What Is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Really Work

An affiliate or a group of affiliates is a way to unite companies and/or programs and it takes into account such things as webmaster, 2 tier programs and ecommerce programs based on affiliates among other things. To answer the question, what affiliate marketing is the answer- it is a way that businesses over the web such as merchants and advertisers can encourage visitors to their site and thereby promote their products and services to make more sales. An affiliate is a “go-between” or a type of publisher and this person or persons is rewarded for the work they do as a webmaster affiliate every time a customer, visitor or subscriber comes to the website. When this happens, the reward for the affiliate is even greater when a sale is made.

To become an affiliate, you may have to purchase affiliate program software, but do plenty of research on affiliate options before you settle on any one method. There are some free affiliate programs out there that are excellent as well as ways to bring traffic to your affiliate site on the web.

The most common way for affiliates to make money is by way of revenue share or “cost per sale.€ Approximately 81 percent of affiliates go about building their affiliate websites this way. The other 19 percent of the same choose the “cost per action.” route. In the very beginning of this marketing type, it was very common to see pay per click and pay per impression (CPM) in top affiliate programs but this has diminished due to the many fraud issues that have revolved around the pay click system. Pay per click methods are only used in approximately one percent of the affiliate marketing sites on the web and even this percentage could easily be disputed.

It is important to note that an affiliate is not involved in the contextual marketing that some websites such as traffic affiliate websites are involved in. Take for example, Google AdSense uses contextual advertising and at the present time that is not considered in the same vein as affiliate marketing.

An affiliate can set up their own store and can promote a business and the wares from that angle. Affiliate marketing is comparable to a “pay for performance model.” One best example of this is the company Amazon dot com that has enjoyed tremendous success and continues to grow with time.

Affiliate marketing is a part of search engine optimization services and is most active in the retail, gaming and adult sectors of the internet. Affiliates predict that the three areas that will show the greatest growth in relation to affiliate marketing in the future are travelling, finance and cellular phones. Other sectors that are up and coming from affiliates include the entertainment industry (and in particular gaming) and services that are geared towards the internet such as broadband.