Saturday, December 18, 2010

Monetizing With Affiliate Marketing

What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to monetize your site.  Affiliate marketing as defined by Wikipedia:
Affiliate marketing is a marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate's own marketing efforts. Examples include rewards sites, where users are rewarded with cash or gifts, for the completion of an offer, and the referral of others to the site. The industry has four core players: the merchant (also known as 'retailer' or 'brand'), the network, the publisher (also known as 'the affiliate'), and the customer.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

The basic process of affiliate marketing works as follows:
  1. You sign up to be an affiliate of a program.
  2. You place ads on your site that link to products or the merchant's site (with your affiliate ID in the tracking code).
  3. A visitor on your site clicks an ad on your site for the merchant.
  4. They purchase a product from the merchant.
  5. You earn a commission (usually a percentage of the sale).
  6. The company pays your commission to you for your referral sale.
Those are the basic steps involved in an affiliate transaction.  Some merchants require that you meet a certain payment threshold before your commissions are released.  Others will pay you monthly regardless of your total commission earned.  A few may only award store credit for their merchant site instead of a cash commission.  Be sure to know what you are signing up for before starting to promote for an affiliate merchant program.  The commission earned will vary depending on the program you enroll in. 

buttonThe 2 Main Types Of Affiliate Programs

Direct Affiliates
You can sign up for an affiliate program directly from some merchant sites. is an excellent example of a site that promotes an affiliate program from their own page.  They have a tiered commission structure that increases to a higher commission based on the number of sales you refer in a given month.

Affiliate Networks
Other sites such as and are affiliate network programs.  Affiliate networks may have thousands of affiliate programs available through their one site.  This allows for some excellent opportunities to promote various products from multiple merchants with one major commission location.

When selecting products to promote be sure to choose products and merchants that are related to whatever niche you are in.  Also remember that placing too many ads on your main page can instantly scare away readers regardless of how great your content is.


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