Actually, you already know what affiliate marketing is. Take for example when your phone, cable, or satellite company says if you refer a friend, you will receive an X amount of money off your next bill – or something along those lines.
This is a basic form of affiliate marketing. A more formal take on this marketing strategy can, and is, used through websites and social media. Websites use this marketing technique to earn commissions by referring others to products and services. This is very similar to how normal website advertising (AdSense) works.
How exactly does it work?
Affiliate programs are set up to help everyone. Advertisers (people with products or services) need publishers (people with followers/readers) to advertise for them. This helps advertisers make sales, publishers earn income, and consumers purchase goods. It’s really a genius idea that in the end makes the world go ‘round.
How much does it pay?
Every affiliate has a different commission amount. For example, it could be a 1%-40% commision on all goods. If you direct someone that buys a $30 product, and your commision is 5% – you would earn $1.50 from that purchase.
Who has affiliate programs?
Just about all companies selling something are involved with affiliate programs. Before I even knew what affiliate marketing was, I had no idea all these places had affiliate/referral programs. Next time you’re on a website that is selling something, scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for the word affiliate. Start doing this on more sites and you’ll start to see a pattern. Very seldom do you see no affiliate program from a company.
Instead of having to sign up and keep individual affiliates organized (could you imagine!?), there are marketing networks that host various advertisers all in one location. This makes it a whole lot easier for everyone to manage their affiliates. Here are two well known affiliate marketing networks.
Is it a bad thing?
If you really think about what it is, it sounds like a scheme where people are trying to make a quick buck. Which, sometimes is true. Does this mean affiliate marketing is a bad thing? Not at all – but it very well can be.
Affiliate marketing can be a great solution for income – especially for bloggers. With bloggers providing free content, they can add in some affiliate products/services pertaining to their niche that will generate some income.
What happens if greed takes over? There could be a point in time where there is an overwhelming amount of advertising on pages that could turn readers away. Or this could take a turn for the worst and lead to spamming emails. Although an issue, it’s solely left up to the publisher to make these decisions and have self-discipline.
Affiliate marketing can be a great business to get into – but don’t jump into it thinking you’re going to get rich. If you have a website/blog, you should definitely check it out since it’s an alternative to AdSense. Just always remember to focus on content first – that’s what’s most important.