The Business of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing in its most basic form can be described as the sharing of revenue between online entities fitting the descriptions of advertisers, vendors and merchants (‘product owners’) who wish to sell their products and services through maximum exposure; and online marketers (salespeople) who operate websites/blogs (Internet properties) and are desireous of earning money via product promotions and sales generated from these Internet properties.

Compensation to the online marketers is usually in the form of a percentage of the price obtained for products and services purchased by customers referred from a marketer’s website/blog, to product pages (uniquely designed websites) of the product owners as they case may be; and such referrals are in the form of clicks on the marketers’ affiliate links (special links containing unique IDs that are provided to marketers approved to promote certain products/services) through to the specially prepared product (or landing) pages mentioned above.

The relationship between a product owner and the marketer approved to promote products/services and refer customers to designated pages is known as an affiliation and the agreement between any product owner and the marketer is known as an affiliate agreement, thereby resulting in the popular business of Affiliate Marketing. Most affiliate marketers understand that without sales and/or registrations resulting from their referral efforts, there will be no payments received, so they are very diligent in the operation of their businesses.

There are many benefits that can be derived from affiliate marketing, most important of which – to many – is the potential for making a lot of money. In addition, a sizable portion of the work can be automated; but since it is a pay-only-for-results type of business, affiliate marketers are forced to do a great deal of advertising, and often find that they are competing with some of the same product owners they are affiliated with in order to get a share of the online market.

Another concern shared by both product owners and affiliate marketers is the potential for security breaches of the particular affiliate program (software) being utilized to manage (automate) click-throughs, sales, payments and customer protection; and while most product owners will assume some level of risk resulting from fraud, there is still a level of risk involved for the affiliate marketer.

Yes, fraud has been known to occur on the Internet! However, having a good or working knowledge and understanding of the affiliate marketing business will be immensely helpful in avoiding such occurrences.

Affiliate marketing has been a contributor to the rise of many companies online, including Amazon.com, which was one of the first adopters of affiliate marketing, and now has thousands of affiliates whom the company refers to as “Associates.” When it comes to making money online, affiliate marketing is in a league of it’s own. You don’t have to worry about bosses breathing down your neck, and you are in control of everything you do with your company and your website.

Affiliate marketing provides the affiliate the opportunity to stand behind great products products you know and love from reputable and established product owners; in addition to the the ability to offer links and banners to such products on your personal blog and/or business website. So if you are interested in becoming an affiliate, always remember that you will receive money for each product purchased by customers referred from your site to that of the product owner; and this is certainly a good reason enough to participate in the affiliate marketing business.

If you’ve been looking for extra money, affiliate marketing is the way to go. You can stick with one merchant or go with as many as you need for your business. Affiliate marketing on the internet is truly becoming more and more popular – making today as good a time as any for you to get your foot in the door. Good luck!

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

Affiliate marketing programs are great for generating income from your website if you created a website with that goal in mind, and are committed to working toward such a goal. These programs can also be instrumental in introducing you to the fascinating world of eCommerce. That having been said, it is important to point out the one inescapable fact that most affiliate marketers learn very early in their careers: As website visitors increase, so does the probability of generating income.

An affiliate marketing program can be described as: A company (also referred to as “vendor” or “merchant”) offers to pay website owners/publishers (affiliates) a set amount for either a click-through from their websites, or a set amount for visitors signing up to their service via the affiliates’ links. The most popular method of payment, however, is a percentage of purchases made by visitors as a result of being referred from the affiliates’ websites.

There are some protections built into affiliate programs to safeguard affiliate commissions in the sense that, understanding that visitors often decide against making purchases immediately, a majority of affiliate programs utilize a cookie duration of between 30 and 90 days. What this means, is that as long as the visitors have the cookie in their cache (a small computer file), the affiliate will still recieve his/her as long as that visitor returns and completes the purchase during the specified time.

Proper maintenance of an affiliate’s website combined with searching and implementing affiliations with various merchants constitutes the most important work a new affiliate marketer might have to do in the early days of his/her affiliate marketing business. Yes, there is a lot of money to be made in affiliate marketing, but those who excel in this business take the time to keep their sites up-to-date and well-maintained; but they also search for the best programs to form affiliations with.

So if you’re thinking about affiliate marketing as a career or means of generating income, the one thing that you should keep in mind is to do proper research in order to find reputable programs (vendors/merchants) with which to establish affiliations, while providing them with an active and viable website on which to promote their products, because many merchants will ask to review the site on which their products/services will be promoted.

One other thing to keep in mind is keeping your site competitive, but also neat; so you may not want to place too many banners on your website because this will have an adverse affect on your site in more ways than one. First, too many banners or links placed on any web page will confuse and irritate visitors; second, such displays will drown out your valuable content; and third, visitors will click away from your site, thereby spending the bulk of their time on other sites; fourth, its distracting.

Affiliate tracking can also be a problem in the sense that once you apply to become an affiliate with a company, you will be issued a personalized link or code by that company; and it is very important that you implement (embed) this code into your page correctly, or you could end up sending visitors to the company’s website without recieving compensation for your efforts. Keep in mind that a majority of snippets in that code will contain a unique user ID, which the company uses to identify you as the referring affiliate and insure you receive payment.