Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Affiliate Marketing - Introduction

Affiliate marketing is an internet based form of marketing where the seller of a product (be it an individual or a business) rewards it's affiliates (which can be numerous in number) for each new customer or visitor that is a direct result of the affiliates marketing efforts.

The growing trend of affiliate marketing has evolved as a direct result of the internet and therefore lends itself perfectly to websites and blogs alike.

Affiliate marketing has become an industry in it's own right with many individuals earning significant income as a direct result. Many of the top bloggers on the internet state that the income received from affiliate marketing is in fact their top earner.

Internet marketing is of the utmost importance to companies trying to make a name for themselves and their products. Affiliate marketing is the perfect tool to get a brand out there, which has led to a great number of companies and individuals getting involved, including affiliate networks, affiliate management companies, affiliate mangers (within companies), specialised third party vendors as well as many other types of affiliates/publishers who try and sell the various products available.

Web 2.0, including blogging and online communities has led to a rise in quality of the affiliate products that are available to promote, this is a direct consequence of the fact that a poor quality product can be exposed across the entire web in double quick time.

In this day and age affiliate marketing is rightly seen as a crucial part of product/service promotion. The other advantages of an affiliate programme is that it doesn't cost much to implement and will generate a consistent source of online profit. On the other hand it is also a great tool for affiliates as it is a way of generating an income using someone elses product.

It is usually accepted that Affiliate programmes will fall into two basic categories, these are:

1. Pay Per Performance.
2. Pay Per Click.

Pay Per Performance or PPP
Is the most commonly used form of affiliate marketing by individuals and companies trying to promote their products or services. The company/individual only has to pay the for an affiliate referral when it leads to a direct sale. Look out for multi-level or tier affiliate programmes, they will reward you for other affiliates that you sign up, meaning that you get commission for your direct referrals as well as that of your sub-affiliates.

Pay Per Click or PPC
PPC affiliate programmes are by far the most common place and are very simple for an affiliate to implement. Google adsense and Blogger are a perfect example (adsense is ready made to be added to your blog via your blogs layout). You get paid a small amount for every click on an advert that is featured on your site. Remember once someone clicks an advert on your site, they are gone!
How you implement affiliate programmes into your blog is entirely up to you. From what I have read and can ascertain from the top bloggers out there, they all seem to say that there main source of income is via the sales of product and not through adsense. Personally I have started with adsense before moving on to the product side of affiliate marketing. Find out more about adsense by clicking on the adsense page link.

Affiliate Programmes
You can sign up and promote various affiliate products via PayDotCom or Click Bank. They are by far the most popular site to promote affiliate programmes, are well established and therefore a reliable source.