GT Bulmer © Affiliate Power Central

This blog post has turned into two separate posts! My initial plan was to explain why most opportunity seekers are simply not cut out for this business. By way of introduction, the post started with a look at how Affiliate Marketing works.

However, by the time I had the basics of the post mapped out, I realized that it was turning into two topics that did not necessarily complement each other.

So, I separated it into two blog posts to keep it from becoming too long and unwieldy. Today’s post will define what Affiliate Marketing is and how it works. …

To begin with, Affiliate Marketing is not a business in itself; it is simply a form of marketing. It is a process where a chain of “partners” work together to get a product or service from the supplier to the Affiliate Marketingconsumer – in other words, paying customers.

Here is how the process works:

First, you have the merchant or retailer who has products or services for sale. The merchant may market and sell their items using a variety of methods. Some merchants use, or include the use of, the Affiliate Marketing model where they enlist independent marketers, known as “affiliates”, to do some or all of the marketing and selling for them. When the affiliate makes a sale, the merchant pays them a sales commission.

Sometimes, you apply directly to the merchant to become one of their affiliates. Other times, you apply through a company or service that acts like a middleman. This middleman is sometimes called a “network” or a “broker”. The middleman represents both parties and helps to match them up.

ClickBank and Commission Junction are examples of this type of middleman service. When you become a member of those services you are given access to lists of merchants with products and services for sale. You find things you would like to sell; you become an affiliate for the corresponding merchants; you market and sell their items; and when you make sales, the middleman (in this example, ClickBank or Commission Junction) processes the affiliate commission payments due to you.

That is the basic definition of the Affiliate Marketing process: You have a Merchant, sometimes a Broker, a Sales Affiliate and the Customer.

The Team Networking Approach

There is another form of Affiliate Marketing that uses a team networking approach. There is no middleman broker with this process. Affiliates join an affiliate company directly and the company processes the orders and the commission payments.

Affiliate MarketingThe advantage to this approach is that you can recruit or sponsor other affiliates into the business and earn commissions and bonuses based on their purchases and sales; this means you do not have to rely solely on your own efforts for your income.

Additionally, most affiliate companies provide training and marketing resources. You can also call upon the person who sponsored you into the business, and other leaders, for training and support.

Successful affiliates learn to use a variety of methods to advertise and promote the products or services being sold and to recruit other new affiliates. These methods may include free or paid advertising, search engine optimization (websites and blogs), search engine marketing (Pay-Per-Click), e-mail marketing, content marketing, direct sales via telephone or in-person, and other methods.

The methods used and the amount of time devoted to each is entirely up to the individual. Some do it full time; others, part time.

Affiliate Marketing is an extremely popular form of marketing. That means it is highly competitive, and that means if you hope to achieve success as an Affiliate Marketer your focus and commitment will have to be above average.

Watch for my next home business blog post where I will share my thoughts on why most opportunity seekers might be better off sticking with their slave jobs (day jobs)!

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* You might also enjoy these Internet Marketing posts:

~ Create a Website TODAY With These Handy Resources

~ Website Traffic Tips for 2014

~ Six Ways to Make Money Online: Part Six, Pay-Per-Action

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Make Money Online

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