Affiliate networks are becoming more and more prevalent in the online world as more and more businesses are realising and then harnessing the power of the many digital business owners who can send high volumes of targeted traffic to specific offers under the form of advertising or promotional marketing campaigns.

The process and concept of affiliate marketing is really simple and has been used in many formats over the years in the offline world for as long as there has been advertising and businesses making money. Please refer to our ‘what is affiliate marketing‘ post if you want to understand that concept a little better.

Now although many of the larger companies like your amazons and ebays for example, have their own specialised in house affiliate programs, smaller companies tend to forgo the cost of developing and implementing their own in house program and instead opt to use specialist companies that have a solid and proven system in place along with high numbers of active affiliates registered with them.

These specialist systems have been designed to give affiliates unique ID’s and the ability to track campaigns with specific and unique url strings meaning that no two affiliate campaigns can conflict and they also use very specific cookie practices to ensure that the right affiliate claims the right sale that they refer.

There are many affiliate platforms for both digital and physical products as well as other type of affiliate networks that instead of recompensing for a completed sale, actually instead will pay for a confirmed lead. A confirmed lead is a real person submitting their details to a particular website. These are quite popular with things like insurance companies or loan companies where an interested person submits their details whilst looking for a policy or to borrow money and when those details are passed from that company to a provider of either of those services, a referral fee is paid to finder.

Given the nature of those two services in particular and the profit margins involved with potential long duration and payback plans as well as repeat custom from policy renewals, they are two of the best paying for leads possible, but also because of the nature of the work some of the highest regulated as well.

You don’t need to be an affiliate for either of these niche markets to make a decent income from referrals of affiliate sales and instead if you opt for digital products and services in particular, you can easily pickup commissions of $60 to $200 just from referring someone to a web hosting company to register for a hosting plan for a year or two. Even sending someone to register a domain name can pay a 20% commission, which on a $10 purchase isn’t a big payout, it’s still a payout nonetheless and all you really had to do was refer someone there by getting them to click a link to buy a product or service that they already know that they need.

A good place to look for these kinds of affiliate offers is Share A Sale, which can be found by going to shareasale.com and registering for a free account and then looking up the type of offers you want to specialise in promoting. Competition can always be fierce especially for some of the top paying companies, so maybe you’ll want to look at dealing in volume to begin with, meaning to make lots of small value sales instead of pushing for larger ones.

If however you want to look at digital products which can include online training, software, web apps and that kind of thing then you might want to check out clickbank.com which is one of the worlds leading companies for affiliate marketing of these types of products. There is also another very popular alternative to clickbank called JVZoo, which can be found by going to JVZoo.com. Both of these sites are free to join and have a wealth of products available for you to request to promote in whichever way you best communicate with your audience.

I’m sure there are plenty of other options out there on the marketplace for you to join so if you have any recommendations of personal favourites, please leave them in the comments section below about why you use them and what you like about them.