What is Affiliate Marketing?

Hello! It’s good to see you. Let’s discuss Affiliate Marketing, the most exciting topic around the internet. Yes! It is. Affiliate Marketing is one such module of digital marketing that talks about making money from the internet sitting at home.

I am sure now you are also interested in it! Aren’t you? I am sure you are curious. So, let’s dig into the topic to know everything about affiliate marketing. In this post, I will introduce Affiliate Marketing, and the posts that will follow will involve more implementable details. 

So, what is Affiliate Marketing?

As per Pat Flynn, one of the famous affiliate marketers:

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.

Affiliate Marketing | Q8 intouch. https://www.q8intouch.com/affiliate-marketing/

Yes, it is simple. You got to find a product, promote it to others via your blog, YouTube channel, or some media, and you can earn commission every time there is a sale. The company pays you commission because you helped them make a sale. 

So if you like to have your own internet business, affiliate marketing can be one promising option. In this internet business, the best part is you don’t have to manufacture any product; hence you don’t have to invest anything. You can start selling the products and get a % share in the profit. 

The product may not always be a physical good. It can also be software; it can also be a service.

Usually, there are three parties involved in affiliate marketing. Merchant, Publisher, and Customer. 

  • Merchant is the company producing or promoting a particular product or service. 
  • The Publisher is the person who promotes the products and services to people who visit his website or channel to earn a commission.
  • Finally, the customer is the one who visits the Merchant’s site to buy the product/ service on the recommendation by the Publisher. 

Now I am sure things are getting clearer. 

But in today’s competitive world. 

Typically, there are four parties in the affiliate marketing activities:

  • The affiliates – the people who promote the product or service to earn a commission, also known as a publisher
  • The product creators – the producers or manufacturers of the product/services, also known as merchants.
  • The networks – the networks manage the affiliates and the merchants
  • The consumers – the end-users of the product

The network is optional; it’s up to you whether you, as the affiliate, want to get associated with it. 

For more clarity, I would like to discuss in detail each of these parties.

Who are the affiliates?

A publisher of content like a blogger or YouTuber etc., when they sign to an affiliate program to earn commissions, then they are called an Affiliate. 

An individual or a company can choose to be an affiliate. 

An individual can be a blogger or social media user with quite a good number of followers. An affiliate can also be a company that is primarily into content creation. 

These content publishers place the affiliate link of the product or service in their content in a relevant manner. When the visitors who are reading their blog, watching their videos or engaging with other media click on the product link and create a transaction like purchasing the product or filling the lead form on the company’s website, the Affiliates get a commission. The amount of commission entirely depends on the affiliate program, which differs from company to company basis. 

The affiliates attract people to their website or content by putting up ads, attracting traffic from SEO or building an email list or social media promotions. 

Who are the merchants?

Merchants are the creator or manufacturers, or providers of products or services. The merchants launch affiliate programs and are ready to share the profit via percentage commissions with affiliates on every sale or transaction.

An example of a merchant could be Amazon. You, as an affiliate, can sign up for Amazon Affiliate Network Program. When your website visitors or followers of social media follow the amazon product link that you mentioned in your content and make a purchase on Amazon, then pays you a commission on every sale.

Many small and big companies have launched affiliate programs. You will find affiliate programs in every segment of topics you plan to publish, from fashion to software.

Who are the affiliate networks?

A platform where the merchants and the affiliates connect is called an affiliate network.

When you start affiliate marketing, you will have to search for the merchants, which can be tedious, so you can search for the affiliate network wherein many merchants are already present with whom you can work. 

An affiliate network is not necessary, but some affiliates and merchants choose to work with a network to add a layer of trust and speed the process of connecting with the right people and company.

Some popular affiliate networks are VCommission, ClickBank and ShareASale.

For merchants working with affiliate networks managing the time and resources to track, report, and make payments to the affiliates becomes easy. 

The merchants or affiliates can choose to work with multiple affiliate networks. 

Who are the consumers?

The consumers or the customers are the ones who visit the merchant’s site to make the transaction on the affiliate’s recommendation. The consumers are the followers or primarily visitors of the affiliate’s website or channel. 

The consumers are the ones who purchase the product or submit the lead form, as a result of which the affiliate gains the commission.

I have just explained the parties involved in affiliate marketing. Let me put together How does affiliate marketing works? 

1. Find and join an affiliate program that matches the kind of content that you produce

2. Choose which offers or products you want to promote to visitors of your site so that they can benefit

3. For each offer or product on the merchant’s site, get the unique affiliate link.

4. Share the links on the relevant blog post or social media platforms, or your content website

5. And collect a commission every time someone uses your links to make a purchase

Easy right? 

You need to remember that if you want affiliate marketing to be your long-term business model, then 1st thing to do is respect and earn consumers’ trust. 

I suggest you focus on the consumer’s needs and problems and help solve them through your recommendations of products and services. That way, they will trust you more get you more transactions in the future.  

I hope you understand affiliate marketing thoroughly. In this post, I spoke about affiliate marketing and discussed the various parties involved in affiliate marketing in detail.