Affiliate marketing is one of the most efficient online business models to get started with online entrepreneurship.

So what is affiliate marketing and how it works?

Affiliate marketing in simple terms:

Person A has a great product, let us say priced at 100 dollars, with a cost of 50 dollars. 50 dollars is the profit margin.

Person B sells person A's product and gets commission decided before selling.

If the commission agreed is 15%, person A gets 35 dollars for developing the product. Person B gets 15 dollars for selling the product. A win-win scenario.

Now, what is an affiliate network?
It is just a common place where person A and person B meet together.

Some of the well-known affiliate networks include,

  1. Clickbank
  2. Shareasale
  3. CJ affiliates
  4. Jvzoo

In addition to the affiliate networks, many companies have their own affiliate programs where you can sign up as an affiliate and promote their products.

The link to the affiliate program is usually in the footer of the website.                                  

Common terms in affiliate marketing:

There is some terminology you need to be aware of before starting with affiliate marketing.

  • Opt-in page/Squeeze page/Lead capture Page - It is a web page where you have fields to enter the visitor’s name and email address.
  • Email list - It is a list of email subscribers who have subscribed under you. You can promote products to the email list. An email list is generally built via an opt-in page or lead capture page providing free value like an eBook, document, etc.
  • Lead magnet - It is a free value you provide to your target audience in return of their email address.
  • Email Auto-responder - It is a service or software by which you can automate the process of sending emails to your email list.
  • Sales funnel - It is a sequence of events leading a prospect to the lead capture page. A sales funnel could use any free/paid traffic generation methods but the final destination of the targeted prospect should be the lead capture page.

How to start with affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing usually works in the long run. It's a marathon and not a sprint.

It takes time to build an audience, their trust, and good affiliate offers.

All this takes a lot of learning and efforts if you are new into internet marketing.

A good email list is a must if you want to succeed in affiliate marketing.

Try to build your list, learn the email marketing skills, provide valuable content and gain the confidence of your audience.

Once you have built a sizable list, affiliate marketing can be extremely rewarding.

As with any business model, it is extremely important to follow a proven process with affiliate marketing if you want to build a sustainable business based on it.

  1. Provide content and value to build an email list or a subscription base: This cannot be stressed enough as the entire affiliate marketing business model rests on this. It is vital to provide free valuable content to your target audience. It could be in a form of free eBook, a valuable video, an informative podcast, etc.
  2. Drive targeted traffic to a landing page to collect email address: Instead of driving the traffic from your subscribers directly to a product offer, direct the traffic to an opt-in page to collect their email address. Do not ever spam them with offer after offer. Be honest and upright about the intention behind collect their email address.
  3. Keep providing value with automated emails: Connect your email sequence through an email auto-responder and keep providing valuable information and product offers which you have used, tested and found to be value for money and of high quality. This way you can build trust with your subscribers which is the most vital part of your business.



Things not to do in affiliate marketing:

  1. Don't promote a product which you have not used yourself personally. If you ever promote a low-quality product, it instantly reduces your authority and trust among your audience.
  2. Don't spam your audience with repeated email and don't oversell. Keep the emails brief outlining the advantages and value of the product and leave the choice to your subscriber.

Can anyone do affiliate marketing?

Theoretically yes. It's a business opportunity open to anyone interested in it.

However, affiliate marketing demands a certain skill set. If you aren't good in coming up with quality engaging content either by writing, podcasting or by videos, perhaps it is better pursuing alternative business opportunities like e-commerce.

That's a brief introduction on affiliate marketing and the basics of how you can start a business around it.

Hope it provided you with value and information. Leave a comment in you would like to share your opinion.

What is affiliate marketing and how to start an affiliate marketing business

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