What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is an online marketing strategy that involves a business partnering with another platform, such as a website, blog or social media channel (the “affiliates”). Affiliates recommend the business’s product on their platform in return for a sales commission.
Affiliate marketing is most effective when the business and the affiliate are targeting the same audience. For example, it wouldn’t make sense for a homeware company to have an affiliate relationship with a boating and fishing website. However, it would be more effective for a homeware company to have an affiliate relationship with an interior design blog as they are communicating with the same target audience.
Benefits of affiliate marketing
There are potential benefits for both the business owner and the affiliate. If the marketing is effective, the business owner will enjoy increased sales and revenue. Also, a business owner can scale their existing marketing efforts by working with affiliates who invest their time and resources into marketing your products for you.
For the affiliates, they will earn a commission every time a customer clicks on the unique link recommended on their platform and makes a purchase. The earning potential varies greatly, depending on the deal the affiliate has with the company. Affiliates can earn anything between 5% to 50% commission from each sale, however some deals will offer you a flat rate per sale instead of a percentage.
For example, if a beauty blogger is part of an affiliate program for a lipstick company, they will recommend a specific lipstick on their blog and include a link to purchase the lipstick from the brand’s website. When the customer clicks on the unique link and purchases the lipstick, the blogger will receive a percentage of the sale. This is a win-win situation for the lipstick company and the blogger, as they have both benefited from the sale of the lipstick.
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Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?
Affiliate marketing is not a pyramid scheme. A pyramid scheme is an investment model that has been made illegal in many countries, as it is generally unsustainable and fraudulent. In short, a pyramid scheme involves each paying participant recruiting more participants, and the early participants are paid by the later participants. This means that each participant earns a different amount, whereas in affiliate marketing, the payment model is the same for all involved.
How to find affiliate programs
If you’re interested in becoming an affiliate, there are several programs that you can get involved in. Make sure to do your research in order to find the best deal available. Additionally, it is important to only ever recommend products that you genuinely like and ones that are aligned with your audience, as authenticity and reliability are important for long term success.
Here is a list of some of the most popular affiliate marketing programs:
Often large companies will also have their own affiliate marketing programs. Alternatively, you can take a proactive approach and reach out to companies that you would like to be involved with and negotiate an affiliate deal.