January 13, 2022

As a freelancer, do you want to get paid without completing a project or even sending an invoice? Sounds too good to be true? It’s not if you join hosting affiliate programs.

Web hosting companies offer affiliate programs where they pay a commission for referring new customers. In this post, we'll explore how hosting affiliate programs work, and the benefits and limitations of these programs.

How Web Hosting Affiliate Programs Work

Affiliate marketing dominates the internet. Website owners include links to products or services on their sites. Companies can track who clicks on the link. If the people who click make a purchase, the company pays a commission to the website owner. If you've ever wondered why every food blogger includes a long-winded story with links to four different Amazon products before they get to a recipe, now you know why.

Details of affiliate programs vary by company. In general, you can expect to earn either a percentage of the total purchase or a fixed rate based on product type. Most affiliate programs only pay commissions on the first purchase. You will not earn commissions on renewals.

The key to earning money as an affiliate marketer is to join a program with high commissions and identify products and services that are a good fit for your audience. Web hosting affiliate programs align well with freelance web developers' clients. Your clients need a hosting service for the awesome websites you build. Joining an affiliate program allows you to earn additional income when you recommend a hosting service to your clients.

Affiliate commissions work for more than client referrals. If you have an active blog, social media following, or newsletter audience, you can promote the hosting affiliate links to your larger audience beyond clients.

Benefits of Hosting Affiliate Programs for Freelancers

Web hosting affiliate programs offer tremendous upsides for freelance web developers, including additional income, customer service, and promotional resources

Additional Income

Most freelancers relate to the struggle of finding their next freelance development client. Affiliate programs offer freelancers the chance to earn additional income without taking on more projects. Most freelancers make recommendations for hosting services to some or all of their clients. By joining an affiliate program, freelancers can earn income from a recommendation they would make anyway.

Customer Service

The most significant advantage of joining an affiliate program is that you're not responsible for customer service. From billing to technical support, the hosting company remains responsible for the customer relationship. This is one of the main benefits of hosting websites for clients.

Promotional Resources

Many affiliate programs provide you with the resources you need to encourage people to sign up for hosting. From custom landing pages and content to banner ads, programs can help you find ways to promote hosting services in addition to sending client referrals.

Limitations of Hosting Affiliate Programs for Freelancers

While everyone loves additional income, affiliate programs do have some downsides. Mainly, you make less money through affiliate marketing than you would hosting clients' sites. And the programs have certain regulations.

Lower Margin

Most affiliate programs pay out a one-time commission. You won't earn money on any renewals. You can make more money by hosting clients' websites yourself in the long run, especially if you bundle your hosting services with a maintenance package for your clients.

Program Regulations

When signing up for an affiliate program, review the terms and conditions carefully. The terms should clearly define how and when you get paid as an affiliate. If you're thinking you could double dip and sign up for an account yourself to use for hosting clients' sites via your affiliate link, know that most programs won't pay a commission in this case and may disqualify you as an affiliate.

Disclosure Requirements

If you earn a commission from affiliate marketing, you must disclose your relationship as an affiliate. Federal Trade Commission guidelines require disclosure to be "clear and conspicuous" so the average reader can clearly understand that you make money off of the recommendation.

Should Freelancers Join Hosting Affiliate Programs?

The answer to if a web hosting affiliate program is right for you depends on if you want to host clients' sites. If you want to host clients' sites, you'll probably make more money during the account's lifetime by hosting the site for your clients and marking up the service. If you don't want to deal with the hassle of being on call 24/7 as the hosting tech support for all your clients, an affiliate program is an excellent way to earn money with less work.

Affiliate programs and selling hosting services are not mutually exclusive. You could choose a combination approach where you host a few smaller client sites and use your affiliate status for larger projects requiring around-the-clock support.

What’s the Best Web Hosting Affiliate Program?

Obviously, we're a bit biased, but we think the Nexcess affiliate program is the best choice for freelance web developers.

Benefits of the Nexcess hosting affiliate program include:

  • Generous Payouts. You'll earn the higher end of $150 or 150% of the first month's service per referral sale.
  • 90-Day Window. Earn commissions on customers who convert up to 90 days after their first click from your site.
  • Promotional Content. Our team provides ready-to-go messaging, blogs, banners, ads, and more.
  • Excellent Service. When you refer clients to Nexcess, you can trust they'll receive top-quality hosting.

Sign up today to start earning money as a Nexcess affiliate.

Lindsey Miller
Lindsey Miller

Lindsey Miller is a WordPress and WooCommerce expert and Chief Executive Officer of Content Journey, a content marketing agency that focuses on increasing organic website traffic for their clients through SEO and blogging. She knows WordPress inside and out and has been working with WordPress since 2010 when she started her first WordPress blog. Since then she has attended WordCamps all over the world and had the honor of speaking at many WordCamps and other WordPress events such as WooSesh and WordFest. Lindsey has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in human relations, clinical mental health from the University of Oklahoma.

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