What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing where a business will reward one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought to the business through the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. The reward incentive is typically in the form of a commission paid to the affiliate.
Essentially, businesses want people to promote their products and will pay YOU to drive traffic to their site!
Think about the possibilities for a minute. There are THOUSANDS of companies with products and services to sell and just about every company has an online presence. These companies like when someone promotes their products as it is essentially free advertising for them, which is why just about every major company offers an affiliate program.
You are essentially providing free advertising, so the business will therefore pay you a commission when someone buys a product recommended by you. How cool is that?
There are literally THOUSANDS of affiliate programs available. You can search for affiliate programs in Google by typing in a term then “+ affiliate program”.
Let’s try this technique seaching for juicers:
This is just a small percentage of the affiliate programs available for this single product. You can search through the results for yourself!
What if you want to search for a specific company to see if an affiliate program was available? You can do this as well using this technique.
Let’s try searching for Target:
Basically, if the item can be sold online, there will most likely be an affiliate program for it!
One of the largest online retailers is Amazon. They offer just about ANY product you can think of and many affiliate marketers are members of their affiliate program, Amazon Associates. If you can buy a product online, Amazon probably sells it! Their commission program typically pays between 4% and 8% depending on your sales volume. This can be quite lucrative if you are able to generate significant sales. Amazon is also a great source for niche ideas as well.
In addition to individual affiliate programs, there are also affiliate networks, which act as an intermediary between the business and the prospective affiliate. Essentially, the business is outsourcing their affiliate program administration to a 3rd party. The affiliate network is beneficial for both businesses and affiliates as it allows for a business to reach a larger audience and for the affiliate, it provides for a central location to research affiliate programs.
Below are the most popular affiliate networks:
- Commission Junction
You can signup for as many affiliate programs as you want. Many affiliate marketers signup for multiple programs in order to diversify their product promotions. This is what makes affiliate marketing a great source of online income – it’s up to you how many products you want to promote!
Some Programs Are More Lucrative Than Others
The commission rates vary between each program. I have seen commission rates from 1% to as high as 50%. Be sure to do your due dillegence before subscribing to a program.
Other things to look for in an affiliate program include:
- Frequency of commission payments – Are commissions paid out monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, etc.
- Payout history – What is the track record of the affiliate program paying commissions on time? When doing your due dillegence, check out reviews of the affiliate program’s payout history and reliability.
- Cookie tracking – A cookie is technology that works with a web browser to store information like user preferences, login or registration information, and shopping cart contents. In affiliate marketing, when a visitor clicks on a promotion link within the affiliate site, the activity is tracked to the business website that is being promoted. The duration that the activity is tracked depends on the affiliate program. It could be 30 days, 60 days, 1 year, etc. Essentially, the affiliate will receive a commission if a sale occurs within the designated time period from when the link was first accessed.
I hope you have enjoyed this overview of affiliate marketing. It can be a lucrative method to earning income online as aside from the intial start-up cost of your website domain and web hosting, the affiliate programs themselves are FREE! You can scale your business to whatever level you choose, even earning a full-time income from home! The opportunities are there, you just need to take action.
If you would like to learn more about affiliate marketing, I recommend you create a free account at Wealthy Affiliate as there is some excellent information and training available on the site to get you started. Check out my review of Wealthy Affiliate for an overview of all the excellent tools and training the site has to offer.
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If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and I will respond. Thanks!