What Is Affiliate Marketing?

by Tony Shays on February 23, 2012

Affiliate marketing is nothing more than you forming an relationship – or affiliation – with a company to advertise their product or service in exchange for a fee (typically a commission) when someone buys through your promotional efforts. In a sense, you become another marketing arm for the seller at little to no financial risk to them.

Affiliate marketing is the most powerful and cost effective way to promote and sell products and services online. The companies love the arrangement since they only pay a commission when a sale is made. It can also be a source of income for you, with the potential of earning substantial money without having to warehouse products, hire employees or maintain a physical location.

The company usually supplies you with an eye catching banner advertisement with a personalized affiliate link at no expense to you. As an affiliate, you simply place this link on your website, blog or other social media site. Once the banner is clicked, the potential customer is taken to the seller’s website and they take over from there. When a sale is made, the seller notifies you and pays you according to your affiliation agreement.

There are many large companies that offer affiliate marketing programs, such as eBay and Amazon, as well as thousands of smaller companies and individuals. The products and services also greatly vary from large, expensive products to eBooks, training courses and seminars.

People get into affiliate marketing for different reasons. Some just want to make a little extra money to pay bills or to recoup the costs of running their website, while others want to make a large income where they have the time and freedom to live the lifestyle about which they always dreamed. And, of course, there are others that place affiliate ads on their website just to drive more business to it.

I have worked with people who are just beginning in affiliate marketing as well as those who are earning well into the six figures. As you can see, the concept of affiliate marketing is simple and can be a win-win situation for both you and the seller.

Heed a warning, however: do not think that the simplicity of the business plan means that affiliate marketing itself is easy. On the contrary, you will have to work hard and learn from the experts if you really want to be successful.

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This article was written by Tony Shays. Tony is the founder of Home Based Business Success Center. He is an entrepreneur who has owned and operated 12 traditional small businesses and has also found success in several different home based multi-level marketing companies. In addition to running the Success Center, he is also a business coach.

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