What is Online Affiliate Marketing
There are many different ways to make money online on the Internet. More and more people are shopping online and that creates opportunities for the “aspiring Internet Marketer”. I have already covered the “Who Can Do This” here on FactsAboutInternetMarketing.com.
Today I will be discussing the affiliate marketing arm of the Internet Online Market. I will show you what it is, how it operates, who the players are, where the money comes from and most importantly, what you need and how you can get started today. Yea, that’s about right. I will help you to get started today and it will cost you……………. $0.00.
Definition of Affiliate Marketing
Definition: A way for a company to sell its products by signing up individuals or companies (“affiliates”) who market the company’s products for a commission.
From all the different definitions that float around out there, I like this one the best. It makes it sound easy and simple. But hold on……..There is way more to it than that. Let’s take a closer look at that one.
Who Are The Players?
- The Merchant, also called the Advertiser is the business selling a product or service.
- The Affiliate, also called the Publisher is the entity that promotes said products or services. In the world of the Internet, this is done with website(s) which “publish” free information
- Customer is the person or business that buys the product or services
- An Affiliate Network is a contract entity to track affiliate transactions. The merchant out sources the task of recording the transaction and payment of the commissions, to the affiliate network. The best known affiliate networks are Commission Junction, LinkShare or ShareaSale. For example, BestBuy uses LinkShare as the “go-between”, while Amazon handles the task itself.
What are Affiliate Programs?
Many companies have an affiliate program to form a partnership with a person or company, which are willing to promote the merchant’s product or services.
The affiliate agreement, which the affiliate will have to agree to, includes many terms but always these:
- The compensation structure
- Advertisement regulations
- Copyright Infringement terms
- Cookie duration
Finding out what companies do have an affiliate program is, basically, very easy. All it takes is a simple Google search. Assume you want to target a customer group that is interested in purchasing a digital camera. Type “Digital Camera + affiliate program” into the search box and you will find a high number of merchants with an affiliate program
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Let’s suppose I see your website because my search “where can I find a good deal on a digital camera” showed your site on the first page that came up. I am reading your content describing a good camera that is indeed $85.00 less than at all the other places I checked out. I decide to buy this camera and click on the link, which takes me to MERCHANT A’s website. Naturally, I put it in my shopping card, pay with my credit card and in a few days I will be the proud owner of a new camera.
Your affiliate link cookie lets the merchant and/or the affiliate network know THAT IT WAS YOU sending the customer and you will receive your commission. I love affiliate marketing for obvious reasons.
- The affiliate does not have to buy and inventory any merchandise or perform any services
- The affiliate does not have to ship the product
- Only in the above case the affiliate gets paid
Sounds too easy, does it not? It is not that easy. To begin, build and maintain a successful and lucrative Affiliate Marketing business requires a lot of determination, a lot of effort and a lot of work. In this respect it is like any other business. The good thing though is that you can start up without any investment.
How Can I Start My Affiliate Marketing Business?
There seems to be a lot of confusion about this topic. Many people have failed because they lacked the knowledge necessary to succeed. Stick with me for a little while longer and I will show you the FOUR STEPS it takes.
Step 1: Build The Foundation Of Your Business – A Website!
You need a WEBSITE you own! This is important because the website will be the foundation or “store front” of your online business. I always compare websites with houses. There are very nice looking houses and there are, to be honest, not so nice looking houses.
I feel much more comfortable visiting a nice looking house than a “shack”. The same is true in respect to websites. So in actuality, the website is your Virtual House in the online business world.
So keep that in mind when you start building your business. You don’t have to worry about the “actual process of building the website”. Over the past 10 years the process as been simplified so that anyone, and I repeat that, anyone can build the framework of a professional looking WordPress website in less than one minute.
Let me explain, in a nut shell, what WordPress is and what it does. Their system provides the framework for hundred of thousands websites. You can choose from more than 1,400 different templates and their automated system installs many functions necessary. All of that takes “behind the scenes. This allows you to effortlessly customize the design without the need to learn any of the programming languages. Take peek how easy it is to create a WordPress website.
Step 2: The Content of Your Website – Furnishing Your Virtual House
Now you have your “virtual house” but it needs furniture. And so does your newly created website. In our world we call the “furniture” CONTENT and just like furniture, content will be a variety of items. Content will be text, images, videos and comments.
You decided to make your money in the Affiliate Marketing business, picked your niche and entered affiliate agreements with different merchants to promote their products or services. Therefore, the content on your website MUST be based on the theme of your niche (read the page “About Content” here on FactsAboutInternetMarketing.com)
And the better the quality of the content on your website is, the more potential customers will come to visit. Your high quality content will lead to revenue and long term business.
Step 3: Getting Traffic To Your Website
OK, you built your website and put quality content on it. What now? I like to stick with my analogy “Virtual House” to make this important point. You entered the virtual world, the Internet, but unfortunately, the high traffic downtown areas were all taken and you had to build your virtual house way out in the “’burbs”.
- That means that YOU will have to find a way to divert traffic to your location. There are different ways to do that:
- Creating Quality Content on a continuing basis
- Getting High Rankings in Google, Yahoo and Bing (coming from content)
- Creating Videos
- Paid Traffic
- Ad space sales
You know the saying “the devil is in the details” and that is all so true. Let me list a few of these details:
- What are Keywords
- How to research keywords
- How to use Keyword
- What is SEO
- How to write Quality Content
- How to work with Images/Videos
- How to Index with Google, Yahoo and Bing
- How to achieve a High Ranking in Google
- How to achieve Google Verification
- How to create a HTML Sitemap
These and many other things need to be learned and practiced before you can achieve success and create a lucrative income. And that brings us to…….
STEP 4: Do Not Do This Alone!
I just gave you a fountain of information about the “What’s” and the “How’s” of Affiliate Marketing, and I am sure you realize that you will need help. Not from one of the many scam artists that are out there, but from a reputable and totally legitimate online company.
Wealthy Affiliate is not a “product” but an online program that teaches it’s members step-by-step the INS and OUTS of the Internet Marketing Business. There you will achieve a solid foundation of knowledge that is absolutely necessary to become successful.
This is NOT a GET RICH QUICK SYSTEM, but a systematical and almost college like learning institution. It is the perfect affiliate marketing training you will be able to find anywhere.
I call it “My Hangout” and I invite you to join me at Wealthy Affiliate where you will learn and practice everything you need to know to become successful (Read the Wealthy Affiliate Review now) for more details.
You will like the fact that it is FREE to join. Yes, that is true. You will not need a credit card and there are no strings attached. TAKE ACTION NOW! Click on the link below and then choose the $0 Starter Membership option.
And you will be on your way to success!
My name is John and if you have any questions, concerns or comments, just drop me a note below. I will be more than happy to help you out.