How to make money on hosters

    When I wrote my VPS Search project , I didn’t think much about its monetization. Only standard thoughts flew in my head - hang up Yandex.Direct or Google AdWords. Until that moment, I naturally knew about the affiliate programs of the hosters, but did not think that you could earn a lot on them: after all, the program assumes that the user will bring his friends, the number of which everyone has is limited. - To drag them is difficult ... - To make a million knots was even harder!

    How does the affiliate program

    In simple terms, an affiliate (or referral) program is a rollback. I bring a client hoster, the hoster pays me money for it. In most cases, the hoster pays a percentage of what the user paid, although very rarely there are fixed fees for inviting a client. For example, DigitalOcean pays $ 25 for any customer who spends $ 25. However, the hoster needs to be very careful with this system as it turns out that the first money spent by the client goes to pay the partner, and the calculation is that the client will remain for a long period, and if this does not happen, the hoster will be at a loss. In the case of a percentage of user payments from different hosts, there is a very wide variation. The minimum percentage I've seen is 5, the maximum percentage is 50, but this is rather the exception to the rule.

    Interesting fact : almost all hosters have the same percentage of partners regardless of whether a partner brought a single client or a thousand, while, for example, the reselling program provides discounts depending on the amount of purchased resources. I do not know what this is connected with, although it would be more logical to increase the percentage of the partner when the number of invited clients increases, thus it would be more profitable for the partner to find referrals for the hoster.

    From a technical point of view, the partner program works as follows: the client follows the link in which the partner identifier is stitched (for example,, and such a user saves a cookie about which partner the client came from. Depending on the wishes of the hoster, the cookie is set for a specific period: from several days to a couple of years. Even when registering a client some time after clicking on the link, the hoster will know who to thank, and which partner’s balance should be replenished.

    Also, some hosters have the option of using a unique promo code to keep track of the inviting party, although this possibility has recently become increasingly rare: users do not like to perform unnecessary actions, and even more so to look for where to enter the promotional code.

    The third option is to automatically track the referrer and link all those who came from a particular site to the right partner. In this case, the partner needs to confirm ownership of a specific site in the hosting billing, after which all clients who have switched from his site will be automatically marked. The method is suitable for blog owners, so that you do not need to specify a link with a partner identifier in each post, however, in my opinion, this option is not good enough because the referrer may be lost, for example, when advertising blockers are working.

    Two commercial billing services are popular among Russian-speaking hosters: BILLmanager and WHMCS - and the principle of working with an affiliate program is radically different. BILLmanager has detailed statistics available: when the transition was made, from which site, whether the client registered, or if he made the payment. This way you can get detailed information about all those who came to your link. The only drawback with this approach, I believe that the default partner is available e-mail addresses of all customers who have registered with his mediation. At some point, the billing developers decided to hide the user's e-mail in the link navigation table, but you can still look at it in the general table with the income for each guest.

    On the first day of each month, BILLmanager calculates the money spent by customers and determines the amount of partner rewards, after which this amount is credited to the account balance.

    At WHMCS, the principle of operation is as follows: billing provides only compressed statistics (total number of conversions, number of registered users and reward), but at the same time shows the services ordered and the amount of remuneration for each. In this billing, earnings are charged not once a month, but after a certain time, determined by the hoster, the time after the payment for the service by the client. Money does not go to the balance in the billing, but to a separate affiliate account. When a certain amount is accumulated, it becomes possible to withdraw this money or replenish their account balance.

    In less popular or self-written billing systems, the principle of operation is based on one of two options or a combination of them, it all depends on the host.

    Withdrawal of money

    The most interesting thing is the withdrawal of honestly earned money.

    Almost all hosters with rare exceptions allow you to withdraw money earned by the affiliate program. Of the more than 100 hosters with whom I cooperate, only two do not withdraw money and offer to use them to pay for their services. The threshold of the minimum amount for withdrawal is different for everyone: someone is ready to withdraw amounts from 100 rubles, and someone does not do this until $ 100 is accumulated on the balance sheet. The withdrawal methods are different for everyone, but most often it is electronic money: WebMoney, Yandex.Money, PayPal or QIWI. In any case, you need to conclude a contract with the hoster (it can be done by both an individual and a legal entity), and after that you can receive money completely officially. I try to negotiate with each hoster so that the withdrawal takes place through a bank account, and many agree to this, even if they don’t have this opportunity.

    To withdraw money from a hoster using BILLmanager, you have to create a ticket every time in which I ask you to make a conclusion. The procedure is simple, but rather routine, and with a large number of hosters, it is also time-consuming.

    With hosters working with WHMCS, the conclusion is simpler: in the section of the affiliate program, when a minimum amount for withdrawal is accumulated, a button appears, and when you click on it, a withdrawal ticket is automatically generated. After that, the hoster specifies how the partner wants to receive the withdrawal and implements it. The advanced hosters have slightly upgraded the billing, and they have a field next to the button for the payment order, in which you need to enter the details for transferring the payment, thus saving time for technical support and the client.

    How much can you earn

    Earnings from each hoster is individual and depends on many factors: tariffs, level of service and, most importantly, partner percentage.

    My biggest salary from one hosting provider in a month is 25 thousand rubles, while the partnership percentage is 5%, and by simple calculations it can be understood that within a month all clients who come from me pay the hoster 500,000 rubles. From month to month, many hosters can have very different amounts: sometimes a large customer has come, bought services for a large amount and stopped using them in a month, so many hosters can notice jumps in partner payments, when in a month the amount turned out to be above all previous at this hoster. From the records that I was able to track down - this is a client who bought servers for 128 thousand rubles and did not renew them in a month.

    In conclusion, I want to say that I myself am a little ambiguous about affiliate links, especially when they are posted by a stranger, and not a good friend. Therefore, on the VPS Search registered users have the opportunity to disable such a link for all hosters, and the client will go to the host site without a partner identifier. However, for users, this function was unclaimed, and only a few people turned it on (and most likely just try it), so I came to the conclusion that affiliate links do not bother anyone, and and LOOKING.HOUSE do this did not become.

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