Affiliate Marketing Basics – What You Need to Know

affiliate marketing basicsAffiliate marketing has become a popular advertising technique used by thousands of marketers worldwide.

As a commission based referral partnership, affiliate marketing programs establish a relationship between the owner of a website and an online retailer as a way to promote a product.

Below are affiliate marketing basics to help any individual get started.

The Agreement – The First of Many Affiliate Marketing Basics

All affiliate marketing programs will involve an agreement, where a website owner places an ad or link on their site as a way to promote a retailer’s product. With high traffic from a targeted audience, the websites visitors are offered a specific “call of action” by clicking on the ad or link to purchase the product online.

The agreement involves the retailer’s commitment to share a percentage of the overall profit with the affiliate (website owner) anytime the transaction generates a sale and/or a lead for the retailer.

Commission Methods

Based on the type of agreement, the affiliate marketer earns a commission. This can happen every time the online website visitor clicks the link or ad, registers to obtain additional information, or finalizes an online purchase. The amount of the commission will be specified in the agreement. However, it is often determined by the type of transaction.

Retailers typically pay affiliates a higher commission for any transaction resulting in sales, as compared to a completed survey or page view. Commissions are typically paid at a flat fixed rate or percentage of the total sale.

Kinds of Affiliates

Because many more individuals are using the Internet to purchase items and goods online, affiliate marketing has become an enormous industry. As a result, no clear definition constitutes a “traditional” affiliate site. However, the most common kinds of affiliates include:

•    Search affiliates

•    Shopping directories

•    Discount or coupon websites

•    Niche services or products sites

•    Personal blogs

Benefits to the Retailer

Retailers that sell goods and services online are typically not web savvy, nor do they have the time or money to invest in Internet marketing promotional campaigns. As a result, they outsource all of their promotional activities as an effective way to take advantage of an expanded targeted audience brought in by affiliate marketers.

In addition, affiliate marketing remains popular among online retailers that maintain low advertising budgets. Instead, they use the marketing offers provided by affiliates on their webpages, blogs, and social media websites to produce sales.

Benefits for the Affiliate Marketers

Any website, blog site, or social media site owner interested in earning extra income can use affiliate marketing offers to generate a steady stream of cash every month. This requires virtually no extra effort, because their sites are usually up and running and have a fair amount of targeted online visitors.

Affiliates earn money from the marketing by performing minimal work. It usually involves recommending products or services, or providing adverts and/or links on their sites to transform their site visitors into potential customers for the retailer. Usually, the effort includes making the site more desirable to potential customers and advertisers by building a solid online reputation and increasing the amount of traffic to the site.

Niche Markets – A Fundamental in Affiliate Marketing

The most successful individuals are those who follow affiliate marketing basics, including becoming a part of the niche market. Rather than choosing a multi-purpose market that can bring in a wide assortment of visitors, it is best to maintain a niche website designed to attract a specific targeted audience. There is often an associated purpose for a visitor wanting to seek out that specific niche market, whether it is a hobby, political interest, opinion, view, or because the site can solve a specific problem.

Staying within a niche market, and writing about it on blogs, through social media sites, or an established website, allows the affiliate marketer to gather a targeted audience. Building a solid reputation and providing quality information will help establish the site owner as a “go to” site for information or answers.

Next, the site owner can then recommend a “call to action” performed by visitors. The owner could recommend purchasing products, answering surveys, or viewing the pages of their associated retailers. This could generate huge volumes of cash for the affiliate marketer every month.

The above affiliate marketing basics can be used to generate steady streams of income for individuals that own webpages, blogs, and social media sites.

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