How Affiliate Marketing Works

The basic premise of affiliate marketing is that you have access to a niche of audiences through your website or your social media channels. Some companies want to reach people who are in their audience. These brands and merchants create their own affiliate marketing programs or join affiliate marketing networks so that you have access to their products and services for promotional purposes.

When you join affiliate programs and networks, you receive a commission for generating sales of goods and services from affiliate partners. You can also receive a fee if your audience takes a specific action, such as joining the company’s free trial program. You make money, merchants or brands generate more sales, and product buyers have access to quality offers that they may not have purchased without your influence.

What are Affiliate Programs

Affiliate programs are free to participate and come in all shapes and sizes. Popular merchants offering affiliate programs include Amazon – through the Amazon Associates program – Target, Kickbooster and Wal-Mart. As you will be marketing to a niche, search affiliate programs for offers that best suit your target audience.

Some companies advertise affiliate programs directly on their websites. You can also contact brands directly for information on affiliate opportunities. Another great way to find affiliate opportunities is to search the affiliate networks to find merchants and brands you want to work with.

What are Affiliate Networks

Affiliate networks are providers that provide access to a large number of merchants in a proprietary network. Networks give newcomers to affiliate marketing access to a wide variety of merchants and brands that offer affiliate programs.

Individual merchant program terms and payments are administered by the affiliate network, so you don’t have to track and account for multiple independent programs.

Sponsored publishing programs

When you enter into a sponsorship agreement, the sponsoring company pays you to create a publication that promotes a specific product, service or brand. Your contract may require you to write an article on your website or create a post on a social media network, or both. Sponsored posts pre-pay affiliate merchants, and earnings are usually based on the size and type of your audience niche.

Here are some popular sites that connect sponsoring brands to affiliate merchants:

TapInfluence: if your niche involves food, fashion, beauty or lifestyle, you can participate in this program, where you can customize your sponsored postage rates.

Blogsvertise: Ideal for beginners and advanced bloggers, Blogsvertise helps you find opportunities for advertisers or sponsored publications.

Blog Meets Brand: This site works with influencers in 13 different niches, including DIY/crafts, health and fitness, lifestyle and millennials.

How Affiliate Marketers Make Money

When researching possible affiliate partners, you should pay attention to how to make money. Most affiliate programs pay based on the percentage of the sale. For example, if a person clicks on your affiliate link and purchases a $500 product and your commission rate set by the affiliate program is 10%, you will receive a $50 commission ($500 x 10%) for the sale.

With some affiliate marketing programs, you will be paid on a pay-per-action (PPA) basis. You can get paid if someone uses affiliate links to sign up for a newsletter or participate in a free trial program. For example, Amazon Associates reward programs pay $3 for each free trial subscription to Prime.

Finding the Best Affiliate Products for Your Niche

Finding and combining profitable affiliate products with your content is an ongoing journey of discovery. It is also one of the most important steps to make money from affiliate marketing. Be picky about the types of products and services you choose to represent. Your reputation is at risk with every recommendation you make.

When learning how to start affiliate marketing, you will spend a good deal of time researching affiliate partners, signing up for programs and searching the networks for the right physical and digital products for your niche audience. As you establish yourself, you will continue this process to select new products and services to promote and connect to your content.

The good news is that when a post is posted on the site, every time someone buys on your affiliate link, you get paid a commission. This is called passive income. After completing the hard work of incorporating affiliate links into each post, you can relax and passively earn income for months or even years from those links.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always educative & objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on the links in our articles.

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About the Author: Adil