Affiliate marketing is an advertising model in which a company compensates third-party publishers to generate traffic or leads to the company’s products and services. The third-party publishers are affiliates, and the commission fee incentivizes them to find ways to promote the company.
The internet has increased the prominence of affiliate marketing. Amazon (AMZN) popularized the practice by creating an affiliate marketing program whereby websites and bloggers put links to the Amazon page for a reviewed or discussed product to receive advertising fees when a purchase is made. In this sense, affiliate marketing is essentially a pay-for-performance marketing program where the act of selling is outsourced across a vast network.
1. A visitor to your blog reads an article on your website.
2. The visitor then clicks on an affiliate link, which redirects the visitor to the merchant’s website.
On the merchant’s site, the visitor then performs the desired event.
The affiliate is credited for the event.
A network affiliate program involves working with a third party to manage your relationship with the merchant. Generally, an affiliate network manages communication, affiliate links, tracking, reporting, and payment.
Affiliate networks typically have thousands of merchants to choose from. You join the affiliate network and then apply to each individual merchant program. Some automatically approve applicants, and others will manually review and approve new affiliates.
Once approved, you will have access to special affiliate links that are unique to you. These unique links can be placed anywhere you want to promote that merchant’s product. It could be on your blog, in an email, on your YouTube channel, etc.