Promoting affiliate programs is probably one of the most popular and realistic ways of making money online. You really can make money doing this, and the money can be substantial with some work. The type of affiliate program you use or promote will depend on your particular situation.
One of the most common types of affiliate programs is the pay per sale/pay per lead program. These are also called CPA or cost per action affiliate programs. These pay you for sales and for other actions that your referred customers make. This type of program can be promoted on websites and in other ways depending on the particular programs terms. It is very versatile.
CPC (cost per click) programs pay you when vistors to your site click on your ads. You are paid per click. There are also PPC (pay per click) programs which are similar. CPC programs are great for websites with content.
CPM (cost per mille) affiliate programs pay you for showing ads on your website. You are paid per 1000 impressions – per 1000 times the ad is shown on your website. This is great for websites that get a lot of traffic.
All three types can pay very well. It is a good idea to experiment and see what works for you. Some people like to use multiple affiliate programs on a site, such as a cpc program and a cpa program, or some other combination. If you are thinking of doing non website based promotion, CPA programs are worth considering.