Whether you are running an online business or a regular internet user who wants to make extra cash, affiliate marketing can be a great and lucrative way for you to earn online. But before you embark on this money-making opportunity, it is essential for you to know the fundamentals and important facts about affiliate marketing.
To help you achieving that, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about affiliate marketing:
Q: What is affiliate marketing?
A: Affiliate marketing is a marketing scheme that has been practiced by businesses and entrepreneurs for many years. Basically, it is a form of marketing based on performance, where a preset commission is paid to the affiliate, who refers traffic to a merchant's site that performs the requisite action, such as making a purchase. It is now used by thousands of online merchants, brands and companies to generate traffic and sales.
In many ways, it is similar to referral marketing since both marketing forms rely on third parties to drive traffic and revenues to the business or retailer.
Q: How does affiliate marketing work?
A: There are three major players involved in this marketing practice, namely:
ï Merchant or retailer (in the picture below Sublime):This is a person or business selling a service or a product.
ï Affiliate: The person responsible for promoting the service or product
ï Customer: The individual buying the service or product
As a reward for the publisher's marketing efforts, the merchant pays a commission to the publisher for every successful sale or when a commissionable event happens, such as, filling out a form or subscribing to a newsletter. The commission given to the affiliate varies from program to program, often it is a percentage of the sale.
Q: What are the benefits offered by affiliate marketing to merchants?
A: As a merchant and website owner, affiliate marketing can greatly benefit you in many different ways.
For one, it helps you promote your product and brand to a wider global audience without having to spend a fortune for advertising. In fact, having affiliates can increase earnings by hundreds and even thousands of sales each month. Keep in mind that you will only have to spend money once a sale is made or an internet user responds to the CTA (Call to action). Thus, with affiliate marketing, your cash flow will become a lot easier to account for and predict.
Besides merchants and online businesses, affiliates can enjoy a few benefits from this form of marketing as well. With affiliate marketing, affiliates enjoy unlimited earning potential from methods, such as, email marketing, blogging, or building an affiliate niche site without the need to develop or support a product.
In affiliate marketing, all an affiliate has to do is to promote and pitch the product to their own web traffic and then send them via an affiliate link to the merchantís site.
Q: Are there any qualifications in order to become an affiliate marketer?
A: There are no general qualifications for this kind of work. But, merchants have the full authority to turn down or approve an application from an affiliate. Some affiliate programs look for a particular set of qualities from their publishers and high quality websites that get the optimal amount of traffic.
But, there are plenty of programs that approve more or less all affiliates, such as, Amazon Associates.
Most conventional programs reject affiliates with sites that have violent or sexually explicit content, as well as, those that promote political or religious views, advocate discrimination or even violate international laws.
Q: How can a merchant monitor his or her affiliate's performance?
A: Merchants track commissions, sales and referral through web cookies and tracking links that embedded in affiliate links that use a personal identification that is assigned to each affiliate.
In a nutshell, a tracking URL is a unique link provided by the merchant to his or her affiliate. With this link, a merchant can keep track of all the sales and traffic that are made through affiliateís link.
There are many affiliate program providers in the market that provide a complete setup to the merchant (e,.g. Refersion)
Q: Is a degree required to become an affiliate marketer?
A: No, only the knowledge of specific skills, and their implementation is required to start an affiliate marketing business.
Q: How much can I earn as an affiliate?
A: This is not a question that can be answered in numbers, there are affiliates who are millionaires, they are known as super affiliates. Then there are those who make very little and everything in between. Earnings depend on the type of methods that are used, the level of commitment and work that is put in, and learning proper techniques which are implemented in the correct manner. One thing is guaranteed, the earning potential is unlimited.
Q: What are the most popular affiliate programs?
A: These are the most popular affiliate programs and networks: