What is affiliate marketing?

One definition of Affiliate Marketing is that it is a process of Internet Marketing where by you, the website owner, can make money, by showing links or advertisements of an affiliate company that has agreed to pay you commissions when your site visitors have clicked a link or signed up for the affiliate service. There are several ways of setting up affiliate marketing programs to monetize your website either by showing affiliate links and banners or by offering an affiliate program of your own to drive traffic and business to your site.

There are 3 key players in the Affiliate Marketing model: 1. The Merchant 2. The Affiliate and 3. The Prospect Customer.

There are both Advantages and Disadvantages to the affiliate model and it all depends on your overall business objectives. Not all objectives are about monetization although that is often a key goal when using affiliate marketing. Other goals for the affiliate model can range from Branding to strategic marketing and competitive goals.

I was in the process of writing a piece on Affiliate marketing when what should arrive in my inbox but an article by SeoBook on the exact subject. Aaron Wall discusses in more detail the Pro’s and Con’s of the affiliate marketing process.

While many make a very good living doing Affiliate marketing,  “In 2006, MarketingSherpa estimated online affiliates worldwide earned US$6.5 billion in commissions”, there are also now a lot more people involved in affiliate marketing than there once was, just a couple of years ago. So it is important to be clear about your objectives, strategy and outcomes.

If you are interested Affiliate marketing, you can find out more about what others say at Sphinn.

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