Simply put, affiliate marketing is selling products on a commission basis. You own a business that advertises and sells products for other companies. You may have a product of your own to begin with or not. The things that a successful affiliate marketer must have are:
1. Your website is the jumping off point of all your marketing efforts. So the first step in any successful affiliate marketing business is building a good, credible and professional looking website. You must build a user-friendly website, which will attract your prospects and motivate them to click on the links to the products and services you are promoting and make a purchase. There are companies whose business is building websites that you can hire to build one for you.
2. You must find products to sell, you must be able to determine whether there is a demand for those products and if people will actually buy them. You may either have your own original product or products that are made by others. Which ever way you go, you must believe in the products.
3. It will be necessary for you to become an adept advertiser and be able to tell whether the advertising you are paying for is producing more income for you than the advertising is costing you.
4. It is necessary that you have good mathematical skills. You will need to be able to track your sales and determine profit, as well as, see to it that your suppliers are paid in full and on time.
5. You need the full and unwavering support of your family so that you can devote the time and energy necessary to launch your affiliate marketing business.
Affiliate Marketer Defined
According to The World’s Glossary of Internet Terms, “Affiliate Marketer is defined as: “A business relationship with a merchant or other service provider who allows you to link to that business. When a visitor clicks on the link at your site and subsequently makes a purchase from the merchant, you receive a commission based on the amount of the sale, a referral fee or a pay-for-click fee.”
This is a simple, straight-forward agreement between a merchant and an affiliate. Budding affiliate marketers run into a problem when they try to reverse the success process. Instead of starting at the beginning, they try to start at the end.
Making money is the end of the process. The beginning of the process is education and there are several steps in between. Too many people, who are just getting started in affiliate marketing, fail to take the steps necessary to get to the end of the process and actually make money.
Step #1: Educate yourself. This is the key, opening the door of opportunity. It’s also the common thread connecting successful affiliate marketers. Education lays the foundation – the building blocks to success. Start by gathering the best information you can find about affiliate marketing and absorbing it.
Step #2: Turn that information into usable knowledge. Even the best information remains kind of worthless, however, until after you discover how to use it – how to make it serve your purpose.
Step #3: Start applying the knowledge … take action …start building your affiliate business. Will you make mistakes, even though you’ve invested all that time educating yourself? Yes, you most likely will make mistakes.
Step #4: Test and tweak, test and tweak. This one never ends. And it’s often the dividing line between succeeding and failing. Attention to small details often returns big rewards.
Following these steps will define you as a successful affiliate marketer.
Are Affiliates in Demand?
Is there a demand for affiliate marketers today? Yes, there is a huge demand. One of the challenges faced in the affiliate marketing industry is that it sometimes sounds too good to be true: advertising that’s guaranteed to work or it’s free! Newcomers wonder if it’s possible, and skeptics claim that the cost effective prices of affiliate marketing lower the bar for online advertising. But there is a good reason that affiliate marketing has experienced steady growth throughout the ups and downs of online advertising—it works. And affiliate marketing has evolved to become a reliable source of sales for a wide range of marketers.
Affiliate marketing has evolved from the early years when some touted it as the future of online advertising, and others claimed it was the downfall of the medium. It’s now a sophisticated channel that generates anywhere from five to 25% of online sales for many of the world’s biggest brands.
Almost all major multi-channel marketers have an affiliate program of some kind. The important thing to remember is that affiliate programs now come in all shapes and sizes. The concept of a wide-open affiliate program with an unlimited and uncontrolled number of affiliates is a thing of the past. Nearly all marketers agree that affiliates add value to an online marketing effort, but the program must be tailored to meet the marketer’s objectives.
Affiliate marketing did not bring an end to other, higher priced forms of online media advertising. The success of the affiliate marketing in delivering sales cost effectively by way of a pay-for-performance model paved the way for other forms of performance-based advertising, such as CPA-based search and portal advertising, to create acceptance among direct marketers. Affiliate marketing has evolved, with affiliates and marketers becoming more sophisticated and programs more integrated with other forms of online marketing.