Affiliate marketing is when you help promote a product that belongs to someone else (an advertiser) in return for a reward or commission. It is one of the most common ways that internet entrepreneurs make money online because there is little involved in setting it up. You don’t have to be a technical genius to become an affiliate marketer, simply adding a link from your blog or even your Facebook page to the advertiser’s website can be all that’s required to make a decent sized income.


There are a few different forms that affiliate marketing can take although the most common is when as an affiliate marketer you receive a commission when a customer follows your link to the advertiser’s website and makes a purchase. As an affiliate you can earn a percentage of the sale or a flat fee. Some affiliate schemes are available whereby you receive a reward simply when a potential customer follows your link to the advertiser’s website and takes some kind of action such as signing up for a newsletter or requesting further information.


When a customer purchases the item you’ve been promoting or carries out a particular action on the advertiser’s site this is known as a conversion. It is simple to track conversions made because each affiliate is given a unique ID code. When a customer follows your link and makes a purchase your ID code will be displayed to the advertiser so the relevant commission can be made.


Advertisers love to work with affiliates because it creates a network of people and websites promoting their product without any additional work required from them. They also like it because they only have to pay when a conversion is made as opposed to straight forward advertising that involves money up front.


There are other ways to make money online such as through display advertising (Google ads) but these simply don’t offer the same income potential that affiliate marketing does. It works particularly well for bloggers who are looking for ways to monetize their site. This is mainly because of the element of trust that exists between blogger and reader making a regular blog reader more likely to purchase a recommended product. Bloggers should beware however that this can be a double edged sword – promote the wrong product and that level of trust could be broken.


Although affiliate marketing can work extremely well and offer a lucrative income for internet entrepreneurs or even part time bloggers, it can take time. The most important elements of successful affiliate marketing are promoting a relevant, quality product on a site that has high traffic or on a blog where trust between blogger and reader is high.


To find a relevant product it can be a good idea to use an affiliate network such as ClickBank or Commission Junction. Sites like these bring together advertisers and publishers (affiliates) to make finding the right products a simple task. They also provide a lot of resources for the first time affiliate to help them “learn the ropes”. If you are new to affiliate marketing in particular then sites like these can really help get your venture off the ground.


There is no doubt that affiliate marketing is and will remain one of the simplest and most popular ways of making money online. Although not every website or blog is suited to this form of ecommerce, it can be very effective for the vast majority. By promoting the right product on a site with high traffic, you can earn considerable sums of money and become an extremely successful affiliate marketer by epicfollowers .