Why do I need to read an entire article about online affiliate marketing, huh? It’s easy! You sell other people’s products and earn commission. Simple! Isn’t it? Well, if it sounds really simple to you, I would ask you to check whether your knowledge matches my insights. And if you want to really learn what is online affiliate marketing and how to earn money from online affiliate marketing, please read on.
What is Online Affiliate Marketing?
Online affiliate marketing is a type of digital marketing that involves a merchant (product owner) getting their product sold through promotion of their product by affiliates who earn commission in return. An affiliate gets commission from merchant only when the sale is made through that particular affiliate’s promotion. In other words, online affiliate marketing is kind of a revenue sharing model where the merchant shares a part of the revenue with the affiliate who helped selling the product.
How Online Affiliate Marketing Works?
If we consider online affiliate marketing as a money making game, we can say there are four core players who are involved in this game. They are 1) Merchant, 2) Network, 3) Affiliate and 4) Customer. Let’s take a look at the roles and activities of these players.
1) The Merchant in online affiliate marketing is the owner of the brand and/or the retailer who owns the product. The merchant’s objective is to enhance the product or brand’s visibility to a larger audience and increase sale through the network of affiliates.
2) The Network is an intermediary between the merchant and the affiliate. The network offers a wide range of online affiliate programs from different merchants. The merchants can offer their online affiliate programs on the network. The affiliate can choose the most suitable online affiliate program from the network. The network also takes care of tracking sales, reporting and payment processing. The network earns from initial setup charge, recurring membership fees and ‘over ride’ charge which is a percentage of commission paid to affiliates by merchants.
3) The Affiliate, also known as the ‘publisher’, is a third party entity that chooses an Online Affiliate program from a network and then promotes the chosen brand/product in his own capacity. The objective of Affiliate is to convince potential customers of the merchants products and earn commission each time the customer takes a desired action which could be buying the product, signing up for any campaign, subscribing to newsletter or anything that the merchants want as part of the Online Affiliate program.
4) The Customer is the actual consumer of the product who buys the product or takes any other action desired by the merchant. The merchant makes money from the sale of product purchased by the customer. From that revenue merchant shares commission to Affiliates and pays the network too.
The affiliates or publishers generally have their own websites through which they promote the merchant’s products. Affiliates select the most suitable online affiliate program that goes well with their domain of expertise. That way it is easier to convince the websites’ audience to purchase the product. The products or brands of the merchants are advertized on Affiliate websites. Website users click on the advertisement or link which takes them to the merchant’s website where the users can buy the product.
After the customer makes the purchase on the merchant’s website, the online affiliate network records the transaction. The transaction is then validated and credited to the affiliate. The commission is then transferred to the affiliate.
Where Is The Crème In Online Affiliate Marketing
Call it crème or dream, as an affiliate you make money while you sleep. You don’t need to own a product. You don’t need to care about fulfillment. You just earn sweet commission on every sale that is generated from your website audience. Obviously you need to promote the product or brand and have a solid audience base. There is almost no limit in terms of your income as an affiliate. A decent affiliate can make anywhere from $10,000 a year to $400,000. Some super performers, we call them ‘super affiliate’, can make upwards of $1,500,000 a year.
Most Popular Online Affiliate Networks
Here is a list of most popular online affiliate networks that you may want to check out.
– Ads 4 Dough
– Commission Junction
– Amazon Online Affiliate Program
– eBay Partners Program
Have you ever directly engaged with online affiliate marketing? What do you think about the future of online affiliate marketing? Please share your comments below.
About the Author: Sudipta Kundu (popularly known as Sam Sudipta) is the Founder of Digital Medio, a digital media agency that offers engaging creative content production for digital marketers. Digital Medio specializes in Social Media Content Creation, Brand Collateral Design, Explainer & Teaser Video Production, Website Design & Development, Social Media Management, Blog Writing & Blog Management, Online Community Management, Digital Marketing and Media Buying.