Frequently Asked Questions About Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing FAQ

Whether you’re running an online business or you’re a regular internet user who wants to make extra cash, affiliate marketing can be a great and lucrative way for you to earn money online. Today’s post is the second in our series on affiliate marketing, 5 Common Affiliate Marketing Pitfalls was the first.

Before you embark on this money-making opportunity, it is essential for you to know the fundamentals and important facts about affiliate marketing. So I’ve compiled a few of the most frequently asked questions about affiliate marketing:

Q: What is affiliate marketing?

A: Affiliate marketing is a marketing method that’s been conducted by businesses and entrepreneurs for many years. Basically it’s a form of marketing based on performance, where a preset commission is paid to the affiliate who refers traffic to a merchant’s site that performs the requisite action, such as making a purchase. It is used by thousands of online merchants, brands and companies to generate traffic and sales.

In many ways, it’s similar to referral marketing since they both rely on third parties to drive traffic and revenues to the business or retailer.

Q: How does affiliate marketing work?

A: There are three major players involved in this marketing method:
Merchant or retailer – This is a person or business selling a service or product.
Affiliate – The person responsible for promoting the service or product
Customer – The individual buying the service or product

As a reward for the publisher’s marketing efforts, the merchant pays a commission to the publisher (you) for every successful sale or when a commissionable event happens, such as filling out a form or subscribing to a newsletter. The commission given to the affiliate varies program to program often it’s a percentage of the sale.

Q: What are the benefits offered by affiliate marketing to merchants?

A: As a website owner, affiliate marketing can greatly benefit you in many different ways.

For one, it helps you promote your product / brand to a wider global audience without having to spend a fortune. In fact, having affiliates can increase earnings by hundreds and even thousands of sales each month. Keep in mind that you will only have to spend money once a sale is made or an internet user responds to the CTA (Call to action). Thus with affiliate marketing, your cash flow will become a lot easier to account for and predict.

Besides merchants and online businesses, affiliates can enjoy a few benefits from this marketing method too. With affiliate marketing, affiliates enjoy unlimited earning potential from methods, such as email marketing, blogging, or building an affiliate niche site without the need to develop or support a product.

In affiliate marketing, all an affiliate has to do is to promote and pitch the product to their own web traffic and then send them via an affiliate link to the merchant’s site.

Q: Are there any qualifications in order to become an affiliate marketer?

A: There are no general qualifications for this kind of work. But, merchants have the full authority to turn down or approve an application from an affiliate. Some affiliate programs look for a particular set of qualities from their publishers and high quality websites that get the optimal amount of traffic.

But there are plenty of programs that approve most all affiliates, such as Amazon – unless you reside in a state that bans Amazon affiliates.

Most conventional programs reject affiliates with sites that have violent or sexually explicit content, as well as, those that promote political or religious views, advocate discrimination and violate a few international laws.

Q: How can a merchant monitor his or her affiliate’s performance?

A: Merchants track commissions, sales and referral through web cookies and tracking links that embedded in affiliate links that use a personal identification that is assigned to each affiliate.

In a nutshell, a tracking URL is a unique link provided by the merchant to his or her affiliate. With this link, a merchant can keep track of all the sales and traffic that are made through affiliate’s link.

Q: How much can I earn as an affiliate?

A: This is not a question that can be answered in numbers. There are affiliates who are millionaires, known as super affiliates and then there are those who make very little and everything in between. Earnings depend on the type of methods used, the level of commitment and work that is put in, and learning proper techniques which are implemented in the correct manner. One thing is guaranteed, the earning potential is unlimited.

Q: What are the most popular affiliate programs?

A: These are the most popular affiliate programs and networks:

  • ShareASale
  • Commission Junction (now Conversant)
  • LinkShare (Rakuten Marketing)
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Clickbank
  • JVZoo
  • PayDotCom

For more answers check out my new book Affiliate Marketing 101








Marilyn Thompson


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