Affiliate marketing is a process during which merchants (product or service owners) pay a portion of their sales revenue to individuals through whose efforts the sales are made. These individuals who recieve such payments are usually affiliated with said merchants on the basis of agreements known as affiliate agreements – thus affiliate/affiliate marketer – which states, in affect, that the affiliates are approved to promote, market and sell the merchants’ products and/or services (‘products’) to consumers through their own efforts.
The products offered by merchants are usually provided to their affiliates complete with specialized links, banners, badges and other product displays, each of which contain a “unique identifier” (ID number or nick name) that distinguishes one affiliate from another. With these unique identifiers in place to track affiliates’ marketing activities (product displays, clicks, customer purchases, etc.), both parties can feel secure in knowing that affiliates will be paid for their efforts and otherwise treated fairly by merchants.
It is on the basis of mutually agreed-upon affiliate agreements, aswell as the independent nature of affiliates’ marketing activities that today, affiliate marketing is among the fastest growing businesses on or offline. It’s a because that is cost efficient and quantifiable for both the affiliate and the merchant; as well as other entities can profit, such as affiliate networks and affiliate solutions providers, among others.
Most beneficial for the merchant is the increased exposure s/he gets for products through the efforts of an army of affiliates who advertise the merchant’s products to a much larger market, thereby greatly enhancing the merchant’s ability to generate more income. The more affiliates a merchant works with therefore, the more sales s/he can expect to make. Merchants who permit affiliates to market their products often save time, effort, and money in their search for markets as well as customers.
The affiliate marketer will benefit from each customer who visits his/her website, clicks the affiliate links displayed on that site and actually purchases one or more of the merchant’s products. If you have intentions of joining the growing number of affiliate marketers and have access to a potentially six or seven figure income, then take a look at the three steps outlined below to begin your search for an effective affiliate marketing program.
1. Identify something which interests you, or that you feel very passionate about. Then, focus on a specific area you know a lot about, as this will help you bring out your best and give your visitors who are possible buyers, a demonstration of your expertise in the particular field. This way, you’ll gain their trust and encourage them to buy the products you endorse.
2. Search for merchants and products or services that are related to your interests, then create a website with top level domain names and very reliable hosting. When you choose products for your web site, you need to consider the commission structure and conversion rate as there are many different affiliate networks and affiliate solution providers where you can obtain information on most profitable products, as well as which merchants pay the best. Take your time – and be sure you choose correctly.
3. Now, you are ready to promote. You’ve chosen everything you need and have even created your very own website. However, you will need to be creative, flexible, committed and willing to embrace new ideas and put in the hours necessary to achieve success in your affiliate marketing business. By this stage though, you should be well on your way to making more money than you ever imagined – and enjoying every minute of it. Good luck!