Affiliate marketing is one of the best and most profitable ways to market online. Affiliate Marketing is when someone becomes a promoter or representative of a product via an application process and abidement by a set of rules known as the “terms of service” (TOS). The affiliate may use their own website, blog, marketing list, social media contacts or other forms of promotion, as well as combining these methods to link to the merchant’s website using a unique encoded link that identifies and tracks credit for the sale. The merchant in turn pays a commission to the affiliate on the sales generated by the affiliate’s link. The merchant pays the affiliate when a customer uses their link to make a purchase. It is important to note the the customer is not charged extra for purchasing through an affiliate link, the commision comes out of the retailer’s markup.
It is advantageous for the merchant to have affiliates further promoting their products and it’s good for the affiliate because they do not have to stock or ship merchandise or deal with customer service. Merchants and affiliates reap the benefits in affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing can give maximum exposure to a product it might not normally receive with other advertising methods. Obviously, the more affiliates a merchant has doing promotion, the more traffic, and hence, more potential sales. For the merchants it is like having an online salesforce advertising and promoting for them.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn income online. The product is provided by the the merchant and the affiliate is the salesforce, so both the merchant and the affiliate benefit from this reciprocal relationship. Affiliate programs are free to join most of the time, so start-up costs are minimal. There are also thousands of products and services with affiliate programs that may be relevant to your blog’s subject matter.
Most affiliate programs offer support when it comes to supplying the necessary marketing tools, such as links and banners. In affiliate marketing your main goal is to find sales prospects and drive or “push” traffic to the merchant. Affiliates don’t have to keep product inventory, process orders, ship products, or handle returns. These concerns are that of the merchant. You are, however, a representative of a product so the merchant you represent is a reflection of your name and the reputation of your business.
Because of the expansive reach of the internet and endless ways to market you can find thousands of prospective customers. You can increase your advertising by using creative marketing strategies like viral marketing, video, email and social media. The more prospects you attract, the more potential profit there is to earn. Another plus of being an affiliate marketer is there is minimal risk. If you are advertising something that is not making money then you can move on to something else.
Some downsides to affiliate marketing are stiff competition, a learning curve, a lot of rules, and an everchanginging marketplace. Many niches are flooded by expert marketerers who dominate that area. Learning to market online as with anything else does present challenges and obstacles. The rules are everchanging and relate to not actually presenting yourself as “the merchant” or misleading customers who are searching for one thing and directing them to something else, or making claims that are not true or that the merchant does not endorse. Also, a product may be hot one day and not so hot the next. It is important for an affiliate to be aware of this and adjust their marketing accordingly.
The best reason to be an affiliate marketer is the opportunity to make an income online. Whether it is a part-time business or fulltime endeavor. Almost all major retailers provide affiliate programs and information can usually be found near the bottom of their homepage. Also, there are many affiliate networks that offer different programs from diffent merchants all under one roof. There is a learning curve but it is well worth investigating and applying the efforts to become an affiliate. Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective and available business opportunities on the internet today.