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Introduction To Affiliate Marketing And How It Works


These days, it is incredibly easy to build your own website. With a computer and an internet connection, all you need to do is to visit sites like AOL or GeoCities where you will find ready-made templates that you can use to put up an uncomplicated personal page. You will be given a URL by these sites and they will store your web content for you as well as put up some ads on your page. In one hour or two, just like that, your page will be on the internet!

But it does not have to end there. If yours is a content-driven website, you can actually make some money from the traffic that you generate. One popular way to make money from your traffic is by affiliate marketing. In this article, we look at affiliate programs, how they work and how you can take advantage of them to make money from your website.

What Are Affiliate Programs?

Very simply, affiliate marketing programs, known also as associate programs, refer to arrangements where an online merchant website pays affiliate marketing websites a commission so as to send it traffic. The affiliate website posts links to the site of the merchant and will be paid based on a certain agreement. Normally, the agreement is based upon the amount of traffic that the affiliate sends to the website of the merchant. It could also be based upon the number of people that are sent by the affiliate to perform some action or buy something.

Basically, should a link to an affiliate website generate traffic or money to the merchant site, the merchant site will pay the affiliate site based upon their agreement. Hiring affiliates is a fantastic way of selling products online and it can also be an inexpensive and effective marketing strategy. This is an excellent way of getting the word out concerning your site. Affiliate marketing transaction will always have at least three parties in it:

  •  The customer
  •  The merchant site
  •  The affiliate site

How It works

  1. A customer comes to your website after which they click upon the affiliate link to go to the advertiser’s website.
  2. Next, the advertiser will drop a cookie to the computer of your customer
  3. The customer buys something from the merchant website
  4. As the customer is completing the checkout process, the merchant checks out the cookie on their computer
  5. The advertiser locates an affiliate cookie belonging to you and then credits you for that sale
  6. The merchant updates the reports so that they show all the traffic or clicks as well as sales that are generated from your referral link
  7. Lastly, you receive your commission for all the leads or sales you referred in the previous month and it normally depends on the merchant’s payment policy. This usually happens on monthly basis.

What this video.

How do you become an affiliate?

If the idea of joining affiliate program interests you, the first thing that you will need to do is to choose whether to become an affiliate, acquire affiliates or even both. In case you currently operate an ecommerce site and you are looking to boost your sales, it could be a good idea to start own affiliate program.

But if you have a small content-driven site that you run as a hobby and which you would like to bring you some money to for covering production costs, it would be a good idea to join an affiliate program. Your choice depends on the aspects of affiliate marketing that could serve your site in the best possible manner as well as the amount of money that you are willing to spend.

It is relatively easy to become an affiliate. Just visit the website of an affiliate network and then complete an online application for becoming a member. You will be required to provide some personal information like your name, address and method of payment among other things.

You will also need to provide information regarding your site and this includes your URL, name as well as description of content. Lastly, you will need to agree to the terms of service of that particular merchant. Majority of affiliate networks are entirely free for affiliates.

Upon the affiliate network approving your application, you may begin taking affiliate programs that are of interest to you. Since most of affiliate networks happen to be free for affiliates, keep away from programs that demand upfront charges from you. They could be a scam.