What Is Affiliate Marketing?

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a term thrown around a lot today, especially when referring to making money online. I am still surprised by how many people still don’t know what it means or have never even heard the term before. I decided to write this explanation to help newbies understand what is affiliate marketing

Affiliate Marketing 101

The simplest way to describe affiliate marketing is that it is a way of making money by referring someone to a service or product. As a reward for sending customers you receive a commission. This can be either a set fee or a percentage of the sale.

There are 2 primary components to affiliate marketing:

  1. The Advertiser: The advertiser is the one who has a product and is willing to pay a commission if you bring them customers
  2. The publisher: Is the person looking to make a commission for bringing or referring customers.

The way affiliate marketing works online is the advertiser will have a website area for you the affiliate marketer to sign up . When you sign up you will receive a unique url code with a code tracking ID to use as a link on your blog, website, or in emails that you send. When someone clicks that link you the affiliate marketer or publisher will get credit for that potential customer. If that customer decides to purchase the product you receive a commission. Its as simple as that!

Here is an example of a unique affiliate code that I got from commission junction for my favorite webhost

<a href=”http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-4460803-10854110″ target=”_top”>
<img src=”http://www.lduhtrp.net/image-4460803-10854110″ width=”234″ height=”60″ alt=”” border=”0″/></a>

This is what this code looks like in action

If you click on that Hostgator banner and purchase any of their service I will receive a nice commission. Pretty cool huh?

 Tip: If you find a specific product that you would like to promote, visit their website and look for a link near the footer that says “affiliates” or “partners” – if the website uses an affiliate network, they will usually link to it. If they have their own in house affiliate program, it will be mentioned there.

When someone clicks through your unique url, the cookies on there computer will record and track the event, and for a set amount of time (usually 30-60 days depending on the program) you will get credit for any purchase that is made. If the customer leaves the website but returns the next day, you will still receive credit as the referrer unless that person clicks through a different affiliate link to the same product/website.

Benefits of affiliate marketing

The main benefits of affiliate marketing for a publisher are you don’t have to create a product or carry inventory. All you really have to do is send them through the door. Some advertisers pay as high as 90% of the sale to the publisher. Its not uncommon for most digital products to pay at least 50% commission and in some cases 100%. An affiliate program can be setup for any type of product.

Some of the most preferable affiliate programs include a percentage of an ongoing monthly or annual subscription. Aweber is a good example of a very popular subscription based affiliate program.

From a an advertisers point of view it’s a way to get advertising with out having to pay for advertising upfront. A commission is only paid after a conversion and sale is made.

 How to get started making money online as an affiliate marketer

All you have to do is find an affiliate product you want to promote, sign up, get your unique html code, then get interested people to click through your link then of-course purchase.

Currently the most popular way to do this is to create a blog or website revolving around a niche topic. You then create content that will drive internet traffic to your website. Within your page content you recommend related affiliate products with your conveniently available link to click. Depending on your content a percentage will click your affiliate links and hopefully convert to a sale. At this point it is a numbers game. The more traffic you get the more money you will make.

Here is a list of the top networks you can join:

The above networks cover more products then you will ever need. Clickbank is great for digital info products and Commission Junction lists over 45% of the internet’s top 500 retailers. Amazon.com has everything under the sun (but payouts aren’t as high). The rest fill in the gaps. But if you’re still looking for products that aren’t in the above networks, here’s a few others to try out:

Any beyond this list is probably irrelevant.



P.S. Could you use an affordable and reliable web host that makes it easy to start and run your profitable website? Click here to find out why I use Hostgator »

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