The nature of affiliate marketing
In the business of affiliate marketing the affiliate provides a service for which s/he is paid a commission. That service is the promotion and sale of products (and sometimes other unique services) that are not owned by the affiliate. Products sold by affiliates are actually owned by merchants (product creators and developers) who goes through all the trouble to develop software programs, services and/or digital content products which they wish to market; and that’s where the affiliate goes to work promoting and selling those products and getting paid.
In its purest form, affiliate marketing is essentially a revenue sharing arrangement (per an affiliate agreement or contract) between a product developer, known as the affiliate merchant, and the affiliate marketer who is anyone that is willing to promote the product(s) for sale through advertising and using various types of legal means to bring about the sales. Of course such promotion and advertising will be at the expense of said affiliate.
Getting paid based on results
The merchant/affiliate relationship will allow an affiliate merchant to grow his/her revenue by paying only for the advertising – in some cases – or referrals, that actually results in a sale. And the affiliate marketer will profit by making a percentage on any sale that s/he does not have to manage after the transaction is complete and deemed closed by all parties concerned.
Getting paid will depend upon how an affiliate program is set up. For example, some merchants will run their own affiliate program through special types of software that assigns each affiliate marketer a special link that is used in promoting the product. Such software will track the sales of every marketer and the merchant will pay commissions on a periodic basis using either PayPal or another payment gateway or method.
If you are an affiliate therefore, your income – in frequency and amount – is directly tied to how well your selected product or service sells. This reality makes your selection of the affiliate merchant you’ll be partnering with, one of the most important decisions you will make in your affiliate marketing business; so make sure you choose carefully when looking to establish an affiliate marketing relationship with one of the many available merchants in the Affiliate Marketing field.
Knowing your affiliate products
Choose programs that you aren’t embarrassed to promote, and programs that you’ll feel comfortable recommending to your family and friends if they were to ask you about it. Keep in mind also, that you will do much better if you promote products that you fully understand, and are already familiar with, or intend to familiarize yourself with. This way, you’ll be able to write better ads without having to strain yourself coming up with the right things to say.
You should only promote products and services for companies who have gone to the trouble of providing you with training programs and sales aids, such as banners and other marketing materials that you can either use directly on your website, or model your own after. And be on the lookout for programs with commission rates of 50% or more. You should give preference to programs that pay commission on multiple levels, which means you can also earn commissions on sales made by folks who buy the products through your link then go on and become affiliates themselves, making them your sub-affiliates.