Arguably the best and most exciting part of becoming an affiliate is receiving your payment for the very first time.  After all, that check or deposit notification represents all those weeks (or even months) of hard work, tireless promotion and lead hunting on your part.  Finally, there’s proof that your affiliate marketing efforts are beginning to pay off.  To understand how the payment system of affiliate marketing program works, learn the basics of affiliate commission payment schedules.

Getting paid

Your earnings as an affiliate come in the form of commissions.  This is a set percentage or portion of the total price of an affiliate product or service that you helped promote or sell.  In many cases, it can also come from a portion of the monies generated through the efforts of downline members in your team.

The payment of commissions to affiliates is ruled by a schedule.  This can vary from one affiliate program to the next, although a minimum amount and cut-off date are generally imposed. 

If you’re wondering why affiliate programs do not automatically send you a check for every sales income you generate, it’s quite simple, actually.  Affiliate programs need to maintain a standard when it comes to paying their affiliates to make sure that the process is seamless, glitch-free and fair to all.  A program without a commission payment schedule risks becoming disorganized and erroneous. 

Finding out the schedule of commission payments for your affiliate program
When you sign up as an affiliate for a program, it’s important that you check their FAQ section.  Affiliate marketing programs often provide the most basic information about themselves on their website.  Their FAQ section should clearly state the schedule of commission payments they have imposed for their affiliates.

If the information is unavailable, you can ask your sponsor (if you have one) or your affiliate program.  The schedule of commission payments to affiliates is an important consideration when choosing an affiliate program.  Do not sign up for an affiliate program without this information so you will be able to avoid disappointments later.

How often is the payment disbursed?

The schedule of commission payment varies, depending on the preference of the affiliate program.  The affiliate pretty much doesn’t have any control over this matter.  Schedule of disbursement can range from bi-monthly to monthly payments.  Some, such as LinkShare, disburse commission payments on a weekly basis, a considerably shorter amount of time.

What methods are used for affiliate commission payments?

There are three methods generally used by affiliate programs.  These include: electronic payment processing (such as PayPal), checks and wire transfer.  The length of time it will take for your commission payment to reach you will depend on the transaction method. 

If the payment is coursed through electronic payment systems, this will usually take as little as 24 hours.  Checks (usually delivered via postage mail or courier) usually take from 3 to 7 business days – longer if the affiliate is located in certain areas.  Wire transfers take from 3 to about 6 business days.

Is there anything that will affect the schedule of affiliate commission payments?
Generally, the schedule of commission payments for affiliates are pretty much set.  However, there are certain things that might cause delays.  One of the most common is whether an affiliate’s earnings have reached the minimum amount.

Affiliate programs often impose a minimum earned amount per pay period ranging from $10 to $100.  If an affiliate earns less than that, his current earnings will be carried over to the next pay period until such time that he will meet the minimum required.  Only then will his payment be released.

About Ryan Perry

Ryan Perry has taken his 10+ years of business ownership and hands-on marketing skills and focused them on online marketing. In April of 2009, he started Simple Biz Support with an emphasis on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Ryan is propelling local business websites to the top of Google, Yahoo and Bing resulting in increased market exposure and revenue for his clients using a variety of internet marketing tools including blogs, article submissions and video. Additionally, Ryan speaks and vlogs (video blogs) about internet marketing, educating business owners how to effectively use various SEO tools and techniques to promote their business on the internet. Ryan currently resides in Santa Rosa, CA. Connect with Ryan on Google+