 5%. 

At Cloth Diaper Outlet, first-time purchases will earn the affiliate a 5% cash commission.  Repeat-purchases earn 2%.  It's great that you get credit on repeat purchases; most of the "big" stores don't honor repeat purchases.  Plus, at Cloth Diaper Outlet, the payout is cash in the form of Paypal, paid quarterly. 

Graphics are provided to help you advertise your link.
Is it worth it?  Since the programs are free and easy to sign up for, yes, it's worth taking a few minutes to sign up.  Will you earn a regular paycheck?  Most likely you'll earn enough for a free latte or two a few times a year.  But free money is free money and I usually sign up!


Thank you for this! I'm looking to add affiliate links for the products I already rave about... but couldn't find a cloth diaper affiliate. I will definitely look into Cloth Diaper Outlet. Thank you, again!