What is affiliate marketing?

An answer to the question “What is affiliate marketing?”

When I’m actually asked the question “What is affiliate marketing?” I simply explain it as this: a way for businesses to extend their marketing reach by giving commissions to people who bring them paying customers.

But maybe you’re after a more succinct definition. The most succinct definition I could find that describes what is affiliate marketing was by the page dedicated to it on Wikipedia:

“Affiliate marketing is a marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.”

This basically means that if you, an affiliate of the company, bring the company a paying customer, they will share the proceeds of that sale with you at a prearranged amount.

Affiliate marketing is most prevalent on the web, and affiliate marketers play a significant role in many company’s online marketing strategies.

How affiliate marketing works

Affiliate marketing works by an arrangement or contract between a person (or company) and a business selling products and services.

The arrangement outlines how much the affiliate will receive on bringing a successful sale to the business.

Once an affiliate introduces a customer to the business and they make a successful sale, the affiliate is given their commission.

Usually, in online scenarios, this commission will build up in the affiliate’s account with the business and they will receive a payout at the start of the next month for the previous month’s efforts. Sometimes there is a minimum payout level which the affiliate must earn before funds are given out.

What is affiliate marketing

So what is affiliate marketing really? This is it, step by step:

Affiliate marketing as a process can be described in a few steps:

  • Pick a product, service or business to promote
  • Sign up for their affiliate program and download the special link required to send a visitor to them
  • Promote their product/service on using your own marketing methods. Reviews are good for this, as are recommendations for people in your circles among many other methods.
  • Collect your commissions for sending pre-qualified leads that turn into sales

The third step is obviously the difficult part that most affiliate marketers struggle with. If you can nail the marketing of a product and pitch it to the right people, however, it can be quite lucrative.

Learn more

There are mountains of information to learn about affiliate marketing. We work hard to provide great information here on the ThirstyAffiliates blog as we feel it’s our way of giving back to the community that supports our affiliate marketing software tool.

Click here to find out more about our WordPress affiliate link management tool.

We hope this article has helped you with your question of what is affiliate marketing, feel free to browse around our affiliate marketing blog for more goodies.

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