In this blog we are going to discuss what affiliate marketing is, what are affiliate networks and how you can use them to start making money online.
An affiliate program, also known as an associate program, is an arrangement where an online merchant pays affiliate websites a commission to send them traffic. Said affiliate websites post links to the merchant’s site and in return the merchant pays the owner of the affiliate website according to a particular agreement.
For example, you create a blogging website, focused on the latest tech. Then you partner up with a merchant that sells tech online and post links of their products on your blogging website or sales email you send to potential buyers. Whenever a visitor of your website or a reader of a sales email clicks on a link, opts-in or purchases whatever that link leads to, you receive a commission.
There are three main parties in an affiliate program transaction:
1. The customer (user, who clicked on the link on your website or sales email)
2. The affiliate site (your website or sales email, where you posted a link to the merchant’s store)
3. The merchant site (website, where the customer is redirected after clicking on the link in your website or sales email)
However, there is a fourth party that can help your affiliate site function much more effectively, and that is an affiliate network, or CPA (cost per action) network.
An affiliate network is a website that acts as a middleman between your affiliate site and merchant sites. It allows a website publisher (you) to more easily find and participate in affiliate programs which are best suitable for you and thus generate income from those programs. It also allows websites offering affiliate programs (typically online merchants) to reach a larger audience by promoting their affiliate programs to all of the publishers participating in the affiliate network.
While it is possible to engage in an affiliate program without the help of an affiliate network, it is not recommended, especially to beginners, because without experience it can be extremely difficult to find a partnering merchant that would generate significant sales.
In the next blog we will discuss the best affiliate platforms for you. You can find it HERE.