What Is An Affiliate?
There are many monthly searches for “affiliate meaning” on the major search engines. This tells me that many people are interested in affiliate marketing. It also tells me there are still many who don’t understand the meaning of what an affiliate is. They don’t understand the ins and outs of how affiliate marketing works. When they type in the search term of affiliate meaning they are searching for information on affiliate marketing. They probably want information on how to join the ranks of successful affiliate marketers. So what is an affiliate?
An affiliate in this context is someone who has a relationship with a seller of a product. The seller wants to reach a wider audience to sell more products. The affiliate has traffic to a website that may be interested in the product of the seller. The seller is willing to split a part of the sales price of the product with the affiliate when a potential customer is sent by the affiliate to the seller’s website. If the potential buyer actually buys the product, the affiliate is paid a percentage of the sale. The seller may instead offer to pay the affiliate based on clicks to the website or some other formula, but the most popular method for affiliates in the percentage of sale model.
There are a couple of misconceptions surrounding affiliate marketing. Although selling is at the heart of the matter, the affiliate doesn’t have to sell anything. The affiliate is simply sending interested potential buyers to the website of the seller. It is the seller who does the “selling”. Advertising is also used interchangeably because it is misinterpreted that all you have to do is throw up a website and start advertising. Many people think throwing up a couple of banners on a website makes them an affiliate marketer. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although advertising is one aspect of being an affiliate, it is a small part of the whole of marketing.
How Do Affiliates Make Money?
Affiliates are compensated by a percentage of sales from the visitors, subscribers or customers sent to the seller’s website. Sellers like affiliate marketing because they don’t have any money outlay until a sale is made. Only then do they pay the affiliate their commission. So this arrangement is a win-win for both the affiliate and the seller.
Affiliate marketing networks are the usual way affiliate marketers and sellers come together. The seller has a product they want to sell, so they register with the affiliate network. The marketer needs products to sell so they sign up with the network as an affiliate. The network lists the products from the seller and the marketer can search there in one place for products to promote. Normally these products match the niche of the website or blog of the marketer. The network may also provide advertising tools such as banners, links, etc. for the affiliate to use to promote the seller’s product.
From the seller’s perspective, the advantages of using an affiliate network are many. They have access to new markets and potential buyers through affiliates that they don’t have to spend time and money searching for. The network also provides a pool of affiliates who may be eager to promote the seller’s product. More traffic sent from affiliate websites to the main website of the seller means potentially more sales and profits for the seller. The seller also sets the amount of commission to pay the affiliate.
The affiliate marketer also sees benefits. The affiliate marketer is a website owner who promotes one or more merchants and their affiliate programs. Affiliate marketing can generate a full-time income for the affiliate with some hard work and dedication. But this is not an easy task to accomplish. The affiliate has to do some homework and research products that their site visitors will be interested in. For example, if the site has a user base of mainly stay-at-home mothers, then on-line job openings such as surveys would be a good match for them. This group would also appreciate direct links to children’s products and informational sites. Merchandisers often provide targeted, best-seller items and personal support to their affiliate. They often offer sales promotions that will benefit the merchandiser as well as the affiliate.
Affiliate marketing is a win-win situation for both the marketer and the affiliate. If they work together it can be profitable for both. The advantage for the affiliate is that it is easy and inexpensive to start, and you can be up and running within a few days. The advantage for the seller is the extra traffic who will see their offer and hopefully make a purchase.
So now you know what everyone is searching for when they go to a search engine and type in the term “affiliate meaning”. You may even be able to amaze your friends with your knowledge. It would be even better if you use the knowledge and became an affiliate marketing success story.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.