Affiliate marketing is an Internet-based marketing system in which merchants reward affiliates for each visitor or customer that comes to the merchant website as a result of the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
Affiliate marketing is considered one the best ways to make money online (read an amazing success story here), and affiliates can be rewarded in a number of different ways: cash, gifts, coupons and discounted merchandise are just a few of them. Of course, most prefer cash, but other incentives are nice too.
There are many different types of affiliate programs from which to choose. Some of these include:
Pay Per Sale – Every time a sale is made as a result of advertising on the affiliate’s website, a percentage or commission is deposited into the affiliate’s account or paid directly to them through online payment methods such as PayPal®.
Pay Per Click – Every time a potential customer leaves the affiliate website by clicking on a banner or text link that leads to the merchant’s website, a certain amount of money is deposited in the affiliate’s account.
Pay Per Lead – Every time a potential customer registers at the merchant’s website as a result of an advertisement on the affiliate’s account, the merchant deposits a set amount into the affiliate’s account.
For many website owners this is a great way to earn some extra money without actually having their own product.
This type of marketing is also beneficial to the merchant. By placing affiliate marketing advertising on websites all over the Internet, the merchant gets free advertising and does not need to do as much marketing. The more websites with which a merchant is affiliated, the more exposure products get.
All affiliates should do thorough research on the merchant before applying to the program. Not doing so can mean ending up with a merchant who refuses to pay commission fees, merchants with very restrictive terms, and even merchants who couldn’t care less for the affilaite
Of course, most merchants and affiliates have a pleasant and profitable business arrangement, but research is an important first step.
Another important aspect that an affiliate should consider is the placement of the affiliate links, and /or banners. It’s important to choose placement wisely: just slapping a banner on your page will not help you in most cases, but weaving links to affiliate offers in your content usually works well.
One of the best guides I’ve come around that teaches affiliate marketing is the Super Affiliate Handbook by Rosalind Gardner. Have you read it? Implemented it? What kind of success did you have with it? I’d love to hear about your affilaite marketing success.