Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is a revenue-sharing venture between an online merchant and a website owner. This is an online marketing strategy that is made through different affiliated programs. In this method, the website owner displays advertisements on the website to direct potential customers to the website of the merchant or to help sell the merchant’s products.

Affiliates are the owners of the affiliate website who helps in displaying text links and banners of the merchant’s business in their website. If your website is able to generate lots of traffic, the merchant will have more profit.  Marketing the traffic that reaches your website is a good means to level up profits that come from the portal of your affiliate site. The affiliate programs are termed as partner programs or associate programs.

The Affiliate Marketing Revolution

It was Amazon.com that started the idea about affiliate marketing in 1996. The website applied the concept in its website to promote sales of books written by a certain author. Amazon boosted sales promotion and gained revenue out of the commission that they got from the sales of those books. Following this success, there have been a number of people who have ventured into affiliated marketing.

The concept behind this marketing strategy is to drive more traffic to the affiliate website as the more visitors this site will get the more potential buyers the merchant will have. There are also cases wherein the affiliates are provided with the web page of the merchant for promotion.

Affiliate programs are important to enhance web marketing. If an individual who is a newbie to the internet makes a website about hobbies, he will be able to earn revenue out of his creation when there are available merchants who are willing to promote their business through advertisements. The two parties will be satisfied with the use of affiliate programs by allowing the affiliate (the newbie) to spare a web page for the merchant to display business banners and be given a commission as the merchant earns from such ads. With this, the merchant is able to improve his online sales and marketing.

Earning revenue from affiliate marketing has no limits. This is the best method that brings millions to a lot of accounts.

Advantages of Affiliate Marketing

  • Direct tracking of precise real time sales using affiliate programs
  • There are a lot of affiliates for merchants to choose from
  • Affiliates have the options to get the best programs that allow them to earn money at the comfort of their home.

Kinds of Affiliate Programs

Affiliate marketing is carried out by the affiliate programs discussed below.

  1. Pay-Per-Click – This works when a banner of a merchant is clicked by a website visitor who will then navigate into the website of the merchant using affiliate links. Every click means earning for the affiliate. Google Adsense is the best example for this affiliate program.
  2. Pay-Per impression – With this affiliate program, affiliates earn money according to the rate set for the ‘n’ number display of their advertisements or banners. An example for this would be the cost for every 1000 advertisements or banners that are displayed in the affiliate website. FastClick offers this program.
  3. Pay-Per-Sale – Performance marketing is the basis for this affiliate program. Affiliates only earn commissions when there is an achievement of actual sales such as during a product or service sale that is made through the affiliate program. ClickBank adopts this program.
  4. Pay-Per-Lead – With this program, when a website visitor fills out a form on the website of the merchant using the affiliated link, the affiliate gets payment for this. Commission Junction is the best example for this.

Joining an Affiliate Network

Affiliate networks are created for advertisers and publishers. Generating traffic to a website becomes easy with the assistance of affiliate networks. Affiliate networks give the right tracking infrastructure for all website traffic and referrals using their own committed account manager. Anyone is free to join these networks.

If a webmaster wants to participate in affiliate programs, he should know which merchant he chooses to promote the business of.  For small businesses, the affiliate has the option to directly negotiate with the merchant. In this case, the connection of both parties is made on one-on-one basis. Moreover, for huge businesses, the affiliate network is the best option. This will provide a list of merchants from which the affiliate will select the one that he wants to make business with. At this point, the affiliate network serves as the intermediate party between the merchant and the affiliate. The network also provides an affiliated identification to every affiliate that comes from the account manager. This identification must be posted in the affiliate website together with the affiliate link and this signals the start of the affiliate program.

The affiliate network detects every click or referral made in the affiliated link and the affiliate account will start gaining revenue for each click, sales or impression.

Best Affiliate Programs

  1. Click Bank– This is a famous affiliate system that works on pay-per-sale basis. This has earned 100,000 affiliates and 10,000 digital products in the network. With their system, commissions that range from 1% to 75% are given to affiliates on the sales of certain items. This program can be applied even if you do not have a website. You can certainly join whenever you want to start earning from this.
  2. Commission Junction – This program is composed of top-notch advertisers that will help affiliates to boost their opportunities for revenue. This has an account manager who is able to track real time sales. This program provides pay-per-sales and pay-per-lead programs to offer commissions that range from 50 cents to $10.
  3. Think Action – This network is owned by Greenfield Online Company. It has been popular for its pay-per-lead programs like Opinion Surveys, Greenfield Online Surveys and Ciao!INTLand. This network offers commissions that range from $1 to $4 for every completed signup.
  4. ShareaSale -This affiliate system has been known to have on-time payment and real time reporting. They have 1700 merchants from which you can select any number of pay-per-lead, pay-per-sale and pay-per-click programs.