How Online Affiliate Marketing Works

You’re probably familiar with affiliate marketing, right? You see, companies like Amazon and Walmart really believe in the power of affiliate marketing, which brings us to the question…How Does Online Affiliate Marketing Work?

In case you’re wondering, “affiliate marketing” is a type of marketing where a business rewards people for bringing them new customers. In other words, affiliate marketers help businesses to build their customer base, and in return, they get a commission when someone clicks a revenue-generating link or buys a product that’s promoted on their behalf. In 2017, Forbes put the value of the global affiliate marketing market at $16 billion.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about online affiliate marketing, including how it works, why it’s so effective, and how you can get started with a small business in order to grow a profitable online presence.

What Is Online Affiliate Marketing?

Simply put, online affiliate marketing is the use of promotional tools, such as websites and blogs, to gain revenue through advertising and links. Here’s the thing: When you promote a product or service on your website, you’re effectively inviting people to click a link or look at a product that’s associated with your brand. When they do so, your business gets rewarded with a small commission.

The most successful influencers and entrepreneurs use various methods to gain revenue, but many choose to go the affiliate route.

Why? For one, it’s relatively easy to set up, and with the click of a button, you can already be earning revenue. In addition, most affiliates know exactly what type of content they’re going to promote and where they’re going to do so, thus eliminating any uncertainties in terms of the performance of a particular campaign.

The Different Types Of Affiliate Marketing

You’ll notice that there are a few different types of affiliate marketing. To start, you have “performance-based affiliate marketing,” where you’re rewarded according to how well an affiliate program performs. Then, there’s “commission-based affiliate marketing,” where you’re credited with a sales transaction whenever someone clicks a product or service link on your behalf. Finally, there’s “affiliate marketing on a credit card,” where you’re given a sign-up bonus if someone clicks a product or link and makes a purchase after being introduced to the brand or product through your affiliate marketing efforts.

As you can probably guess, the first two types of affiliate marketing are quite common. However, the third type is a relatively new concept that’s been gaining a lot of popularity. Why? Because with credit card affiliate marketing, you don’t necessarily have to rely on someone clicking a product or link to make a purchase. Simply having that link or button active can lead to some amazing results.

Why Is Online Affiliate Marketing Important?

Many people don’t understand the importance of affiliate marketing, and for that matter, they’re not entirely sure how it works. To put it simply, the more people you can introduce to a brand or product, the more revenue you can generate, regardless of whether or not they end up purchasing the item.

When someone lands on your website from a search engine, they’re usually presented with three or four organic links to other websites and products. Although this is typically a welcome mat to a new customer, it can also be a gateway to a commission.

In other words, when someone clicks a product or service link on your site, there’s a good chance that they’ll make another purchase from that brand or service later on. Therefore, having an active affiliate program is highly important for any business, no matter the size.

How Does Online Affiliate Marketing Work?

We mentioned above that when someone clicks a product and makes a purchase after being introduced to a brand or product through your affiliate marketing efforts, you get a commission. However, how does that actually happen? Let’s take a look.

When an affiliate marketer sets up a website with the goal of driving sales, they’ll typically choose a WordPress theme that’s already optimized for search engines. In other words, they don’t have to pay extra to have their site optimized, which in turn saves them money and time. In addition to establishing a website, the affiliate will then create a shop section where they can promote their favorite products. Finally, they’ll create an affiliate program for products they promote on their site (more on this below).

What happens next? When a customer lands on your site and sees the numerous products you’ve listed in your shop section, they’ll either click a product or visit the website of one of your affiliate partners. From there, they’ll make a purchase. Simple as that.

That’s how online affiliate marketing works. Before you begin, it’s important to set a budget, decide how much you’re willing to spend on promoting products and services, and create a plan for how you’re going to achieve your goals. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to choose your products and affiliates to work with. You can find a wealth of information online, and with a little research, you can find the best suited products for your needs. Of course, never spend more than you can afford to.

What Is An Affiliate Partner?

An affiliate partner is a business or individual who promotes a product or service on your behalf, often in exchange for a commission.

When a customer clicks a product or link on your site that’s been promoted by your affiliate partner, you get credit—usually in the form of a commission—for that click. In some instances, you’ll get paid after the customer makes a purchase, and in other instances, you’ll get paid when they make a purchase after being introduced to a brand or product through your affiliate marketing efforts. As you can probably guess, the first type of affiliate marketing involves affiliate partners, and the second type simply has affiliates in the form of businesses you’ve partnered with to promote products.

Where Do I Start?

Once you’ve decided to pursue an affiliate marketing strategy, the next step is to choose products to promote. You don’t have to limit yourself to just one type of product or service, as there’s plenty out there that you can promote, depending on your niche. When choosing products to promote, make sure that you stay away from any type of questionable products and services. Also, ensure that the products you choose are relevant to your niche and will actually provide sufficient revenue.

For example, if you’re an affiliate marketer for weight loss products, you’ll want to stick to healthy products that help people lose weight. In contrast, if you’re an Amazon affiliate marketer for clothing products, you’ll want to choose products that people normally buy—like T-shirts and hoodies. In addition to products, you can also promote services for which you get paid per sale, such as Amazon Mechanical Turk, UberEtsy, and Shopify.

How To Choose Products To Promote

There are two key steps to choosing products to promote as an affiliate marketer.

The first step is to identify your niche. If you’re not sure what your niche is, consider the types of products and services you enjoy using or reviewing, what you find useful, and what sets you apart from others in your niche. Once you’ve decided on a niche, take some time to explore it further by looking at online communities, forums, and blogs related to your niche. Additionally, you can research keywords and phrases people use when searching for a product or service related to your niche. As you can probably guess, choosing products to promote that are tied to a specific niche will make it easier for you to choose the right affiliate partners and offers.

The second step is to choose a handful of products you feel confident will be able to generate sales. Research the products you’ve chosen and read reviews before making a decision. Also, be sure to consult with an expert or two in your niche to get an idea of what sorts of products will be successful in your market. You don’t want to choose a product that nobody in your niche has ever heard of, and you especially don’t want to choose a product that was only created to serve a specific niche.