What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing

As you browse the internet, you may have seen the term “affiliate marketing” on someone’s social media profile or blog. But what is affiliate marketing? How does it work? Read this guide for tips for affiliate marketing and how to get started. 

How Affiliate Marketing Works

Affiliate marketing is essentially earning a commission from a company for getting your audience to do something that company wants. The most common example is when you post a link to a product on your platform and then receive a payment for every person who buys that product using your link.

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Affiliate marketers are taking on the advertising responsibility for a company, and that’s what you’re getting paid to do. In addition to getting commissions for sales, some companies also offer incentives for getting leads or even page views. 

Usually, you don’t work with a company directly. Instead, you use an affiliate program or an affiliate network to link your platform with compatible companies. Then you post a link to a specific product or service on your website or social media profile and encourage your audience to use that product or service. 

What is an Affiliate Network?

Affiliate networks are the lynchpin in affiliate marketing. They are the companies that keep track of the whole process. They connect the purchases that a customer makes to the link the customer clicked, so the store knows whose commission it is. 

Even giant corporations use an affiliate network because the network handles the nuts and bolts of each transaction. They connect brands with potential affiliates and keep track of each interaction and sale. The network also makes sure you, the affiliate, get paid. 

How to Start in Affiliate Marketing

To start affiliate marketing, you need to have an audience already. If you run a small business, write a blog, host a podcast, or are a social media influencer, that is usually enough of an audience to appeal to an affiliate network. 

If you already review products or make suggestions to your audience, that will appeal to companies, too. They want your audience to trust your opinion and try their products based on your recommendation. Showing that you can do that, even before you have any affiliate partnerships, will help you launch a more successful affiliate marketing program. 

What Makes a Successful Affiliate Marketer?

Since there are millions of people online and tons of different influencers and content creators vying for attention, you might wonder, is affiliate marketing dead?


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It isn’t! Affiliate marketing, like the rest of e-commerce, is growing and changing. More people getting into affiliate marketing just means it’s more competitive. 

Having a niche market or a unique platform is the best way to be a successful affiliate marketer. You also need to be a voice that your audience can trust to recommend good products and services. Focusing on what makes your platform unique will help you choose the right marketing partnerships to be successful.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

So what is affiliate marketing? It’s an opportunity to make passive income as part of an already-existing platform. Affiliate marketing lets you monetize the work you’re already doing.

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