Affiliate programs, in my experience, do not pay much. Yet they do pay, so I stick with them. Currently I help drive business to Firefox, iTunes, Amazon and Dream Host, among others.
Dream Host, a Los Angeles-based web hosting provider (and the host of this site) has the most lucrative deal going. They offer $97 per referral for a new hosting client. It’s a brilliant offer. While they forgo income for year one by paying out the referral fee, they know they’ll make money in year two and three and so on. The offer also gets people talking about the brand, so it’s smart in every way.
Mike Davidson, CEO of Newsvine in Seattle, WA has really made this offer work for him.
In my two years of being with Dreamhost, I’ve directly referred 647 new customers. Dreamhost, being the cool company that they are, kicks users back $97 for each person they refer. Do the math.
Okay, I’ll do the math. $62,759. That’s 30 large a year for word-of-mouth and an online endorsement.
In related news, Dream Host had some service problems this summer, which they detail on the company blog in the spirit of total transparency.