You have probably seen the terms Affiliate Marketing and Affiliate Programs on the internet. As its name expresses, being an affiliate of a certain company means that you represent their products and services for negotiated commissions.

Being an affiliate has many benefits. You don’t have to develop a product, position it on the market, handle money transactions, provide customer support, dealing with legal issues and so on.

You can be a partner in sales of world-class companies within minutes and free of charge, most of the time by just filling an online form.

Now any reputed company has or moves onto an affiliate program because of its productivity in sales. Merchants conduct affiliate programs, you register in them as an affiliate and begin affiliate marketing. Whole process can be named as Affiliate Business.

How Affiliate Business Works

Once you are approved as an affiliate, you are given special links which contain a Unique ID to track you. When a surfer goes through your link and buy from the merchant, he will pay your commission by tracking your Unique ID.

You may think that merchants will cheat you. But probably they won’t because every merchant want to keep his affiliates happy. Then only they will promote more which then leads to higher number of sales.

Tracking of affiliate links is done by specially designed software. So you can expect a higher reliability. Usually merchants provide statistics, training, promotional materials etc.

What You Have to Do

Your objective should be getting maximum targeted exposure to your affiliate links.
Maximum:
Not all who go through your affiliate links buy. So you will need to get higher exposure to your affiliate links.
Targeted:
Your audience should have an interest on the subject of your merchant’s products. Then only you will get a higher sales percentage and a better return on investment.

For gaining exposure, you can use any kind of medium where you can put your affiliate links and your merchant has no objection. The common way is creating an informative web site on the subject. In this way you can attract targeted audience and put your links in a relevant manner.

Two Ways of Affiliate Marketing

Apparently there are two kinds of affiliate marketers. One, first build a site on his passion then think about monetizing it with appropriate affiliate programs. Other first find a hot market and then build a site targeting it despite the passion. Some do both.

Where to Begin

In upcoming articles, I will bring up lot of tips and lessons on affiliate marketing. But if you are a total beginner, I highly recommend you to start with a reference book which have been written by an expert.

Affiliate Masters Course written by Dr. Ken Evoy is full with good information to begin with and also a freebie. But it focuses on promoting his flagship product Site Build It. I highly recommend you to try it out. You will surely find lot of impartial and step-by-step information.

Affiliate Marketers Handbook which has been written by successful affiliate James Martell is truly a fantastic newbie guide. Since he is an independent affiliate, he talks about wide variety of tools you can use. His manual is over 340 pages and based upon an 8-steps formula. His methods are more related to the second kind I mentioned. It’s little