Affiliate Marketing 101: Everything that you need to know about Affiliate Programs

Affiliate Marketing Programs for the year 2017

Increased internet internet penetration has, over the past few years, presented online money making opportunities  for people in places that are as far apart as Lilongwe and London, Djibouti and Jamaica and Riyadh and New York. For bloggers around the world, Affiliate Marketing is one of the ways through which site monetization can take place. There are vast opportunities out there; if only you know where to look.

The Internet is the Great Equalizer

One of my favorite movies is “Edge of Tomorrow,” and my favorite line came, not from the main actor, but from Master Sergeant Farrell; “Battle is the great redeemer; A fiery crucible in which true heroes are forged. The one place where men truly share the same rank, regardless of what kind of parasitic scum they were going in.”

Along the same vein, the internet has, in today’s world, become the greatest of redeemers, in that it is now possible for a person in New York to work for someone in South Sudan, across the vast tracts of distance and time.

Monetize website with Afficliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is one of the ways through which you can earn money online

The one thing that defines you as a human being, regardless of either your country of residence or your circumstances, is that, if you are at all “normal,” yours is a never ending quest to make a few more dollars. That is why “how to make money online” is one of the terms that is typed the most into Search Engines on a monthly basis.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing represents one of the few legitimate ways through which you can earn money online, but what, really, is it?

  • In the world of yesteryear there were, at least from what I have seen in the movies, roving salesmen, who went from place to place, peddling trinkets.
  • Of course, the ones in the movies often had severed heads in the trunks of their cars, or in the said suitcases, but salesmen were how companies pushed their products.

Salesmen of the Internet Age

Affiliate Marketers can be thought of as the salesmen of the modern age. These product peddlers of the internet era may seem isolated from the movie past, but they are still, as you shall see, capable of lugging gory stuff from one place to the other.

A large number of the over 150 million blogs that form the more than 1.1 billion sites that make up the World Wide Web, are dedicated to Affiliate Marketing. This blog, I have to say, is one of these, so if you think I am being hard on affiliate marketers (why do I get the feeling that that should be “marketerers”?), it only means that I am being hard on myself.

Definition of Affiliate Marketing

In laymen terms, Affiliate Marketing refers to a kind of setup in which a company that sells products and services online pays for referrals that are made from other people’s websites.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

So, let’s continue with our rather terrible example by assuming that “Company A” is a Web Hosting company that operates from Houston. While this company will have its own website, it can only generate so many sales through its own effort.

In order to maximize on revenue, the company decides to introduce an Affiliate Marketing program. Through this, bloggers and other website owners who join “Company A’s” affiliate program are each given a unique code that identifies them.

It is now up to these bloggers, people like myself, to do everything in their power to make sure that they drive people from their own websites to the “Company A” website. Each time “Company A” makes a sale from the traffic that came from an affiliate’s site, a commission is paid to the poor blogger.

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How much will I get Paid?

The amounts that are paid to bloggers and website owners who join affiliate programs vary from company to company. They can range from only a few cent per sale, to as high as 50% of the money that is made from every sale.

Some Affiliate Marketing Programs Pay as much as 50% on sales

An Affiliate Marketing program that offers 50% commission

An example of a company that offers 50% commission on its product is Panda Security, which is the reason why I highly recommend their Antivirus to my readers. I am half joking, of course.

One of the tenets that I set out for myself when I started working on this blog was that I was not going to mislead by readers by writing glowing reviews about things that I did not know about. Neither was I going to endorse something that I clearly knew to be hogwash.

The reason why I endorse Panda’s Antivirus is because I have been using it myself and have found that it is one of the best anti-malware programs that can be found out there. Those of my readers who wish to find out more can do so by clicking on the banner that is below;

Which Products can be sold under Affiliate Marketing?

There is no limit to the products and services that you can affiliate market through your blog. The following are just a few of the most common examples;

  • Web Hosting
  • Internet Security
  • Online Retail Stores (These have a wide range of products)
  • SEO Products (eg for Keyword/Rank Tracking companies).
  • An endless list of other products and services

Examples of Companies that offer Affiliate Marketing Opportunities

I have already talked of Panda Security, which provides digital security services for  clients around the world. However, perhaps the best know Affiliate Marketing program is run by online retail giant, Amazon. The Amazon Associates program offers up to 10% for sales that are made from links that come from your blog.

Pitfalls of Affiliate Marketing

The major pitfall for Affiliate Marketing is that bloggers can become distracted by the need to make a few extra dollars, which propels them away from the truth about the products that they are endorsing.Let’s say a company gives you a software program (any) to test out and market, and you find that the thing, in all earnest, sucks and still needs a lot of work. Would you, in this case, be courageous enough to include that in your review?

That, therefore is the major pitfall of Affiliate Marketing; bloggers writing glowing reviews about things that they barely have knowledge about. This moral dilemma breeds another, more pressing challenge; each reader that you push towards an atrocious product will forever curse you and will probably not come back to your blog (save to curse your, of course). So, there is a great risk that Affiliate Marketing could end up costing you a lot of hard won subscribers.

How much can be made through Affiliate Marketing?

The amounts that can be made through Affiliate Marketing vary, depending on a wide range of variables. There are some bloggers out there who are making thousands of dollars every month by convincing some of their readers to buy one product or the other.

You only have to read Harsh Agrawal’s earnings reports to find out what we are talking about. In January 2016, as an example, he made $21 472 through his blog, ShoutMeLoud. Much of this was generated through Affiliate Marketing. Before you grow all googly eyed on me, I should explain to your that the above case is something of an exception.

The majority of bloggers out there never even earn a single cent. I, myself, was quite fortunate, because one of my Blogger blogs that I abandoned ten years ago has, in all those years, generated a princely sum of $0.23 dollars for me!

As mentioned, that thing was abandoned long ago, and only had two or three self deprecating posts. In contrast, this blog, Network Bees, was launched with a combined total of 100, high quality posts. Perhaps, one day, I shall share with you screenshots of my monthly earnings, like Harsh Agrawal. Who knows?

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