What is Affiliate Marketing? - HodgesNet

Affiliate marketing is a huge part of the Internet marketing puzzle. Essentially, it is all about marketing other people’s products or services for a commission – Not selling.

Literally 1,000’s of businesses (merchants) enlist the services of bloggers, social-media-ites, pay per click marketers and many more (affiliates) to promote their products and services in return for a commission of the sale.

Affiliate marketing – a cost effective way of marketing

Over the years affiliate marketing has proved to be a cost effective and highly measurable method of delivering long-term results. Many people who want to make some extra cash, dive into affiliate marketing. Every day there are new sign up’s for many different affiliate campaigns, but in most cases these new affiliates do not fully understand how to make it work for them properly in the affiliate world – some even make costly mistakes.

On the flip side, many merchants don’t understand what work is involved to keep affiliates motivated to keep promoting their products and services.

The biggest and most common misconception that is associated with affiliate marketing is that of ‘selling’ – though selling is an important activity of affiliate marketing and the central function of a business operation, an affiliate does not sell on behalf of the merchant. All the affiliate is tasked with doing is sending interested people to the merchant’s website for a commission of any lead, sale or transaction that will then follow. Different merchants pay out in different ways:

  • A percentage of the initial sale
  • A recurring commission for the lifetime of the customers subscription
  • A fixed commission for a lead generation form to be filled in

A quick run down on how affiliate marketing works

affiliate marketing

We have taken a slide out of our affiliate marketing training day and will walk you through this to give you an idea on how it all works.

  1. Firstly the Affiliate, after deciding what they want to promote, will join an affiliate System to look for merchants who sell that product or service.
  2. After building a website with relevant content, they will apply to joing an affiliate scheme through the system of their chosen merchants.
  3. The affiliate then uses graphics and content produced by the merchant to add to their website.
  4. Using SEO, social media, email marketing or PPC (internet marketing methods) the affiliate will promoted their website to targeted people on the internet.
  5. After this work takes ground in the search engines, potential customers will come to the affiliate site and read the content.
  6. Hopefully they will then click on an affiliate link or advert to go to the merchant’s website.
  7. If the customer makes a purchase, the source of that customer is tracked and then the merchant pays the affiliate system.
  8. After clearance, the Affiliate system will then pay the affiliate the commission as promised.

There is a bit more to it, that’s why we spend a day looking at all of this with client and those wanting to earn money as an affiliate, but that is it in a nutshell.

Making affiliate marketing work for you

Affiliate marketing is a great way if using Internet marketing to help earn an extra income, but also for merchants to create a team of commission only sales people for their products and services.

Making it work for both the affiliate and the merchant can be a tricky balancing act though. We can help you get that balance right.

To make things really work, affiliates need to understand:

  • SEO and Web Marketing Techniques
  • How to build sites that visitors take action on
  • How to continue to communicate without looking like you are spamming people with affiliate links all the time
  • Where to find the right merchants to sign up to

Every merchant needs to understand:

  • Affiliates want you to do the hard work to create content and graphics to use
  • Tiny percentages don’t work… otherwise they wont bother marketing your products
  • How to promote your super affiliates and encourage the smaller guys
  • Where to get your affiliate marketing system set up to protect you from scam artists

If you would like to know more about how you can get a team of commission only sales people to be marketing your products for you, or indeed if you want to learn from our team about how you can generate an extra income online, please call HodgesNet on +44(0)8432 894 402 or use the contact form on the top of this page to get in touch.

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