What Is Affiliate Marketing?
If you’re looking for ways to make money from home, or more specifically, to make money on the internet, affiliate marketing is one way to do just that.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize your website if you have one, no matter what your website is about (it can even be done without a website!). It doesn’t really matter what niche you are in, or what subject your site is about, it‘s likely that there will be plenty of affiliate programs to suit.
So what exactly IS affiliate marketing?
It’s a funny thing. Over the years, when I’ve tried to explain to friends and acquaintances what affiliate marketing is, they seem to automatically go into suspicion mode, or they become really confused when they find out it’s about making money online.
But the truth is that affiliate marketing is simply another form of commission based selling.
Just like your local real estate agent, car salesman, or travel agent, an affiliate marketer promotes products for other people, and then gets paid a commission for each sale (or lead in some cases).
The only difference is that the marketing and the sales are done on the internet, and the customers can be all over the world.
How does affiliate marketing work?
If you’d like to try affiliate marketing, you need to sign up, or apply, to become an affiliate with companies that have both an affiliate program and at least one product that you’d like to promote.
Some companies manage their own affiliate program and so the application is made directly to them, while others use an affiliate management service to look after their affiliate program. In this case you simply sign up with the affiliate management service, and then you request to become an affiliate with individual companies from within that account.
Affiliate services are convenient because there are lots of affiliate programs and products all in one place, and any commissions you make are then all paid from the one source. However, there are also plenty of really good single business affiliate programs that are certainly worth considering.
Amazon for example, run their own affiliate program. As you probably know, they’re a huge business with products in just about every category or niche that you can think of. They’re definitely worth considering when looking for suitable affiliate programs and products to promote.
Always keep your eyes and mind open. There are a growing number of affiliate programs available that can allow you to promote all sorts of products, including physical products, services and digital or downloadable products.
These days you’ll find affiliate programs available for pretty much everything from foods to books, clothing to courses, and all sorts of stuff in between as more and more businesses begin to realise the amazing opportunity that affiliate marketing provides them to easily increase their profits.
How much commission do affiliate programs pay?
Affiliate programs vary considerably as to how much commission they pay. Some will pay a meager two or four percent. While others (for example most Clickbank vendors) pay as much as fifty to seventy five percent commission on each sale of their digital products.
There are even some cases for digital products where 100% commission is available!
What you’ll generally find is that commissions on physical products are lower due to overheads and the cost of delivery, whereas commissions on digital and downloadable products are usually higher because once the product is created, there are basically no more costs involved with the delivery of that product, no matter how many customers buy it.
So let’s wrap this up
An affiliate marketer makes money by sending traffic to websites belonging to other businesses. Money is made when that traffic either buys a product, or in some cases, when they sign up for some kind of information. Some affiliate programs pay for leads rather than sales (eg – some insurance companies have affiliate programs that pay per lead and even some charities pay for leads).
When commissions are made, the affiliate manager calculates and tracks commissions payable and then pays the affiliate by the agreed payment method, on the agreed date (this varies – some are immediately, some weekly, others monthly).
Affiliate marketing is a win win situation
Affiliate marketing benefits everyone involved. It’s great for business owners as they get more exposure for their products at a cheaper rate than many traditional forms of advertising, paying only when when a sale is made.
It works out great for the customer as they have more chances to find what they’re looking for with products being shared more widely, all over the world.
And it works out brilliantly for the internet marketer as they get to do what they love (if that’s what they’ve chosen to do), and create income at the same time.
Don’t you just have to love a system that’s as brilliant as that? 🙂