Affiliate marketing is a marketing arrangement in which external websites sell or recommend a product or service of an online retailer, for which the online retailer pays commission for traffic or sales generated from the referrals.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a way in which websites can earn a commission by promoting a retailer’s product or service using an affiliate link. Affiliate partners are rewarded a payout for providing a specific result – usually traffic or a sale, however affiliate sales can also work with leads, volume of traffic to a website or number of downloads of an app.
The majority of affiliate programs are free to join and you only pay if the desired outcome is achieved. Some people are able to live off of affiliate programs, earning enough in commissions to have a profitable online business.
How does affiliate marketing work?
With affiliate marketing, affiliates earn a commission each time someone makes a purchase (or whatever the desired outcome is) through the unique affiliate link published on their website.
For example, if an individual has a blog, they can include a link or ad leading to a particular page. If the user clicks on this ad or link, they will be taken to a store through a tracking link. Following that, if the user then makes a purchase, the details of the transaction will be recorded by the affiliate network.
Following that, the blogger or whoever owns the website where the link has been published will receive commission.
Although many opt to carry out their affiliate marketing activities themselves, often, finding a local marketing professional will help improve and increase the progress. For example, if an affiliate-to-be is in Essex, then it is likely that an SEO consultant in Essex will better understand the needs of the affiliate marketer and thus, will be sought out.
The exact commission rate will be pre-agreed and will largely depend on the company and the offer. They can be anything from 5% of the sale to 50% of the sale, depending on the arrangement. Some websites work with a flat rate per sale rather than a percentage.
What are the different types of affiliate marketing?
There are a few different types of affiliate marketing programmes including the following:
Unattached affiliate marketing – this is when the affiliate advertising the link has no authority of the sector or the product they are advertising and there is no connection between them and the customer. It is simply a pay-per-click arrangement – if there is a click, or sale, you earn a commission. This is a popular form of affiliate marketing program because it requires little effort and does not require you to build a reputation or trust – you simply work on a matter of volume.
Related affiliate marketing – this type of affiliate marketing is when you promote products and services that you do not necessarily use personally, but that are related to your niche. For example, you might have a link to a city tour if your blog, YouTube, or TikTok is about tourism. Or, if you have a fashion following, you might recommend a store or a brand even if you’ve never personally used them.
This type of affiliate programme could generate more income; however, you risk promoting something that is untrustworthy or of bad quality and losing credibility with your audience.
Involved affiliate marketing – this is where you recommend products and services that you personally use and believe in. For this type of affiliate programme, there is more trust and authenticity involved. This type of credibility takes more time to build but can often be more sustainable in the long run and can also be more profitable for the affiliate.