Affiliate Marketing is the fastest growing industry on the Internet today.
Extra Income made through this channel runs into billions of dollars yearly. Many people get involved in it without a solid plan for success. Indeed, many want to earn extra income using affiliate marketing, albeit without a real base plan, which is the most important reason for most being unsuccessful at it. Do you really look at any earning without understanding or planning the future of any business, be it at work or at earning extra income?
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 industry has four core players: the merchant (also known as ‘retailer’ or ‘brand’), the network (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments), the publisher (also known as ‘the affiliate’), and the customer. The market has grown in complexity, resulting in the emergence of a secondary tier of players, including affiliate management agencies, super affiliates and specialized third party vendors.
Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Those methods include organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine marketing (PPC Pay Per Click), e mail marketing, content marketing and in some sense display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. However, both are distinct forms of marketing and the main difference between them is that affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations to drive sales while referral marketing relies on trust and personal relationships to drive sales.
Affiliate marketing is frequently overlooked by advertisers. While search engines, e mail, and website syndication capture much of the attention of online retailers, affiliate marketing carries a much lower profile. Still, affiliates continue to play a significant role in e retailers’ marketing strategies.
Affiliate marketing has grown quickly since its inception. The e commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. According to one report, the total sales amount generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was £1660;billion in the United Kingdom alone. The estimates were £3560;billion in sales in 200 MarketingSherpa’s research team estimated that, in 2006, affiliates worldwide earned US$560;billion in bounty and commissions from a variety of sources in retail, personal finance, gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, publishing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual advertising programs.
Affiliate marketing is also called “performance marketing”, in reference to how sales employees are typically being compensated. Such employees are typically paid a commission for each sale they close, and sometimes are paid performance incentives for exceeding objectives. Affiliates are not employed by the advertiser whose products or services they promote, but the compensation models applied to affiliate marketing are very similar to the ones used for people in the advertisers’ internal sales department.
Affiliate marketing (sometimes called lead generation) occurs when advertisers organize third parties to generate potential customers for them. Third party affiliates receive payment based on sales generated through their promotion.:22 Affiliate marketers generate traffic to offers from affiliate networks, and when the desired action is taken by the visitor, the affiliate earns a commission. These desired actions can be an email submission, a phone call, filling out an online form, or an online order being completed.
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Affiliate marketing is not something that is effortless and that just anyone can start profiting from without really doing anything.
It actually does require effort and time to be invested in order to do it properly. Luckily, however, developing the skills to do this is not as hard as you may think. There are various parts of affiliate marketing, so make sure that you work on them all. Writing, design, and SEO are all parts of affiliate success.
Affiliate marketing companies will let anyone join their networks but watch very closely how the publishers are playing in their network. A publisher signs up and gets access to millions offers and it can be pretty easy to scam sites by creating false leads or sales with click fraud and false submissions. Affiliate companies are constantly monitoring their network and will blacklist anyone who is defrauding advertisers. Remember that it is impossible to keep the network 100% free of fraud so you should be careful and watch transactions carefully. Ideally you want to put an ad on your site that you think will convert because this is the only way you get paid. For example, if you are a realtor, it would make sense to have an affiliate ad on your site for a mortgage lending company.