I have a number of websites now which generate income from Google Adsense and various affiliate programs. Adsense earnings are fairly regular and consistent with any site changes you make. Affiliate earnings on the other hand are very inconsistent (at least for me).

Most affiliate programs have a minimum payout of say US$100. You sign up to a program, spend time making pages and updating links and it is sometimes not too long before you start to make new sales. The new sales sometimes come in fairly quick and you think it won’t be long before you get the first cheque.

Then you hit a brick wall. You have been in a program for 3-4 months and you can only make around $85. You don’t want to quit the program because you are only a sale away from the first cheque, but you don’t really feel like promoting a company that isn’t bringing in any money.

It is almost like affiliates have this built into their programs. I don’t want to say it’s a conspiracy, but sometimes it really makes you wonder if all sales are tracked properly.

I like to join one program and try to promote that fairly heavily. If I have some success, I try to promote it more. If I don’t get any sales, I move the links to a less popular page and then dump the program all together, if I still don’t get any sales after a couple of months.

Once I make the minimum payout, I start looking for another program and move the company that just paid me the cheque to a slightly less popular page. I don’t really get any big traffic to any of my sites, but income is definitely directly proportional to traffic.

Checking your stats can get very addictive. I check my stats at least 2 times a day. It feels great if you go away for a weekend, come back on Monday and find that you have made $200, by practically doing nothing. Sometimes you get a nice surprise but other times it can be very disappointing if you do a lot of work and then find it hasn’t made you any money.

You need to have patience if you want to make money through affiliate programs as a lot trial and error is needed. What works for one person or one website, is a waste of time for others.

I would love to hear from anyone who has read my blog and thought of giving this a go. I would be very happy to provide any advice.