Affiliate Marketing Introduction. An introduction to Affiliate Marketing
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Affiliate Marketing. What is Affiliate Marketing?

A popular definition of affiliate marketing is

"Affiliate marketing is a business relationship with a merchant or other service provider who allows you to link to that business. When a visitor clicks on the link at your site and subsequently makes a purchase from the merchant, you receive a commission based on the amount of the sale, a referral fee or a pay-for-click fee"
Quote from

So what is affiliate marketing?

You, the affiliate, via your website, drive traffic to a merchant's site.

The merchant may be selling a product eg DVDs or e books, or they may be trying to sign on clients eg a bank.

The merchant pays you a commission once the visitor has completed the desired action eg bought a product or completed a registration form

The merchant knows that the visitor is from you because you link to the merchant's site through a special affiliate link. This link is unique to you and you alone.

Other affiliates will have there own special affiliate link which is different from yours.

Although different affiliate marketers for the same product have different, unique affiliate links, all these links point to the same website, the merchant's website.

The affiliate aims simply to drive as much targetted traffic as possible to his/her own unique affiliate link

The beauty of this is, once your site is up and running, you can continue to earn money from it whether you are in bed, on holiday or sleeping.

This is called passive income.

It is passive because after the initial effort of researching your chosen market, building a website and setting up your campaign, you can continue to earn from this with very minimal day to day input in your campaign.

Illustration of affiliate marketing

Say, for example, a company manufactures Product X and that company has a website and affiliate program. You like the look of the product and are interested in promoting it

You build a content rich website about some related matter, apply to the company’s affiliate program and get an affiliate link.

The link given to you is unique to you and contains your affiliate ID [a number or your affiliate name]. The link allows the merchant to track sales generated from your visitors so that you get your commission for sales generated via that link.

You then place this link on your site in an appropriate place and drive traffic to it. Every time someone clicks on that link on your website it takes them to product X's webpage. If the visitor buys product X, you get a commission

Cookies Explained

It gets better!

With some reputable affiliate programs, the person does not actually have to buy during that click.

So say Jim landed on your website, clicked on your affiliate link to product X on your website

He gets taken to product X's site, looks at the sales page and then goes off without purchasing.

During that click a cookie is placed on Jim's computer.

This cookie is just a bit of code that says that the computer has viewed product X on a specified date.

It also has a record of who referred Jim to the Product X site i.e. you

A week later, Jim remembers product X, remembers the URL of product X's website and types it into the web browser of his computer.

He does not use your affiliate link on this occasion. He goes directly to Product X's webpage and decides that he would like to buy it after all.

He whips out his credit card and makes the purchase

When Jim went back to Product X's webpage, the cookie left on his desktop kicked in.

The webpage recognizes Jim as being refered by you.

What does this mean?

You get your commission.

Cookies could be valid for as little as one day to 60 days. There are even some cookies that are lifetime cookies.

As long as the purchase is made from the computer where the cookie is stored, within the time limit of the cookie, and Jim hasn't encountered other marketers cookies since using yours, you get your commission.

Word of caution: Cookies vary in their duration so read the companies affiliate agreement carefully to find out the life span of their cookie. A 3 month cookie is more desirable that a one week cookie, for example.

The buzz word here is Content Rich Website

What is in affiliate marketing for you?

  • You do not need to develop your own product. You make money promoting other peoples product.

At affiliate marketing introduction we advice that you eventually develop your own product.

  • You have no responsibility for after sales service for the product. This is all handled by the merchant.
  • You do not deal with shipping or storage or packaging or inventories. Yes, you guessed it right, the merchant deals with all that too.
  • You can promote one product, several products, drop a product if you are not satisfied with it. You are not tied in to any product.

What is in affiliate marketing for the merchant?

  • More exposure
  • Cheap advertisement

What affiliate Marketing is not

Affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick business.

It requires a lot of hard work and determination

As you get involved with affiliate marketing you will come across a lot of products that claim to teach you how to make hundreds of dollars in 15 mins.

Beware of the hype!!

The reality for most of us marketers is that it takes a few months of hard work to start making a substantial income.

So if it takes so much hard work and dedication, why affiliate marketing?

Financial Freedom

Imagine for a second if you continue in your current job [Just Over Broke] for the next 10 years, will you earn enough to be financially free for the rest of your life?

Now if you find a legal business that if worked at for a few months or years has the potential to make you financially free for the rest of your life, would you not grasp the opportunity?

Passive Income

Let's think of our friend Jim who works a regular job.

He goes in, does his work, goes home and gets paid at the end of the month.

He gets paid ONCE for the job he does. He needs to go to work again and again and again to get paid again and again and again

In affiliate marketing, you sit down, set up the website, set up your trafic generation methods and then relax.

For as long as traffic keeps coming to your affiliate marketing website, you stand to make money again and again and again.

It's called passive income

Multiple Streams Of Income

And hey, Jim can only do a finite amount of work a day. He is limited by hours and the physical ability to do the job. He cannot do 6 full time jobs a day

In affiliate marketing, you can build 1, 2, 30 websites. All up and making money for you

Get a free guide on how to set up an affiliate marketing business here
The best selling guide to affiliate marketing by an affiliate marketing multimillionaire can be previewed here

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