Affiliate marketing is a new marketing niche borne out of the Internet. This occurs when a business pays or rewards partners or affiliates for each visitor or customer that is brought to its site due to the affiliate’s efforts. In short, it is the use of one site to bring in traffic to another. This is clearly a form of online marketing, which is not normally taken into consideration by marketers and advertisers. In 2006, it is estimated that affiliate marketing generated about $6.5 billion in commissions in the US alone. The most active sectors of the market that generate the most sales from affiliate marketing are the adult, gambling and retail sectors.
The first step to building a successful affiliate marketing program is to build a good site, if you do not own one yet. The next step is to look for successful affiliate programs that are closely related to your site. You can conduct your own personal research of affiliate programs. It is suggested that you pay attention to the more successful methods of generating traffic, and what networks are able to do this in the first place. Thereafter, the links to the affiliate programs from one’s site must be created. Tracking is usually done through a variety of codes and cookies such that your identity is created in the affiliate program, and that all visitors coming from your site are also identified with your code.
The next critical step is being able to generate traffic to your own site. This can be done through the phenomenon called search engine optimization (SEO), a ery powerful one. The methods used for this are usually thought of as ‘natural’. SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Also, this involves putting in relevant information and content. You can also increase the traffic to your site by posting links in blogs and forums. What is important is that the content of the site is clear, the information is complete, and links to the affiliate are easily seen and clicked. Building traffic can also be done by advertising in pay per click (PPC) marketing sites. The biggest PPC site for this at the moment is Google Adwords. Lastly, your site must make the visitors to the product site want to buy the product. So, you have to ensure that your products are interesting enough to generate return visits and sales.
It is always important to remember that a great site in terms of graphics and content will generate visitors, above anything else. If your site is not user-friendly, not too ‘clickable’, and lacks the necessary information, then it will not be able to generate the traffic that you can endorse to an affiliate marketer.
Successful affiliate marketers enjoy comfortable lives. They are able to work in the privacy of their own homes, and most of all, have the luxury of time. Affiliate marketing is therefore worthwhile looking into, as the fruits are many, and the opportunities are even more.