Have you ever asked someone what they do for a living and they answered, “Affiliate Marketing?” If you haven’t yet, you might sometime in the near future, because it is an increasingly popular and lucrative way for individuals to work from the comfort of their own home. It’s also an attractive option for large marketing firms who work with volume to create large commissions. So just what is this Affiliate Marketing thing and how does it work?
There are three different bodies involved in Affiliate Marketing. The first one is the advertiser. For our purposes, an advertiser is any individual or organization that offers a product or products for sale on the internet. They have a viable website with a working landing page to handle sales. Advertisers can sell anything, from gum to shoes to insurance, it doesn’t matter. Imagine that a company that sells bean bag chairs has had some slow sales, and they need to get more traffic to their website to buy bean bag chairs.
The second party involved is the consumer. In today’s web environment, consumers are constantly bombarded with offers from a variety of sellers. I often go onto the Internet to look up information on one item, and I get instantly sidetracked to completely unrelated websites until I realize 20 minutes later I have no idea why I logged on. Customers need help to focus. Imagine someone who needs a new bean bag chair, but hasn’t started shopping for one yet.
The third entity in this equation is the publisher, or Affiliate Marketer. This person or organization is in the business of increasing sales for their customers (the advertisers). They enter into an agreement with the advertiser to push traffic to their website for a percentage of the sales that they create. For our example, the marketer would publish blogs, advertisements, banners, or articles about bean bag chairs. When the customer sees any one of these, they think, “hey, I need a bean bag chair,” and they click on the link. They are then redirected to the advertiser’s landing site, where they can quickly and easily purchase the bean bag chair they need. When the sale is concluded, the Affiliate Marketer gets paid the agreed upon percentage of the sale.
While this may be an oversimplified explanation of Affiliate Marketing, it gives you the main idea. Marketers create web content that drives consumers to the advertisers websites, leading to more sales. For their efforts, they get paid a percentage of the sales, like a commission. So the next time someone tells you they’re in Affiliate Marketing, now you know what they do!