What is Affiliate Marketing? I will go out on a limb here and say that everyone involved in the Affiliate Marketing community has had difficulty answering this question at some point in their career. Seems like an easy enough question to answer doesn’t it? YOU know what it is, and it seems very straightforward to you now that you are so close to it. During my first few years in the Affiliate industry I often took the easy way out and would just throw out descriptions like “I work in online marketing”, or we help retailers increase traffic and sales.” It was a cop out and it didn’t always work because in most cases people would dig deeper and want to know more.
You probably have your own answer for this question, but for those of you out there that still struggle with, I wanted to throw out a suggestions on explaining this concept to folks outside of the industry.
Example: Let’s say you’re an avid camper and you blog about the various camping trips you take with your family. On your blog, you can promote merchants with products related to your site and audience of readers. You might promote merchants that sell tents, grills, hiking shoes, etc. When you send over a visitor from your blog that makes a purchase on the merchant’s end, you receive a commission on the referral.
The retailers or Merchants pay commissions to the bloggers, when a sale is referred from an Affiliate’s site.
Let’s say you drop in your local library to find a certain book that you have been dying to read. It turns out the library doesn’t have the book in stock, but, Janet, the librarian, tells you to go over to the local bookstore and tell them that Janet from the library sent you and said your bookstore is the best thing since sliced bread. In this case, Janet is the Affiliate and the local bookstore is the Merchant. You head over to the bookstore to buy the book and tell them Janet referred you. The bookstore gives Janet a commission as a token of their appreciation for referring you.