According to and quoting 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 affiliate’s own marketing efforts.”
The three parties involved in Affiliate marketing are the advertiser, the publisher, and the customer.
Advertiser puts a merchant’s products online which may be an Affiliate Network that allows webmasters to promote the products they have.
Publisher or Affiliate. takes the products from advertisers and start promoting them with the specific URLs (that track the number of sales, visits, etc.)
Customer purchases the products once the publishers make them purchase it.
Publishers are the main link in the whole process as they promote the products, get customers, make merchant and advertisers happy and in turn, get a commission (percentage based).
To start affiliate marketing. The first step is to choose the ‘product’.
Finding a product that matches your audience is what you call “suitable product. Suppose your blog deals with cookery then in order to start your affiliate marketing choose sellers who sell things related to cookery and publish them on your blog so that your readers who are cookery enthusiasts will read about these products from your blog and purchase them affiliate networks can help you. find products and sellers whom you can contact to advertise their products. Some of the top affiliate networks are here:
Step-2: Promoting the Product
So, after you selected a suitable product, its time to promote it Actually, there are several ways to promote a product. Like, you can promote products via your blog or via social media.
Step 3. Watch results
Once you have selected a product and promoted it with your specific tracking (affiliate) URLs, you have to wait for the results. If you get sales, then you earn a commission, you now deduct the amount you spent in promotions from your commission and this remaining amount is your earning.
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Kulwant Nagi, a Top-Affiliate marketer from India reveals the secrets of Affiliate Marketing in this video. Do watch it or download it but must watch it till the end! It will open your mind to affiliate marketing.
The various earning methods or compensation methods as they are called are
Predominant compensation methods ( about 80% users popular )which include revenue sharing or pay per sale (PPS), nineteen percent use cost per action (CPA), and the remaining programs use other methods such as cost per click (CPC) or cost per mille (CPM, cost per estimated 1000 views.
Diminished compensation methods include methods like
Cost per mille which means that that the publisher should make the advertisement available on his or her website for the public to be able to see it. Pay per click requires one more step that of the conversion process to generate revenue. A visitor has to click on the advertisement to visit the advertiser’s website.Affiliate marketing is also called “performance marketing”, in relation to the ways in which sales employees are compensated. They are paid a commission for each sale made. and also incentives for exceeding targets These affiliate salespersons are not employed by the advertiser whose products or services they promote
Merchants favor affiliate marketing because in most cases it uses a “pay for performance” model, meaning that the merchant does not have to bear any expenses unless results are actually received
Some merchants own dedicated software and run their own affiliate programmes others require the services of third-party.Standalone software or hosted services and outsourcing program management.
Standalone software or hosted services is what is popularly called affiliate networks. Payouts to these are made by the networks on behalf of the merchant.
Outsourcing programme management or OPM is (affiliate) program management comprising of (OPM) companies, which are run by affiliate managers and network program managers on the same lines as offline advertising companies.
Affiliate marketing is done mutually between merchants and website publishers or owners and an affiliate is paid for every visitor or client that he provides. There are advantages and disadvantages to this process of Affiliate marketing.
Wider platform for selling products, increase in sales and advertising without the loss of time, a look into the future requirements of trends through client behavior especially for manufacturers, the additional source of income for website owners publishers and bloggers etc, no investment required.the marketer works on his own time and convenience and can reach out to the whole world irrespective of geographical boundaries.
Cookie stuffing means placing an affiliate tracking cookie on a website visitor’s computer without their knowledge, and this gives revenue to the person who has placed this cookie. This is a sort of cheating of revenue from the legitimate affiliates.
Some publishers may charge the merchants exorbitantly.
The affiliate may create misleading advertisements thus putting both the customer and the merchant into inconvenience.
In spite of these disadvantages, affiliate marketing will grow and is there to remain mainly because of the convenience it provides.