Affiliate marketing – The basics
What is an affiliate marketer?
Ever heard of the term affiliate marketer? I’m sure most people reading this probably have. In fact, you may have found this article when you searched for the term ‘what is an affiliate marketer?’ Probably because you want to know exactly what an affiliate marketer is, and what they do.
So let’s see if we can clarify things a little. When you become an affiliate marketer you basically form a business relationship with a service provider or a merchant who sells a product or a range of products that they allow you to promote on their behalf. They will provide an affiliate link that will enable you to send visitors to their website from yours. Actually, the link can just as easily be placed in a blog, an email list or an advertisement on someone else’s website, as long as permission has been given by the merchant you’re trying to promote.
If a customer goes on to purchase something from your affiliate partner’s website, then you will earn a commission based on an agreed percentage of the total amount. This will depend on their affiliate agreement terms and conditions that you will be asked to agree to. For example, you might get a basic level of commission, which may or may not increase in proportion to the sales you generate. This greatly depends on the amount of traffic you send, and the conversion rate that is achieved. Commissions can vary enormously between 2% right up to 70% or more. The higher rates are generally associated with digital product sales which don’t incur high overheads and cost very little to produce. In some cases the referral fee may be solely based on a ‘pay per click’ conversion.
Many people seeking to make money on the Internet have entered such business arrangements and they can be very lucrative. A good affiliate marketer will have learned the best methods used to attract potential customers to make the process profitable.
Once you have learned the basics of affiliate marketing, and learned how to ‘pre-sell’ successfully, it’s not that hard to get good at this. As a beginner however, there’s quite a few techniques you will need to learn and put into practise to be consistently successful. Most ‘newbies’ make mistakes when first starting out down this road. It’s easy to run into problems, but once you have learned what works and what doesn’t work then this could be a good income opportunity if you are level headed and persistent.
Being educated is the first step, and the best way to do this is by finding a mentor who can teach you the right methods from the start. One of the best internet marketers at the moment is Chris Farrell. Chris is not only a very succesful marketer, he has great teaching skills. His internet marketing service has been voted the number one online by IMReport card and the many good reviews are testament to his training ability and the excellent courses and materials he provides.
So to quickly summarise, the first step to succeed as an affiliate marketer is to get properly educated. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s essential to pay for your education, there is plenty of free advice online if you know where to look, But choosing a good mentor will speed up the process drastically. Trying to learn the correct affiliate marketing methods from a few articles here and there can usually be a bit of a hit and miss affair. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of conflicting advice online that could easily confuse you or send you off in the wrong direction. This would surely delay your efforts, during which time you could be making money from doing it correctly.
The second step is to put into practise what you learn. It’s easy to gain the knowledge, but if you think this is an easy way to make money you may be disappointed. You need to be realistic and prepare a good business plan to organise your time, research and finance your web development properties so that they will work for you, and implement the correct procedures. Having the knowledge is one thing, knowing what to do with it is quite another. If you’re lazy minded, or not prepared to put in the effort required, then this may not be the industry for you.
One more thing… be selective. If you want to be a successful affiliate marketer you not only need to be regularly active, you need to do some diligent research and choose the affiliate programs that will suit you. Selecting the right niche and having a deep understanding of the market will be a definite advantage.
Just remember, you’ll probably make mistakes in the beginning, but you can learn from them and use them to improve your knowledge, instead of looking on them as failures. Choose to view them as a learning experience and an opportunity to improve and grow your business.