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That depends on what your time is worth. That kid in a basement might feel justified in spending dozens or even hundreds of hours building an affiliate site for the prospect of a few dollars --but you and I both know that, for most independent sites, it's a VERY few dollars.I'm not against all affiliate programs, some pay me more that $1k/month on average. But, for those webmasters wondering if just placing a button or a banner on their site for yet another shopping "opportunity" will pay the rent, well.......
I'm aware that there are some specialized interest sites that might find just the right relationship between content and the vendor's products and the resulting "info-mercial" effect would be very positive. But, from what I read in various web developer forums, these sites must be few and far between.
It's just not worth the pixel space or my time. For a general-interest site, the CTR for a retail product (even a context-related product) is less than 1 percent. Of those, about 2 percent will go on to consummate a sale (I'm being generous at 2%). So, your sales/impression ratio is under 2/10,000. When webmasters apply that ratio to their site, they get a sobering whiff of reality pretty quickly.
One of my client wants to put up an affliate banner for AV at .03 per click. I tried to tell them it would junk up their site and that even if even 10% of users actually clicked through it would only be around $10 a month but they insisted...oh well. I get to charge them an hour of my time to put it up - so it will take them close to a year just to recover the cost of implementation - hehe
I basicaly do everything but host my site. Graphics, navigation, build the pages, promote and of course try my best to SEO my site. My wife is the only person I answer to (somedays I wish I had to answer to clients but I digress). I went through banner ads paying the "rent" but always have refused the temptation. Niave view is if someone comes to my site I don't want the impression that I am trying to make money any way I can.
This affiliate link is dead-on target for my users' interests, and gets 7500+ pageviews per day, yet my daily commission comes in at around a $1.
(That's $1.5 to you, Oil. You might want to think about it.)