Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Introduction to Online Affiliate Marketing.

Online Affiliate Marketing is a revenue sharing venture between an Ad publisher/website owner(you) and an online Merchant. As an Ad pbulisher, you will place advertisements on your websites to either help sell the merchant's products or to send potential customers to the merchant's website, all in exchange for a share of the profits.

So what affiliate marketing means briefly?

* You build a content rich website about some related matter, apply to an affiliate program to get an affiliate link and drive traffic to a merchant's site on the affiliate program network.

* The merchant may be selling a product eg DVDs or e books, or they may be trying to sign on clients eg a bank. The merchant pays you a commission once the visitor has completed the desired action eg bought a product or completed a registration form

The merchant knows that the visitor is from you because you link to the merchant's site through a special affiliate link. This link is unique to you and you alone. Other affiliates will have their own special affiliate link which is different from yours.

There are three ways to earn money through affiliate marketing:

1) Pay per Click or Cost-per-click affiliate programs: Every time a potential customer leaves the affiliate website by "clicking" on the link leading to the merchant's website, a certain amount of money is deposited in the affiliate's account. This amount can be pennies or dollars depending on the product and amount of the commission.

2) Pay per Lead or Cost-per-lead affiliate programs: The merchant pays the affiliate a set fee for each visitor who clicks through and takes and action at the merchant's site, such as completing an online survey, registering at the site, or opting-in to receive e-mail.

3) Pay per Sale or Cost-per-sale affiliate programs: Every time a sale is made as a result of advertising on the affiliate's website, a percentage, or commission, is deposited into the affiliate's account.

Some affiliate marketing programs are two-tier programs, where the affiliate is also allowed to recommend other affiliates to the merchant. In such an affiliate program, the affiliate not only gets paid for the traffic or sales that he direct to the merchant's site but also for the traffic or sales directed by the affiliates who signed up with the program through his recommendation. This allows other people to grow your profits for you.

Basically, you  need a website/blog to promote your products. And secondly drive traffic to your site. once your site is up and running, you can continue to earn money from it whether you are in bed, on holiday or sleeping as long as traffic keeps coming to your website. This is called Passive Income.

With some reputable affiliate programs, the person does not actually have to buy during that First click.

For instance, let's say John landed on your website, clicked on your affiliate link to a DVD player ad on your website. He gets taken to the DVD player Merchant's site, looks at the sales page and then goes off without purchasing.

During that click a cookie is placed on John's computer. This cookie is just a bit of code that says that the computer has viewed a product on a specified date. It also has a record of who referred John to the DVD player site i.e. you

A week later, John remembers DVD player, remembers the URL of DVD player merchant's website and types it into the web browser of his computer. He does not use your affiliate link on this occasion. He goes directly to DVD player merchant's webpage and decides that he would like to buy it after all.

He whips out his credit card and makes the purchase. When John went back to Merchant's webpage, the cookie left on his desktop kicked in. The webpage recognizes John as being refered by you.

What does this mean? You get your commission.

Cookies could be valid for as little as one day to 60 days. There are even some cookies that are lifetime cookies. As long as the purchase is made from the computer where the cookie is stored, within the time limit of the cookie, you get your commission.

Benefit of Affiliate Marketing to you.

* You do not need to develop your own product. You make money promoting other peoples product.
* You have no responsibility for after sales service for the product. This is all handled by the merchant.
* You do not deal with shipping or storage or packaging or inventories. the merchant deals with all that too.
* You can promote one product, several products, drop a product if you are not satisfied with it.

With so many different ways to earn money online, online affiliate marketing is undoubtedly the fastest growing and easiest way to make money by selling other people's products online. How much money you can earn from affiliate marketing depends entirely on you. Put in dedication and hard work and Always remember, the most successful affiliate marketers are the ones who take action.

Feel free to leave comments or ask questions below!

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