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Affiliate Marketing

by Bruce Whitehead

Summary: Being an affiliate means that you (through a website or via e-mail) represent another company, usually referred to as a merchant, that is willing to pay you for the traffic you refer. Merchants use affiliates to increase their exposure on the Internet, and pay them in various ways.

One of the first sites to offer an affiliate program was Amazon.com, one of the Web's leading retailers. Amazon will pay you a percentage of the amount of each sale made through a visitor that you refer. These visitors are usually tracked by some information added to the merchant's website address, or URL. This referring URL will generally look something like this: http://www.Affiliate_Site.com/index.php?id=13443

The information following the question mark would be a unique identifier of the affiliate or referrer, and will either drop a cookie on the user's browser to remember you, or it will be carried along for the current browswer session to track any sales that occur back to you, or a combination of methods can be employed. The main thing to understand is that the URL identifies you and compensates you when sales occur.

This system of merchants and their affiliates has worked very well on the Internet, where millions of websites are referring their traffic to merchants of their choice to earn cash. Bravenet has a top-rated webmaster affiliate program that pays you $1.00 for every new member you refer to us to use our free services. This helps us create new members, and it helps you create cash from your referrals—truly a win-win situation.

This system has evolved over time, and now there are a growing number of affiliate reporting sites that act as brokers to affiliate programs offered by merchants across the Internet. These sites give you instant access to thousands of programs you can join for free, directly from just one site. Some of the larger affiliate reporting sites include Commission Junction, BeFree, LinkShare and QuinStreet.

These sites provide everything you need to get started at affiliate marketing. All the materials, incuding the banners or ad copy you will display on your site or in your e-mail, are available from these reporting sites.

You can also gain access to valuable statistical information such as the number of impressions an ad has shown, the number of people who have clicked on those ads, and the financial return your hard-earned traffic is providing for you.

This list will get you started, but there are some things you should consider when joining and participating in affiliate programs.

First off, think about who visits your site or receives your e-mails. What are these people looking for? What products and services are related to what they are looking for? This may sound quite obvious, but it is still apparent there are a lot of websites out there devoted to cars or cats—and they are trying to sell long-distance services.

So, stick to what your website or your newsletter is about. You may wish to take your efforts a step further and create pages on your own website that drive more interest than just running a banner or text link. Remember, you are referring your own traffic to other merchants in the hopes of making a sale. Why not spend a little time to prepare your visitors before they get there.

Some marketers make a lot of money selling other people's goods and services through affiliate programs and similar referral mechanisms. You don't even really need a website to start with affiliate marketing. You can buy traffic and send them right to your affiliate URL from e-mail, click engines, or through other sponsorships.

Finally, it is important to realize that merchants are relying on you to make sales happen for them. This puts you in a position to bargain. So use that advantage whenever you can to request higher payouts then what is being offered. It never hurts to ask, and you'll be surprised how many merchants will up the ante for affiliates looking to get a better deal.

Check out our Affiliate Program! Earn cash for referrals.

Extracted from BraveNet.

 

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Monday, 18 Dec 2017 12:15 AM

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