What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Have you ever considered becoming an affiliate marketer? Affiliate marketing is a business model where affiliates get paid for referring customers or sales to a business. In this article, you will find information about how affiliate marketing works, what it really is and is not, why you should become an affiliate, where to find affiliate products, what tools you need and how to promote affiliate links.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

Affiliate marketing can be done using many different methods, but the most popular methods are the commission based and Adsense practices. Some examples to the first method include placing ads on your web pages to direct your visitors to merchants’ sites or sending newsletters to your subscribers with your affiliate link. In both cases, you receive your commission when your visitors make a purchase, fill in a form, request information or just click the link.

The Adsense form of the affiliate marketing is a little different. To start using this method, you first need to paste a code into your website to get ads that are relevant to your content. Then, you start to get ads from Google, display those ads on your pages and earn money when your visitors make valid clicks or impressions.

What Affiliate Marketing Really Is

First of all, affiliate marketing is a pay-for-performance system. As an affiliate marketer, you can only earn commissions when you are able to produce results for a merchant or network. The results you produce may come from clicks, registrations or sales.

Also, affiliate marketing is a big business where affiliate marketers earn billions of dollars worldwide every year. The good news is that this lucrative business is open to anyone, and you don’t have to have any special qualifications to become an affiliate marketer. In other words, to be a successful affiliate marketer, you don’t have to be a computer genius or a marketing guru.

What Affiliate Marketing Is Not

Affiliate marketing is not creating and selling your own products. That is a different business model which incorporates more risk than affiliate marketing. Clearly, when you decide to create and sell your own products, you need to make an investment, handle payments and delivery and provide customer support. Conversely, in affiliate marketing, you just need to send prospects to the merchant which is a lower risk task.

Also, affiliate marketing is not a business model that enables you to get rich overnight simply by uploading a website. Clearly, many affiliate marketers are doing very well, but these affiliates have been in the business for a long time and have been working hard to become successful.

Why You Should Become an Affiliate Marketer

There are many reasons for you to become an affiliate marketer. First of all, you get to be your own boss and choose how much and when to work. You can choose to promote the products that interest you. Secondly, affiliate marketing requires you to invest very little money to start, like website hosting and domain name costs. Also, regardless of your age, your country, your work experience and education, you will have an equal opportunity with all other affiliates. Another reason is that you promote somebody else’s product so your business risk is almost none since you can quit promoting the product anytime if you think it is not profitable or not what people really want. Most importantly, affiliate marketing is a huge and lucrative business and will exist as long as the Internet exists.

Where to Find Affiliate Products

The best way to find products to promote is by joining affiliate networks. Affiliate networks connect affiliates to merchants and coordinate their relationship by taking care of payments, tracking of affiliate commissions and making payments to affiliates. Some of the most reputable and reliable affiliate networks include Clickbank, Commission Junction, PayDotCom, ShareASale and LinkShare.

What Tools You Should Use to Maximize Your Earnings

As an affiliate marketer, you should use some tools to increase your productivity. However, you shouldn’t expect to automate all necessary tasks with those tools. None of the tools can complete the tasks alone, so you will, at the least, need to integrate the tools and track their effectiveness to replace unsuccessful ones.

Some of the tools every affiliate should use without any exception are as follows:

1) Keyword Research Tools: As an affiliate marketer, you need to find profitable niches and target those niches with the right keywords. For this reason, you need to use keyword research tools. There are many successful paid alternatives, but some free alternatives may be useful as well, especially Google Keyword Research tool.

2) Backlink Checkers: Building backlinks is one of the important tasks for your successful affiliate business. For more successful results, you need to know your competitors’ backlink information. You can get this information by using backlink checkers.

3) Duplicate Content Checkers: In affiliate marketing, one of the most important success factors is to provide original content to your readers. Your original content is also necessary to improve your page rankings. Unfortunately, content theft is an ongoing issue, and you need to use duplicate content checkers to protect yourself by detecting your copied content.

4) Website Analysis Tools: The most known website analysis tool is Google Analytics, and you should check out its benefits including generating website data about the number of visitors, keywords your visitors used, most visited pages and many more.

5) Rank Checkers: Additional must use tools of affiliate marketers are rank checkers. These tools help you discover how well your website pages rank on search engines, including Google, Yahoo and Bing, for specific keywords.

How to Promote Affiliate Links

There are many ways of promoting affiliate links. The key here is to find the best promotion combination for a specific product and realize the best promotion mix for you according to your strengths as a marketer. However, the mix of following methods would help you get commissions.

  • Article marketing
  • E-mail marketing
  • Blogging
  • Ebook creations
  • Social bookmarking
  • RSS feeds
  • Podcasts
  • Press releases
  • Directory submissions
  • Social networks

Affiliate marketing is a lucrative and legitimate business. Many companies work with affiliates to promote their products and help affiliates earn billions of dollars each year. However, you should keep in mind that succeeding in affiliate marketing takes time and effort. Many of today’s super affiliates have experienced some failures before becoming successful in their businesses. But also don’t forget that the rewards are worth it.

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