What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing: Marketing that uses affiliate programmes.

Affiliate programmes: A form of advertising on the web, in which a business persuades other businesses to put banners and buttons advertising its products or services on their websites and pays them a commission on any purchases made by their customers

Dictionary of Marketing by A. Ivanovic and Peter Collin.

Understand Affiliate Marketing and Learn How to Make it Work for You

Every single year, an increasing number of people decide to work from home, almost always by means of computer. People are making entire livings off of the work they’re able to complete without ever leaving their house, some even making upwards of six figures. This is where affiliate marketing comes into play.

Partnerships and Affiliates: Understanding Affiliate Marketing

Mega companies like Amazon thrive off of the drive towards ecommerce on a global level. The ability to provide products and services to consumers without even needing to leave the comfort of home or engage in face to face encounter is quickly overtaking other types of commerce, like the strip mall.

In the simplest of terms, affiliate marketing is where an individual promotes, writes about, publishes on, or endorses products or services for other companies or businesses. They’ve developed a partnership, and in that partnership, the affiliate is able to market or promote or feature a product, and in turn, receives financial payment for the rate of success of that promotion.

Affiliates don’t just receive payment for promoting the items or product of their business partnership, however. The affiliates incentive relies strictly on the effectiveness of their campaign.

The more effective an affiliate is with promoting a product, the more money they make. The less effective an affiliate is with promoting a product, the less money they make. This process ensures both members of the partnership are only going to receive or give payment as the result of success.

Links, Clicks, and Purchases: How Affiliate-Merchant Partnerships Work for Everyone

When it comes to affiliate marketing, as previously mentioned, the affiliate only makes money if their campaign works, and the business only pays the affiliate if that affiliate’s efforts sell products.

Let’s say that a business hires an affiliate, perhaps an influencer or blogger with a following. The affiliate is given a unique link from the business (often provided through a network that allows the affiliate marketing process to occur).

That link is then used by the affiliate, and they place it as a link in their blog, or perhaps an advertisement on their page, a link in their bio on social media, or a tag on a post. Most affiliate partnerships work so that any purchases made are connected back to that specific link, to identify with that specific affiliate. The more purchases based on clicks linking back to that affiliate, the more payment they receive.

This process requires cookies in order for the link to register where it came from. The benefit to this is that when an affiliate posts a link, and a follower of theirs clicks on that link, the cookie then remains active for a number of days, so even if the consumer revisits the page a week or so late, the primary affiliate will still be traced to that purchase.

While easing the burden on the merchant, this process incentivizes the affiliate to have as much reach out as possible. The process functions as a win-win situation, because the merchant increase their sales, the affiliate increases their commission, and the buyer is able to find access to a product they want or need.

Then there’s the factor of the payment. The merchant receives money, because their product is being sold. Then, the affiliate marketer receives payment, because they promoted the sale of that product. Lastly, the network that helped the business find the affiliate in the first place, also receives a sale.

This is the most traditional method of affiliate marketing, and is based off a commission concept, whereby the affiliate receives a percentage or specific amount of money for the sale of a product. However, there is also the option for an action-based affiliate, where an affiliate posts a link to sign up for emails or simply click on a site, and they may receive a small fee for each click or getting people to follow or sign up for a service.

Let’s break it down even more:
Company A needs to market and sell their brand new, stylish eco-friendly water bottle. Through the use of an online networking company, Company A finds Affiliate Joe. Company A provides Affiliate Joe with whatever information, images, and promotional tools he might need to promote the water bottle. Affiliate Joe runs a health and lifestyle website, featuring blogs about how to stay active and healthy in your 20’s. Affiliate Joe writes a blog about staying hydrated and attaches images that link to the specific water bottle of Company A on his site. Then, a reader of Affiliate Joe’s page clicks the link to view the bottle, likes it, and buys one for himself. The network tracks information that says the customer purchased the bottle through Affiliate Joe’s link. Then, both Affiliate Joe and the networking company each receive a portion or percentage of the profits from that purchase. Everybody wins!

Now, it’s also important to understand the process behind affiliate marketing. While there are hundreds of affiliate marketers who earn six-figure salaries as a result of this process, it’s not always instantaneous, because it requires an affiliate to have connections, reach, and the ability to convince people.

Win-Win-Win: Understanding the Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

Obviously, the financial component behind affiliate marketing is a major bonus attracting people wanting to increase their financial state. The earning potential for a successful affiliate marketer can bring in thousands of dollars every month for those who really find their niche and do it right.

Plus, if you’re looking at this as a list of who wins and who loses, you can’t pick one to lose. The business or company gets to sell their product, the affiliate earns a commission, the network who connects the affiliate earns a commission, and the consumer gets to spend their money on a worthwhile product.

