What is Affiliate Marketing?

Almost every website or blog you go to that has a product for sale engages in affiliate marketing.

Take a look around, you’ll see links to products on coupon sites, directories, blogs, websites and even popular online newspapers. You probably also get emails from people who promote products, and it is likely that these products are affiliate products as well. Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular methods of marketing on the Internet.

Very simply, an affiliate product is a product that you promote  that you do not own. Someone else owns it and created it, and you simply discover the product, then market that product to your readers and clients. For your efforts you get a percentage of sales, sometimes called a referral fee or a commission.

You can promote affiliate products in many different ways through your email list, by writing product reviews, via pay per click, webinars and more. It’s completely up to you how you promote the products as long as you’re honest in your endeavors and make sales everyone will be happy.

Affiliate marketing is a way to make money online from home without having a product yourself.

You don’t have to invest in product creation, shopping carts, sales pages, or other Internet marketing related collateral. You are called the “publisher” and the way in which you promote the products varies depending on what the product is and who your niche is. For your efforts you get a percentage of sales.

Percentages can be as low as 5%, a set dollar amount, or up to even 100% of the purchase price. Typically, you’re given a special link called a referral link, with code to place on your website, blog  or inside our email newsletters. This code tracks where the sale originated. Some affiliate programs offer lifetime tracking and others only offer tracking for 30 days less. This means that from the moment your reader clicks your referral link, assuming this referral has not clicked someone else’s link before, the clock starts ticking.  Your referral might not buy for days or weeks, so this is an important aspect of affiliate marketing that you should be aware of when picking products to promote.

When you sign up with a company to become an affiliate they will likely ask for personal information such as your name, business name, address, tax information and typically your PayPal information so that you can be paid. If you’re in the USA it is important that you obtain an employer identification number or EIN. It’s free to get one and can protect you from identity theft. You do not have to employ anyone to get an EIN. You only need to have a business, even if you’re simply a sole proprietor or independent contractor. It takes seconds, is free, and very important.

If you want to learn more on how to market products to the Virtual Assistant industry, START HERE

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