There are many ways one can describe affiliate marketing; however many have the same meaning. People who market online as an affiliate marketer have made it into a legitimate business. In essence, it is a cooperative effort between the merchant and the affiliate.
From the point of view of a merchant, affiliate marketers are the lifeline of their business because they do most of the promoting of their products. They are easily able to expand their reach without major capital expenditure. By marketing their products, whether they are tangible or digital, the merchant is, in effect, expanding their sales force without any of the associated costs. This is very appealing, as this enables their wide distribution while only paying when a sale is actually made.
The Internet continues to develop exponentially, and every single day more people are looking for ways to make money from home. Affiliate marketing is at or near the top of that list. However, many people go about it the wrong way. They make beginner mistakes, which in turn, makes them believe that affiliate marketing does not work. The complex nature of affiliate marketing, and without a proper mentor or experience, leaves beginners without the understanding of what is involved in the work. The one thing every beginner must learn is the difference between advertising and marketing.
Statistically, most beginners think exclusively in terms of advertising, without having any understanding of the marketing aspects. Many times, these affiliates will not last in what has become an extremely competitive field. On the other side of the coin, are those exceedingly perceptive people, who are ready to turn this competitive field into a cash cow. Those who blossom, and do end up making a good living, realize they must market their website, as well as, the affiliate product they are promoting.
While selling and adverting are important components, they must be combined in a strategic way for one to become a successful affiliate marketer. In this model, the affiliate is rewarded for every visitor they send to a merchant site who end up purchasing the product or service being offered. The commission varies significantly, and anyone who is looking to get into this business, should be confident that they understand the commission structure before starting their marketing efforts.
Besides the merchants, there are affiliate networks designed to cater to those who are interested in becoming an affiliate marketer. These networks operate as a third-party between the product creator and the affiliate, acting as a trusted mediator who will guarantee compliance from both ends. There is a lot of technology involved with these networks; however, this all operates behind the scenes by tracking sales and statistics. These networks are lucrative by collecting a commission from the merchant and then paying the affiliate their commission.
While there are some downsides to becoming an affiliate marketer, there are also many advantages. One of these advantages is that one is allowed to quickly change the products they decide to promote, depending on which ones make them the most money. Depending on the person and their commitment, affiliate marketing can produce and excellent part-time or full-time income. This is not to say that there is no work involved and it should be thought of as a business, not just a hobby. To be successful it will definitely take plenty of work and persistence.
From a business point of view, affiliate marketing involves low start-up and overhead costs. The challenge is not putting a website online, but in getting targeted traffic to look at the affiliate offer. Deciding to become an affiliate marketer should not be taken lightly. It can be a fantastic first-step in your successful online career.