An affiliate program rewards associates for every new customer they bring to a business. Many web hosting organizations have some established affiliate programs. These programs can be as simple as earning free hosting services for every new user an existing customer refers. Other web hosting affiliate programs offer cash rewards, often effectively creating teams of commission-only salespeople.
In highly competitive fields such as web hosting, affiliate marketing is very cost-effective. Web hosting affiliate programs rarely train their associates. Instead, each individual’s profit is reliant completely on their own ingenuity and marketing skills. As the host does not pay unless it gets a new customer, it assumes no financial risk in advertising.
Often, there is also no financial risk to the associate. Casual affiliate marketing can be accomplished for nothing more than the price of a conversation. Websites for personal and business use are growing in popularity, and often a recommendation from a friend or family member can lead to a new customer.
Many associates also place referral links to the program on their own websites. In web hosting affiliate programs, referral links can be powerful tools. In essence, these links act as testimonials. They demonstrate both that the referrer is using hosting services and that he or she is pleased enough with the experience to recommended it to others.
Proactive marketers of web hosting affiliate programs may take their involvement to the next level by creating pages or even entire websites dedicated to advertising the web hosting organization. Generally, these individuals are professional or semiprofessional online marketers who intend to add revenue from affiliate programs to their income streams. These pages are usually carefully worded to draw traffic from search engines and can contain several generally positive reviews about the web host. Referral links, placed strategically throughout the site, lead customers to the web host's sign-up page.
While web hosting affiliate programs can be a lucrative income source for some, it is rare for individuals to live on earnings from these programs alone. Competition for referrals is stiff, and the top earners are usually people who are extremely knowledgeable about Internet sales and marketing. Even those highly skilled individuals generally use affiliate programs as assets in a larger portfolio of income sources rather than relying on earnings from a single program alone.
Still, those who are happy with their web hosting might consider looking into their host’s affiliate program. Placing a referral link or suggesting the host to friends does not usually take a lot of time or effort. In return, one might earn a little extra money or a few months of free hosting.