What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is form of online marketing where you refer a product to a person, and when he/she buys the product on your referral you receive a commission.
Affiliate marketing is really nothing more than referring customers to a business. If they make a purchase, or take another qualifying action, you earn a commission. While individual commissions are small in affiliate marketing, they can be quite impressive when combined. There are also many ways that affiliate marketing can work.
What’s Affiliate Marketing All About?
Affiliate marketing has been around in one form or another almost since the Internet was born. It’s really nothing more than marketing a company’s products or services through your own website, blog, or even in a mobile application. In exchange for marketing on their behalf, companies will pay you a commission if a visitor you refer takes a “qualifying action”, which usually (but not always) means making a purchase.
Manufacturers and service providers do a lot of advertising on their own. However, they know that they cannot reach every audience member, everywhere. So, they’re willing to pay those who help them spread the word about what they have to offer.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
There are several different ways in which an affiliate program might work. In one situation, you might sign up directly with the company as an affiliate. You’d place links on your website or blog, or if you’re an app developer, you might run ads within your app. When a customer clicks on those links or on that ad, they’re taken to a relevant website, often the manufacturer or service provider’s website or to the product listing. There, they can make a purchase. If they do, you’re credited with a commission and you earn money.
How Has Affiliate Marketing Changed Over the Years?
As mentioned, affiliate marketing has been around for a very long time. It hasn’t remained static. In fact, it’s evolved a good bit. Once, only a select few were able to become affiliates. Then, affiliate networks arose, giving everyday people the opportunity to join multiple programs. Today, affiliate marketing is no longer the sole province of websites or blogs, either. You’ll find it playing a role in video content, on social media sites, and even within mobile applications.
Considerations with Affiliate Marketing
Interested in generating passive income through affiliate marketing? Many people are, and it’s an excellent way to increase the number of income streams you have and diversify your income. However, there are a few things that you’ll need to consider. These include the following:
- Affiliate Requirements – Some affiliate programs have very stringent requirements that affiliates need to meet. Make sure you’re aware of these.
- It Requires Work – While there’s not a ton of effort involved with affiliate marketing, there are periods of intense work, and you need to be prepared to put in the effort.
- Passion – While not necessarily a requirement, it helps if you’re passionate about whatever it is you’re marketing, or the market in which it is positioned.
Affiliate marketing can provide you with alternate streams of income, and it can even provide you with a full-time income, but it’s not something to start blindly.