The idea behind it is that you promote other people’s products, often through an affiliate network, earning a commission if people actually end up buying thanks to your marketing.
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make. Affiliate marketing programs can be seen as the process of spreading product creation and product marketing across different parties, where each party receives a share of the revenue according to their contribution. It’s not just the promotion or just the product creation that defines who you are as an affiliate marketer.
You can be both the creator and the marketer and still profit from the underlying idea of sharing revenue. The Merchant: Sometimes also known as the creator, the seller, the brand, the retailer, or the vendor. This is the party that creates the product. It can be a big company. Or, it can be a single individual who sells online courses to other entrepreneurs. From solo entrepreneurs to startups to massive Fortune 500 companies, anyone could be the merchant behind an affiliate marketing program. They don’t even have to be actively involved. They just have to have a product to sell.
This party is sometimes also known as the publisher. Affiliates can also range from single individuals to entire companies. An affiliate marketing business can produce a few hundred dollars in commissions each month or tens of millions of dollars. It’s where marketing happens. An affiliate promotes one or multiple affiliate products and tries to attract and convince potential customers of the value of the merchant’s product so that they actually end up buying it. This can be achieved by running a review blog of the merchant’s products. It could also be an entire site that’s dedicated to finding cool products related to a certain topic and promoting those affiliate products.
The customer or consumer is the main player in the creation of income to the affiliates who promote the product. Without sales, there aren’t any commissions to hand out and no revenue to be shared. The affiliate will try to market to the consumer on whatever channel they see fit, whether that’s a social network, digital billboards or through a search engine using content marketing on a blog. The consumer will not typically pay a higher price to the affiliate marketer, as the cost of the affiliate network is already included in the retail price. Anyone can sign up and generate an income from their affiliation from affiliate products when someone purchases the product through their affiliate links.
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