Understanding Affiliate Marketing

Nick Galov, HostingTribunal.com

If you spend enough time on the internet, you’ll eventually see the term “affiliate marketing.”

Many people swear by it, and some even promise you can use affiliate marketing to make a small fortune. The numbers make it seem even more impressive – affiliate marketing is worth over $12 billion worldwide.

But what is affiliate marketing anyway?

If this is your question, you’ve come to the right place. To begin with, we’ll explain how affiliate marketing works in the simplest terms. Then, we’ll point out a few common misconceptions you should be wary of.

Imagine this: you own a company that has a product to sell. You want to market the product. You also want a marketing strategy that has a minimal risk of losing money if it fails.

There is a simple solution. What if you could get a bunch of salespeople to promote your product and pay them a small commission for every successful sale? The strategy has to be profitable, as the company only spends money on commissions if it earns money through sales.

Now, this is just as beneficial to the salespeople. They market products and earn money without concerning themselves with product creation, storage, delivery, or anything in between. They just need to convince people to buy.

This is exactly how affiliate marketing works. The internet allows product owners to recruit a lot of affiliates who market the products. What’s more, as online retail grows three times faster than brick-and-mortar sales, affiliates can reach huge audiences over the internet, meaning they can make plenty of money if they do their job properly.

Mind you, just because you can earn a lot as an affiliate, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. One common misconception about affiliate marketing is that it’s a fast track to getting rich.

Well, you might get rich eventually, but it takes a lot of work and time to do it. It takes time to build an audience that wants to purchase the products you market. You shouldn’t get into affiliate marketing thinking you’ll become wealthy overnight.

However, if you’re interested in joining the ranks of affiliates, the process is pretty straightforward. You first join an affiliate network – an organization that brings affiliates and product owners together. After being approved, you can get affiliate links to products.

You can place these links anywhere on the internet, usually on your website or social media page. If somebody clicks your affiliate link and buys a product, you earn a commission. Both you and the product owner profit. It’s pretty simple.

But wait:

Getting an affiliate link is actually the easy part. The challenge with affiliate marketing is growing an audience. As we’ve established, it takes time to get a large enough following, be it on your website or social media account. You have to put in a serious effort to market yourself first before you can market the product.

Still, if you’re not afraid of putting in the hours and making an effort to get a loyal audience, affiliate marketing might just be the thing for you. Now that know the gist of it, you’re ready to decide if it would interest you.

And if you need more info, the graphic below is a great resource to learn about affiliate marketing.