Thursday, August 7, 2008

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

There are many descriptions for affiliate marketing, yet all have the same meaning. Affiliate marketing is a huge business piece on the internet. It's a cooperative effort between merchants and an affiliate’s website. Affiliate marketing has proved to be a cost-efficient, measurable method of delivering long-tern results for several years. It has become renowned for web sites who are trying to make some extra or additional income for their site. Each day, a lot more people get interested to affiliate marketing and would like to make money out of this new amazing profitable online business. But in many cases, these new affiliates do not fully understand the affiliate world and make costly mistakes in the beginning. In other words, affiliate marketing has often been misunderstood.

“Selling” is among the common misconceptions that are being associated about affiliate marketing, though selling is an important activity of affiliate marketing and the central function of a business operation. Another is that affiliate marketing is commonly linked with “advertising”. While the importance of advertising in marketing a certain product is not to be underestimated, the fact of the matter is, advertising like selling, is merely a part of the many functions of marketing.

In affiliate marketing, the affiliate will be compensated for every visitor, subscriber and/or customer provided through his efforts. The compensation may be made based on a certain value for each visit. The most attractive aspect of affiliate marketing from the merchant’s viewpoint is that no payment is due to an affiliate until results are appreciated that means a sale or a subscription, etc...

Affiliate marketing is generally run by affiliate networks, which are composed of two functional bodies: the affiliates and the merchants. Each group has their special function and role when it comes to affiliate marketing. The affiliate network acts as a third party between the merchant and the associated affiliates. The network provides the technology, tools, banners,... to deliver the merchant’s campaigns and offers. The affiliate network also collects commission fees from the merchant and then pays the affiliates which are part of the program.

The merchant is any web site owner that wants or desires to take advantage of performance based marketing. There are many benefits to the merchant. First, the merchant maintains and operates the affiliate program & needs to do their part by researching interested affiliate websites to ensure that they are a good fit for that particular website. Finding a fit for their merchandise would be the key to more generated income. Banner ads on affiliate sites might produce interest for that product and drive the consumer to the merchants’ website. It is also the merchant who decides how much he is willing to pay for each sale that results from a visitor sent from an affiliate.

The affiliate or the affiliate marketer also finds a lot of benefits. The affiliate is a web site owner that promotes one or more merchants and their affiliate programs. Affiliate marketing can generate a full-time income for the affiliate. But this is not an easy task to accomplish, there are a lot of work to do in the beginning, but in several months or less it would be a very easy job. The affiliate needs to have a better understanding about the merchant: what the commission or commission percentage will be, expected payment method and time involved in the contract.

The affiliate has also the responsibility to stand for the merchandise their user based would be most interested in. For example, if the site has a user base of mainly stay-at-home mothers, then on-line job openings such as surveys would be a good match for them. This group would also appreciate direct links to children products and informational sites. Merchandisers often provide targeted, best-seller items and personal support to their affiliate. They frequently offer sales promotions that will benefit the merchandiser as well as the affiliate.

Affiliate marketing is a great situation for both the marketer and the affiliate. If they would work together, certainly there can be an advantage to both. Plus the fact that it's an easy and inexpensive way to start, you can be up and running within a few days. But there is one thing to consider, it is how to get traffic and make your offer different than all others.

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Anonymous said...

Nice posting!!!

There are many ways to make money with affiliate marketing. You can make a moderate to lucrative income by simply specializing in promoting and selling the products and services of another. If you would like to make money in the affiliate marketing industry, it is essential that you are aware of a few of the strategies that the most successful in the industry.

ankur said...

well informative post . But its hard to make traffic on web.

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