4.1. Kinds of Ad Programs
Affiliate programs differ from most other advertising approaches: to make money your traffic has to generate sales. This important distinction has implications for your web site content and design.
It's worth going over the three primary approaches to making money via advertising with your web content so the underlying distinctiveness of affiliate advertising is clear.
The three most common ways to use advertising to make money with content on the Web are:
From your viewpointthat of the publisher of content on one or more web siteswhat you probably really care about is how much money you can make from each kind of approach to advertising. Of course, that depends on a great many variables, and there are ways to maximize the yield from each kind of advertising program. It's worth experimenting to find out which kind of advertising works best with the specific content on your site (and the kind of traffic your site draws). It's also the case that some sites carry all three kinds of advertising.
The key conceptual difference among the three kinds of advertising is what a visitor to your site has to do to make you money. It's a spectrum.
One way to look at this is by the amount of action required on the part of your site visitor, from most to least: