What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process in which you earn a commission for promoting a product or service that belongs to another person or company.
In other words, you find a product or service that interests you, promote it to other people and earn a fraction of the profit whenever someone buys the product.
The cost of buying a service or product through an affiliate is similar to that of buying it directly from the owner of the product.
Product owners must pay affiliates a percentage of the sales as a commission, which means they probably make less money per sale.
However, product owners gain more because an affiliate helps them to reach more potential customers (and make more sales) than they’d have done on their own.
So, it’s a win-win.
Affiliate Marketing Model
As an affiliate, you can earn a commission on a one-off purchase or earn recurring income by promoting membership or subscription-based programs.
When it comes to the actual marketing, the affiliate equation has two main parties:
  • The product creator or owner
  • The seller or the affiliate marketer
However, successful affiliate marketing has about three parties:

First: Merchant

What is a Merchant?
The merchant is also referred to as the advertiser, seller, brand, vendor, retailer, or creator.
It’s the party that creates the product. It can be a single person or a big, Fortune 500 company. Anyone can be the vendor behind an affiliate marketing program.
Merchants don’t necessarily have to be actively involved. All they need is a product to sell.

Second: Affiliate

What is an Affiliate
Also known as the publisher, associate or partner, an affiliate can also be a single person or an entire company. Affiliates can generate a few hundreds of dollars per month or tens of millions in commission.
An affiliate plays the marketing role by promoting one or several affiliate products. The party attracts and convinces potential buyers of the product’s value so they can end up purchasing it.

Third: Consumer

Who Are Customers
This party makes the entire affiliate system to go round. Without sales in sight, there won’t be revenue to share or commissions to give out.
The affiliate will make efforts to market to customers using any suitable channel whether it’s a digital billboard, social network or content marketing on blogs.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

First off, you should find the product or company you’d like to promote.
Start by finding a service or product you know is relevant to your blog’s niche and one that your audience will find useful.
My quick 1-minute video will be of great help. Watch it below!
Next, you should partner with the merchant by signing up for their affiliate program. This will make you an affiliate.
After joining their affiliate program, you’ll be given a unique affiliate ID to be included in all the affiliate links you post on your site to promote the service or product.
You can promote the product in several ways including recommending it in articles, writing product reviews, sending email newsletters or displaying banner ads. Your merchant will use the unique affiliate ID to track all the traffic you direct to their website.
Affiliate Marketing Process
When a user buys a product, you earn a commission. The merchant issues your payment when the earnings reach a set threshold, and this can be anywhere between 45 and 60 days.
Google Trends shows an increased interest of 15% in the term ‘affiliate marketing’ between April 2018 and March 2019 (see the diagram below).
According to Awin, 81% of brands in the United States use this strategy, and if trends are anything to go by, this figure will increase. Everyone is responding to it!
Affiliate Marketing on Google Trends 

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Credit: The article was published in collaboration with author  Master Blogging

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