There are many descriptions of affiliate marketing and yet all have basically the same meaning. Affiliate marketing is a huge part of the business on the Internet. It is a combined effort between merchants and various affiliate websites.
For a long time now, affiliate marketing has proved to be a favored method for web sites owners to earn extra income from promoting other people’s related products on their websites.
The basic principle is that a website will run the affiliate merchants linked adverts on their web pages which have a unique code (Affiliate Link) to identify from whom the link has come from, and the website owner would receive a commission from the affiliate company if the person sent from their affiliate link buys a product or service. Probably the best know example of this the Amazon affiliate program.
Affiliate marketing has become well known to Internet sites that are trying to make some extra or additional income for their website.
Every day, many people take an interest in affiliate marketing and want to make money out of it, however, in many cases, these new affiliates do not fully understand the affiliate marketing world and how it works and may make costly mistakes. In other words, affiliate marketing has often been misunderstood.
Some of the most common misconceptions associated with affiliate marketing are advertising and selling is all that is needed, although selling and advertising are both core functions of a business operation is an important activity of affiliate marketing and the core function of a business operation. While the importance of advertising in marketing a certain product is not to be underestimated, the fact of the matter is, that these two activities form only part of the activities required for affiliate marketing.
To be successful at affiliate marketing you must build a trusted relationship with your leads or customers by ensuring that whatever is being promoted to them either solves an issue or has value to them.
In affiliate marketing, an affiliate is compensated for every visitor, subscriber, and/or customer provided through his or her efforts. This compensation may be made based on a certain value for each visit. The most attractive aspect of affiliate marketing from the merchant’s viewpoint is that no matter how much effort the affiliate marketer puts in there is no payment due to an affiliate until it results in a sale, lead, or subscriber.
Much of the Affiliate marketing is typically being run by affiliate networks that are comprised of two main functional groups being the group’s affiliates and the group’s merchants. Each of these has its different functions and roles when it comes to affiliate marketing. The affiliate network provides a third party between the merchant and its associated affiliates. The network provides the technology to deliver the merchant’s campaigns and offers. The affiliate network also collects the commission fees from the merchant and then pays the affiliates who have made sales as part of the program.
The merchant is any website owner or service provider that wants or desires to take advantage of performance-based marketing.
The benefits to the merchant are many:
Firstly, the merchant maintains and operates the affiliate program. If they were not part of an affiliate network, the merchant would need to do their own research to find suitable affiliate websites that are a good fit for that product or service and establish if they were interested in promoting their product or service. Finding a good fit for their merchandise would be the key to generate more income.
Through an affiliate network, the merchant has access to markets and customers without him or her spending valuable time searching for them. Banner ads on affiliate sites are not too distracting to the site user and might produce interest for that product and drive the consumer to the merchant’s website.
It is also the merchant who decides how much commission he or she is willing to pay for each sale that results from a visitor sent from an affiliate.
The affiliate or the affiliate marketer also sees a lot of benefits: The affiliate being a website owner that may promote one or more merchants via their affiliate programs.
Affiliate marketing can generate a full-time income for the affiliate. But this is not an easy task to accomplish. The affiliate needs to have an understanding with the merchant of what the commission rate will be, the expected payment method, and the time involved in getting paid under the contract.
The affiliate has also the responsibility to be a representative for the merchandise and ensure their user base would be interested in the product. For example, if the site has a user base of mainly stay-at-home mothers, then making an income from home would be a good match for them. This group may also appreciate direct links to children’s products or educational sites. Some merchants often offer sales promotions that will benefit the merchandiser as well as the affiliate.
Affiliate marketing can be a great method for both the marketer and the affiliate. If they work together, there may be an advantage to both. Another fact is, that it is an easy and inexpensive way to start, and you can be up and running within a few days. But there is a key thing to consider, it is how you will get traffic to your site and make your offers uniquely different than all others.
Don’t forget that building a trusted relationship with your leads or customers is an important key to long-term success in affiliate marketing.