You have often heard the term— Affiliate Marketing. Many bloggers and internet marketers who have been working into online marketing for years are familiar with affiliate marketing thing, but those ones who are new to blogging and SEO doesn’t know much about it. Nowadays, it is fact that it is the most lucrative way to earn money online, apart from Adsense or AdWords.
In this post, I will clear the basics of affiliate marketing giving you the details that you need to know about how affiliate marketing works.
Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing in which you refer someone to buy any product available on any website online and based on your recommendation for that product, when that person buys it , you in-return receive a commission from the online store.
This commission can vary from $1 to $10,000 depending on type of product you are recommending.
The most common question comes into mind is-- how the companies track the record of who is sending the traffic and making the sales? The simple answer is with a tracking URL--a unique link given to you by the affiliate company or product company.
This URL is used to keep track of all the traffic and sales you are making via your website or other promotional techniques. Many outdated affiliate programs allow a buyer to add the email or referral details in an effort to account for affiliate sales, but this is certainly not a good way to track sales.
Many online companies who sell products such as apparels, web-hosting spaces, or some other service, generally offer an affiliate program. You can simply sign up for those programs and get your unique tracking URL. Now, whenever you are writing about their product, you can simply use this special tracking & affiliate link to recommend the company’s store website.
If your readers buy any product through that link, you will get a commission.
Nearly all website’s affiliate program has Terms of Services. For example, many of them offer a 60-day cookie period, which means that if a visitor uses your special affiliate link to land on the sales page of their site and buys something within the next 60 days, then you will be entitled to the sale’s commission.
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Here are some of the common terms that you’ll find frequently associated with affiliate marketing:
Affiliates: Publishers like you and me who are using affiliate program links to promote and make sales of the websites.
Affiliate marketplace: There are many marketplaces like Shareasale, Clickbank, and CJ. These work as central databases for affiliate programs in different categories.
Affiliate software: Software used by companies to create an affiliate program for their product.
Affiliate link: Special tracking link offered by your affiliate program to track the progress and sales of your affiliate promotion.
Affiliate ID: Similar to the affiliate link, but many affiliate programs offer a special ID which you can add to any page of the product site.
Payment mode: Different affiliate programs offer different methods of payment, like PayPal, Check, wire transfer, etc.
Affiliate Manager/OPM: Many companies have dedicated affiliate managers to help publishers earn more by giving them some optimization tips.
Commission percentage/amount: The percentage or a fixed amount you will be getting as affiliate income from every sale.
2-tier affiliate marketing: This is a great way of making money from an affiliate program. With this system, you recommend others to join affiliate programs, and when a sub-affiliate makes a sale, you will receive a commission (similar to MLM or multi-level marketing). This income is also known as a sub-affiliate commission.
Landing pages: A unique product sales or demo page used for the purpose of increasing sales. Most of the programs that you will be promoting have many landing pages, and you can run A/B testing to see which pages convert best for you.
Custom affiliate income account: Unlike a generic affiliate account, many companies offer custom affiliate income to people making large number of affiliate sales for them.
Link clocking: Most of the affiliate tracking links are ugly. Using a link clocking technique like Thirsty Affiliates, URL shorteners, etc., you can turn ugly links into links that can be read and grasped by your readers.
Custom coupons: Various programs allow affiliates to create custom coupons which are also used to track sales. Custom discount coupons help you to increase affiliate sales as well. This is one of the best ways to receive free promotion for companies offering an affiliate program, thus saving substantially on advertising.
For example, whenever you see coupons or discount links, almost all of the time, these are affiliate links, and when you make a purchase, webmasters make money.