What is Affiliate Marketing?

Do you have a website, blog, or social media outlet?  Chances are, if you do, you have heard someone talk about affiliate marketing (also known as Performance Marketing) as a way to make money.  But, what is affiliate marketing and how does it work?

If you are new to the affiliate marketing World, it can seem dark and mysterious.  And if you have heard of affiliate marketing, you may have heard some of the horror stories of the early spammer days.  Affiliate marketing is much, much more.  Let’s try to shed some light on that was once dark and mysterious.

What is an Affiliate?

Affiliates are the ones that work to introduce their visitors to the merchant’s brand. They can do this by writing a post about a new product or promotion for that merchant.  They can also feature banner ads or offer special coupon codes that might drive their readers to make a purchase from that merchant.  If a purchase takes place through that affiliate link, the affiliate earns commission for that sale.

How does affiliate marketing work?

The basics of affiliate marketing really revolves around an affiliate performing some sort of action and then receiving monetary rewards for that action.  Most affiliate programs work on a revenue share basis.  This simply means, the affiliate drives a consumer to make a purchase and the affiliate receives a portion of the sale as commission.

The merchant generally tracks these sales thru an affiliate link.  The affiliate link can be found within the affiliate’s own account within the network (ie, Shareasale, CJ Affiliate, Pepperjam, Rakuten Affiliate Network, formerly LinkShare, and others).  The affiliate will place their unique affiliate link within their blog post or any other personal method of promotion.  (website, blog, social media outlet).

Have you become an affiliate and need help finding your affiliate links?  Check out these tutorials.

Getting Links
at ShareASale

Deep Linking
at CJ Affiliate

Creating Product Links
at Pepperjam Network