Explaining the secret world of affiliate marketing

Affiliate programs are schemes setup by businesses to have people help them promote their products and services by providing a revenue split with the affiliate when they bring a customer to the business that buys something.

Affiliate programs work by sending a predetermined percentage of the proceeds of any sales to the affiliate when the customer buys something from them.

The company installs a tracking system that records where their visitors come from, this is usually done by providing the affiliate a special code to apply to their links.

When the customer clicks on the affiliate’s link the code is activated in the tracking system to record where the customer came from. If the customer then goes on to complete a purchase, the affiliate is credited with providing the sale and shares in the revenue.


Affiliate marketing methods

Affiliate marketing borrows many of the techniques used in regular internet marketing.

The idea for the affiliate is that they can reach audiences that the business would find cost prohibitive to go after themselves.

Some of the methods include:

  • PPC (pay per click) advertising
  • CPM advertising
  • Blogging
  • Reviews
  • Email marketing
  • Syndication
  • SEO (both organic and paid)
  • Social media
  • … and many more.

Why is having affiliates good for product owners?

The benefit for product owners is that by having affiliates helping to market their product, they gain access to an audience that would have otherwise not been told about the product.

Product owners should carefully consider if affiliate marketing will be beneficial to them, but if chances are that if it is a product sold online then affiliate marketing will be a good fit.

The Basics of affiliate marketing

If you're looking to get into affiliate marketing and selling products as an affiliate here are some of the basic things you need to get right when linking to affiliate products:

  • How to present your links to be clicked
  • What wording your have around your links to show that you endorse the product/service on the other end
  • Tracking your marketing efforts using appropriate software
  • Ensuring you have filled all your legal obligations for disclosing the nature of your recommendation

The next step is to get as many people to view your links as possible and try to get them to click through so you have a chance of earning a commission.

If you want to learn more about what affiliate marketing is, check out this introductory post: What is affiliate marketing?

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