I’ve talked plenty about Passive Income, and even offered several passive income ideas in previous articles. One of the many ways that many people who run websites (including me) make money is through affiliate programs. With the right affiliate program, it can be good money, and it can be very passive. The idea is simple. The website owner posts an article, with a link to an affiliate program. The link has a tracking code in it so that the program can track where the referral came from. If the viewer clicks through the link, and then signs up for the product, or buys the product, the website owner receives a predetermined fee. As a source of passive income, it can work very well. The website owner places the link once, and any traffic that comes to that page and clicks through the link makes the website owner income. The only work involved is the placing of the link, and the income continues for as long as that link exists and viewers continue clicking, and then buying through it.
There are thousands upon thousands of affiliate programs out there. Any website owner, in any niche, can find an affiliate program with products to recommend. In my niche, personal finance, and the finance niche as a whole, one such program is the North West Financial Broker affiliate program. North West Financial Broker is a Forex broker. People open accounts there to trade in currency. Say you think that the GBP (Great Britain Pound) is going to increase in value against the USD (U.S. Dollar). You’d trade USD for GBP, then trade it back to USD when it does increase in value. This may be over-simplifying it, but think of it as trading in the stock of a country’s economy.
The affiliate program works like this: The website refers a potential customer to NWFB. That potential customer signs up for an account and then makes trades. Like any other broker, NWFB charges a fee based on the transaction. In this case, they charge points on the trade. Each of the website’s referred customers that make a trade pay that fee. NWFB then pays the website owner a percentage of that fee. For NWFB’s affiliate program, that percentage is 30%.
Right now, they’re trying to ramp up their affiliate program, so they’re running a promotion on the program. All referrals through September 17th, 2012 will receive 100% of the fees collected before September 17th. Other affiliate programs will often run similar programs and offer higher payouts for a short period, or one-time payouts for certain goals. I once received a $100 gift card to a mail-order lobster store during a promotion. Lobster tastes better when it’s free! I’ve seen some programs that will hold contests and give away prizes like iPads to their top affiliates for a certain month.
Over the next few months, I’m planning on sharing a few other programs that I’ve seen (and some I’ve used) that have potential to be good passive income streams for website owners.
How many of you have used affiliate programs on your websites? How successful have you been?
This post was sponsored by North West Financial Broker Affiliate Program.
img credit:Tarale, on Flickr