What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Web users and people who work from home via computer have heard the term ‘affiliate marketing’ many times.

So What Is “Affiliate Marketing”?

If people are already part of an affiliate program, is this working for them?

You need to understand what you are getting yourself into before you start, but do give it some thought. This could become a lucrative money maker for which you have to do very little.

Starting Out On Your Affiliate Marketing Journey

At first, there will be a lot of research to do. An affiliate is someone whose product or website you advertise on your own site. It is a legitimate way of building a client base. Think of all those pop-ups, banners, and little images that appear on websites you browse. They ask you to go to a site to win prizes, to shop for vitamins, or to compare holiday prices. Few sites can do without advertising revenue.

Affiliate Marketing BusinessYou have probably ignored many of these, but sometimes they are intriguing and you press the button. If they are well suited to the site you are browsing they are probably interesting because you are in that frame of mind already. If you press the button, what happens next?

This is where the owner of the site makes money. Every time a site visitor completes the correct action (buying something, pressing a button, signing up for automatic email alerts), the site owner earns a profit. This is as per the contract established between a website owner and their affiliate.

The Affiliate Contract

One of the main keys to understanding what is affiliate marketing is thoroughly understand the contract. Every arrangement is different, so it is important to read the contract in its’ entirety. Some clients are paid according to the number of new links they have provided to potential customers. Others are only paid if the consumer actually buys something and then they receive a percentage of sales. Read this contract fully to ensure that you are making an arrangement that works for you. If you are already part of an affiliate marketing program, re-read the contract. You might discover that it is not to your advantage and that you could easily opt out of the program.

You can always try one temporarily (be careful to ensure there is no minimum duration in the contract) and leave the program if it is not making you any money. It is not wise to crowd your website with too many advertising options. This is bewildering, frustrating, and a total turn off to your readers. Select your affiliate products and services wisely.

Tracking Your Numbers

How do affiliates track clients or rather sales? They use cookies which connect the referral to the website where it was established. If a customer gets onto a web link through your computer, the affiliate will know it. The cookie stores that persons computer ip address and then if they buy then you get the sale.

Choosing An Affiliate Product To Promote

Affiliate MarketingThe first thing to ask yourself when you choose an affiliate offer is how you feel about their product or service. Do you think it is any good? Do you have any concerns about quality or ethics? Do you agree with what they are selling? Is it something that interests you. It is much easier to market something you are passionate about.

Also, do not waste your time. Conduct careful research to find out how successful a company is and how much traffic they usually get. Having them as your affiliate offer might not be worth your while anyway. Analytics will show you how they are performing.

Also, does the product fit your own market? Maybe the theme of your site is simply too different to work with a software supplier or diet supplement manufacturer. Your site visitors would be confused to see a particular product on your page because your blog has nothing to do with swimwear, etc.

Who Has Control Of Affiliate Marketing?

Who is in control of the advertising that goes onto your site? This is an important point, and experts in this area are quick to tell readers that they are not always the monarchs of their own web worlds. Again, check the contract. Some affiliate offers possess complete control of how frequently ads change and the nature of advertising once the contract is made. Others leave this control in the site owner’s hands entirely. Think about it: are you more interested in ethics or money?

If ethics are your thing, then select affiliates which do not take over this important issue. If you just want to sit back and watch your affiliate account grow, there are some companies which are highly successful and take control of advertising. They are not necessarily selling anything bad, but it is still important to decide how you feel about this issue.

Money, Money, Money

What Is Affiliate MarketingIn understanding what is affiliate marketing a little more think about those articles by stay-at-home moms who make thousands of dollars a month by barely doing a thing? This is what they are talking about. It is not typical to become wealthy using this means of making money, so do not contemplate affiliate marketing as a means of getting rich quick.

You will, however, earn money with minimal effort. The more effort you put in, the more money you will earn. Keep an eye on the figures shown on your affiliate account. Continue to assess the success of a relationship. Do not fix what is already working well, but always be on the alert for changes in the industry which could leave you carrying dead web weight.


Images courtesy of Stuart Miles & “jscreationzs” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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