What is Affiliate Marketing?

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

Search for companies that have products you are interested in or have a lot of knowledge. Then see if they have an affiliate program. If they do, you will usually find a link in the footer in the lower sidebar.  The landing page for their affiliate program should give you all the details on the program itself.

In 1997, Amazon.com launched the concept of affiliate programs into prominence (they weren't the first, but they were the first to do it big-time!). For the one person on the Net who doesn't know, Amazon sells books (and tons of other merchandise now) online... and only online.

Books, of course, offer information on millions of different specialized subjects. And there are millions of websites out there, on an incredible variety of subjects.

So Amazon figured, Why not convert those sites into specialized, niche book shops for us? We will pay a commission when a site refers a customer who buys a book.

And that is how Amazon started one of the first affiliate programs (also called associate or referrer programs).

Here is how an affiliate program works, using Amazon as the example...

The affiliate provides links from his site to certain books on the Amazon site, books that are related to the affiliate site content. Amazon uses special software that tracks who sends each visitor. If and when the visitor buys, Amazon pays the affiliate a commission.

The Amazon affiliate never has to...
    * write a book
    * process an order
    * ship a book
    * answer customer support e-mails.

And the same applies to any product that is sold in this way... CDs, travel, domain names, even sheep!

There are literally thousands and some suggest millions of affiliate programs on the Net for different services and products. You sign up with those whose services and products mean something to you. If you yourself are unable to use them, at lease you should believe in them and that mainstream market or your niche market would buy them.

Affiliate programs are also known as associate, reseller, or referral programs. They are revenue sharing programs between companies (the merchant) and individuals (the affiliate). An Affiliate can be likened to an independent contractor. 
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