People often want to earn commissions by selling products or services, but do not own a company, or have their own products, or even have a website. This does not exclude them from making a decent living in the sales industry; they can become affiliate marketers. Countless thousands of domestic and foreign companies want independent help in promoting their merchandise, and contrary to popular belief, affiliate marketing is not a closed industry.
Becoming an affiliate marketer for someone else’s product line is not a new fad. In fact, it has been a staple of the sales industry for centuries. In today’s internet-based economy, old-fashioned word-of-mouth has a new meaning, because information exchange is not only lightning fast, it is available to just about everyone on the planet. The way companies conduct their everyday business, from testing out new products to keeping established customers, revolves around the 21st century version of getting the word out.
Basically, affiliate marketing in its contemporary dress is rather simple: an affiliate marketer seeks a company whose products or services are interesting and saleable, and then decides to help out with the promotion of that company’s product. In return, the affiliate earns a share of the profit. For example, if Company “A” sells garden gnomes, they are probably advertised on the internet. Company “A” will have their own website, complete with product information about their garden gnomes, and customers can order by placing items in a shopping cart and proceeding to online checkout, paying with a credit or debit card. In addition, the company advertises on Google, Internet Explorer, or other search engines. An affiliate is allowed to participate in the same advertising game.
The independent affiliate will obtain a special destination URL code that is incorporated into all online text, video or banner ads. Customers who click on these advertisements will signal a charge to the affiliate’s account with the search engine company. The affiliate, in other words, is charged on a pay-per-click basis even if the potential customer does not buy anything after being directed to the Company “A” website. But if they do purchase product, the embedded code in the advertisement will record the sale as one made by the affiliate, and he or she will earn a percentage of the sale.
This is a very simple explanation of online affiliate marketing. Obviously, the affiliate will want to promote services or products that seem to have enough appeal for a large internet audience, otherwise the advertisements created will not receive enough traffic to make the venture worthwhile. Also, the affiliate marketer will need to gain knowledge about online advertising. This includes knowing how to set a budget, how much to charge for a click-through, and what search engine optimization (SEO) tools should be employed.
A new strategy being employed today involves the use of social networking sites as a tool for directing traffic to an advertising link. Of extreme importance is the understanding that an affiliate cannot market a product simply because it is well-known or greatly desired. Unless advertisements are worded correctly and are quite relevant to the web page to which they direct the consumer, the search engine companies will not give a favourable rating, and the ad will rarely show. Although little or no advertising dollars are lost because of this, a great amount of time is wasted, and it becomes easy for the affiliate to become discouraged.
Rule Number One for individuals who want to get in on the affiliate marketing game is to find a good tutorial that explains in detail how to sign up with companies looking for advertising help, and also how to successfully market any product using the search engines. It is a matter of trial and error, but persistent affiliate marketers will usually find good products to promote, and gain a foothold in the world of internet marketing.