However, the benefits to focus on here are really why individuals decide to become affiliate partners and work to market another company’s products. One of the biggest benefits for the affiliate marketer is the ability to pick how invested you want to be.

As an industry, affiliate marketing is one that clearly follows the concept of the more time you put in, the more you get out of it. This ends up a benefit in both directions. If you’re just looking to supplement your income, provide yourself with a little extra spending cash, or boost your savings a bit, then putting in a small amount of time each week but be just all you need.

Some affiliate marketers keep their primary job and just focus on the marketing as a side gig. And yet, if you’re ready to go all in and really make a significant financial change, the more energy, effort and time you put in, the more income and reward you will receive. Everyone has a different goal for how much money they hope to make in life, and affiliate marketing is responsive to that. Input is directly related to output.

There’s also the ability to pick your own schedule and decide your own hours. Night owls or early birds alike can select when they want to find time to market materials and create content that allows them an opportunity to promote a product.

There’s not a need for a traditional 9-to-5 job when you get to select when and how often you want to be working. There’s an element of freedom in that, and regardless of whether you are an independent individual, a stay at home mom, a retired nurse, a bored teacher, the flexibility that is provided by this type of work means no one is limited to their access to this type of income.

Along with the freedom of scheduling, affiliates have the freedom to choose their place of work. Whether it’s an office space in your home, or your living room table, maybe your local favorite coffee shop, or an internet café out by the beach, affiliate marketing means anywhere you can work on a computer is able to become your office space. Affiliate marketers don’t find themselves confined to showing up at an expected time, to spend a series of hours in some cubicle.

Included in the benefits of affiliate marketing is the simple, added bonus of increased connectivity. Having a company rely on you to gain as much outreach for a product means you are going to actively and consistently connect with potential consumers.

But a large part of the reason why these potential consumers click your link in the first place, is often the result of trust, followership, and reliability that that customer has for the affiliate. As a blogger on some topic, you’ve developed a group of followers whom you engage regularly, and whom have come to view you as a reliable and sound voice.

When you earn trust with your following, they are more likely to click on your links. The benefit here is that if you do it right, you are forming connections with people, potentially all over the world.

Find Your Niche, and Start Earning More for Yourself

One of the most effective ways to start yourself on the path to affiliate marketing is to consider where you might find your niche. Your niche is going to be your passion, your focus, and your place of expertise, so much so that you’ve developed a following.

It’s best to focus on something like this, rather than branching out into a dozen different categories, because finding your area of expertise establishes credibility in you from the people who absorb your marketing campaigns. The aforementioned Affiliate Joe’s specific niche is health and lifestyle website, where he consistently and effectively provides his viewers with information, data, tips, tricks, and methods to staying healthy. People trust him because he’s developed himself a focus on that area. Once you find your niche, it’s important to think of all the different ways you can use it and expand.

When you’ve got your niche, it’s time to figure out just how to make affiliate marketing work, which is where Wealthy Affiliate comes into play.

Wealthy Affiliate provides potential affiliate marketers with the knowledge and means to learn exactly what is needed to make this a successful and legitimate means of income. To date, per their website, Wealthy Affiliate has 1.4 million members, and adds over 10,000 businesses monthly.

If you’re serious about becoming an affiliate marketer, you want to start with a solid foundation of knowledge and awareness about finding your niche, making connections, tips, tricks and resources that come from experienced industry professionals.

That’s the only way it’s going to make you any serious money. Wealthy Affiliate even knows how to help you find that specific niche and help you build your online business.

With 14 years of business experience, you can’t really deny that a company like this is going to know what it needs to do to make as many people as successful as it can. This platform is motivated to help its members succeed, because your success is their success.

It’s because of this motivation to help you succeed that Wealthy Affiliate provides a wealth of resources to you, to help ensure your success during your entire process:

  • Expert coaching: Their expert coaches are available to help guide you personally through the process, give you tips and advice to help you make the most use of your talents.
  • Education: It’s important that you understand what you’re getting into in the first place, so new members are provided with an education on affiliate marketing and how best to make it work for you.
  • Websites: The site also offers a wide variety of customizable websites that you can design and alter to your own preference and really make unique to you. It should be something you’re comfortable with and that you’re proud of.
  • Insight and Info: From keywords to help gain optimization and visibility on the web, to trending niches, to information on competitors, Wealthy Affiliate resources take you deep into the world of your niche.
  • Secure and Reliable Hosting: Members are kept protected and their information secure because of Wealthy Affiliate’s secure and reliable web hosting.
  • Wide Network: With a growing number of businesses seeking services on a daily basis, members can instantly network with over a million elite affiliate marketers.

Even if you don’t know exactly where to start, but you know you want to, then it’s time to go ahead and get started. The sooner you start and the harder you work, the quicker you will really start to see some changes in your income.

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