Affiliate Marketing Definition
Affiliate Marketing is the business model where a company pays commission to a third party for generating traffic or leads. The third party is called affiliate and the leads is a reward for the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
The affiliate marketing industry consists of four parts.
- The retailer, is the company that actually offers an affiliate marketing policy.
- The network, is the part that puts together the offers for the affiliate, and takes care of things such as payments, commissions, customer service etc.
- The affiliate, is the company or individual whose task is to generate traffic, leads or sales.
Affiliate Marketing has risen in prominence over the years. This is mainly due to Amazon, who offered an affiliate marketing program a few years back. Amazon’s program was so successful, it now it has the largest affiliate program in the world, with thousands of affiliates promoting its products and billions in sales. As a result, the number of retailers and manufacturers offering their products and services now is huge and growing.
Those who seized the opportunity are now on a six figure income. But its not over, the opportunities for the ordinary person to become a successful affiliate are there right now, they are alive and real.
Affiliate Marketing Pros
1) Affiliate marketing has a very low cost to start and at the same time there is a number of companies who offer free start up programs.
2) No experience necessary, as there are companies who offer easy to follow step by step training.
3) Affiliate is easy to master. You do not need a degree to become a successful affiliate marketer.
4) Work from home. You will be working in the privacy of your own home.
5) Independence, you will be your own boss.
6) Do what you love. There are hundreds of affiliate programs and their number is growing. Therefore, it is will be easy to find an affiliate program that matches your interests and hobbies.
7)Passive income. With affiliate marketing you can achieve passive income (earning money while you sleep or during your holidays).
8) Unlimited income. Imagine having a global audience (3 billion internet users worldwide). You can achieve a six figure income, as thousands of affiliate marketers are earning right now. Nevertheless, that can only be achieved with hard work.
9) Customer service could be an headache for all businesses out there. It consumes human resources and large amounts of money. In affiliate marketing you do not have anything to do about it.
Affiliate Marketing Cons
1) Affiliate marketing requires hard work. It doesn’t matter what you do, if you want to be successful you will have to put the hours. Exactly the same applies here. The difference is that you will see the rewards. As a full time occupation affiliate marketing requires at least 40 hours work. As a part-time job it will consume your weekends.
2) Payment on commission. Most affiliate marketing programs pay after a visitor buys something. Although, an affiliate marketing campaign has the potential to offer large amounts of money, it could take months or years to reach even a full time salary.
3) Be your own boss may not be right for you. Many people are excellent employees but when they start their own business they struggle. You need to motivate yourself. Devotion is critical and at the same time you will need to set your own goals.
4) You cannot control your competition. You will have to be on your toes, updating your website, looking for the latest products and services to promote.
As we can see the pros outweigh the cons by far. I personally consider affiliate marketing the business of the 21st century. If you think that Amazon sold eight times more than Wall Mart last year then you can assume that the future lies on the internet and rightly so.
If you really think affiliate marketing is something you want to do then go ahead and do it. Before you go ahead though, I still want to stress the following points.
If you think you can make easy money with affiliate marketing then you are not. Affiliate marketing is not one of those easy money making schemes, where people lose their money. Affiliate Marketing is 100% legit.
Affiliate marketing requires work. Some people think that by building a website they are going to succeed in internet marketing. No they won’t. It needs hard work, commitment and motivation. Affiliate marketing should be treated as an ordinary job, where you have to put the eight or whatever hours every day. Commitment, now we are talking. If you are going to commit yourself, then this is for you.