According to Wikipedia “affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliates own marketing efforts.”
That's All Great And Good But What Exactly Does That Mean?
Basically this means that if someone makes a product they want to sell, either real or digital product, or even service, they will pay a commission to people who help bring in sales.
So when you sign up to be a promoter of a product or service, you become an affiliate of that product or service. When you promote the product or service on your website, through paid advertising, or other marketing means then you are essentially an affiliate marketer.
How Do You Find Out About Affiliate Marketing Opportunities?
You would be surprised how easy it is to find out if a product or service has an affiliate marketing program. The next time you look at a company website or a product just look down at the footer of the page and you can often see a link for “affiliate.”
Once you start looking for these links you will find that they are everywhere.
Why Do Companies Like To Use Affiliate Marketing?
The most obvious reason is affiliates drive traffic and purchases, and generally the company only has to pay the affiliate when a purchase is made.
This cuts down on the other types of advertising and traffic generating tasks that a company has to deal with.
How Does This Work?
The majority of the time a company will offer to pay a set amount of money or a percentage of the cost of a product or service as part of their affiliate marketing program.
This is set out in their affiliate marketing terms of agreement which will be listed on their website once you are accepted into the program. They often will tell you these payout terms when you go to their affiliate page.
If you decide to become an affiliate marketer for a particular affiliate program and are accepted, then they will provide you with an affiliate link which is specific to you.
So for instance if you decide to become an affiliate marketer for say “Dragon NaturallySpeaking” by Nuance, they would provide you with links to their products which include your affiliate code.
If someone clicks on your affiliate links and goes to their website and purchases a product then you will be credited with referring that person for that purchase and would receive earnings based on the terms of service of their affiliate agreement.
If that agreement stated you would get a 10% referral fee then if someone purchased $100 worth of software from your affiliate link then you would earn $10 for that purchase. And that's really it in a nutshell!
So It's Got to Be More Difficult Than That Right?
Well actually signing up and getting accepted to be an affiliate is often fairly easy and straightforward. The trick is how to get people to make purchases using your affiliate link so that you get credit and earn money.
This is where the process becomes a little more difficult. Although the concept is very easy and anyone can implement it fairly cheaply if you're willing to do the work, it often takes time and a lot of effort to develop a good supply of people willing to click on an affiliate link of yours.
Where Would You Place Your Affiliate Link?
You could place your links in articles or posts that you place on a website or blog that belongs to you. You could put the link in Facebook posts where you may talk about a product or service to your friends, family, or group.
One of the worst ways to promote affiliate links is through spam or similar spammy type marketing efforts.
The best way to promote a product or service through affiliate marketing is to promote only products or services that you have used and truly recommend others to use. Sometimes you can go on the reviews of others who you respect and recommend a product based on your knowledge of the person giving the recommendation.
You can also create paid advertisements and promote an affiliate product often through sources like Google Adwords, or other types of online advertisements including Facebook Ads. Some affiliate terms of services are very restrictive of this type of promotion so you have to be careful to adhere to their terms.
So Here Is The Overall Summary Of This Post
You have an audience through something like a blog, website, email list, Facebook group, or a large following on Facebook in general, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media platform.
You partner with a company that sells a service or product that you would be willing to recommend through their affiliate marketing program.
You recommend that product or service, promote it, to your audience by writing a blog post about it, review article, or by placing a banner ad somewhere on your site or social media platform.
A visitor or follower uses your affiliate link to visit the product site and decides to purchase the product.
You earn a commission when the sale is final.
You receive a payout based on the terms of service of the affiliate agreement usually when a certain value threshold is met, $50-$100 cumulative is a common threshold.