An affiliate program is an arrangement whereby the user receives a certain commission on a defined action such as referring their own visitors to another website. This referral may qualify for a payment if certain criteria are met; If the referred user remains on a website for a longer than normal time, or follows through on a desired action, or makes a purchase, then that visit or transaction is recorded in order to credit the referring site. When one joins an affiliate program, it may entail a membership fee, although there are programs which are free. Usually, the payment of any commission accrues over a period of two-three months so that the number of transactions can rise to an appropriate amount. Therefore it’s important to understand the terms and conditions offered by the program and determine if it’s suitably rewarding; if it has the potential to produce income or if there is too much risk against a low earning potential.