Basic Affiliate Marketing Concepts

Putting yourself between the consumer and the merchant is basic to the affiliate marketing formula. It’s a simple task: let’s say for example that you like to blog about tennis and want to offer a link to a sporting goods website. If the visitor follows the link and buys a new racquet online from the sporting goods vendor, you’ll be paid a commission as the referring partner.

Beginners’ Affiliate Marketing 101

When you familiarize yourself with basic affiliate marketing concepts keep in mind that referrals can be on different levels -- Pay-Per-Sale, Per-Lead, or Per-Click. Pay-per-click (PPC) is not always available to beginners since the PPC field is rife with click fraud and so participation in it can be limited to established sites only. Per lead can be as little as a $1 for a referring customer, but a sale such as the purchase of the tennis racquet, will create a commission of anywhere from 5% to 25%.

Affiliate Marketing Introduction -- a Step-by-Step Plan

Why You Should Attend an Affiliate Marketing Conference

An attractive feature of basic affiliate marketing is that you are not required to maintain any inventory or process any payments; you simply act as the middle man. Your website only needs to offer relevant information and provide a link pointing to the merchant’s website. When the link is clicked on by a customer, a “cookie” remains on the customer’s PC for 30 to 120 days before it expires. Should the visitor buy something from the site within that time, the cookie transmits the data and you are paid a commission on the sale. And the most important point to remember is that affiliate marketing costs basically nothing to participate in. If you are ever asked for a fee, it’s not affiliate marketing, it’s a scam.

Some Free Information to Get You Started

Pay-per-action networks tend to confuse the novice affiliate marketer. The terminology may seem foreign or unclear since many affiliate networks use different terms. Just remember that companies who sell the goods are called merchants or advertisers. Affiliate marketers (you) are usually referred to as publishers or partners. Still confused? Well, the internet is a visual medium and here’s a free library of Video Action Guides to further explain this concept. These videos are especially designed to help beginners understand the big picture of basic affiliate marketing.

You can also download a free 193-page eBook The Affiliate Masters Course. I recommend that all beginners in affiliate marketing read this book as it gives you a concise overview of the topic. Again, the guide is free and ready for immediate download. You don’t even have to give your email address.

The Steps You Take Are Crucial

Stop! Before you jump into basic affiliate marketing by applying to a bunch of networks, be aware that you must have a website already functioning and online! This is the crucial chicken before the egg scenario: since you’ll be required to fill out an application form to join the network, there will be space for you to list your main website and any others you’d like to include for consideration. Needless to say, leaving this space blank is not going to get your application approved. Affiliate marketers must have a valid web site address and valid email address in order to participate. If, unfortunately, you are turned down by an affiliate network, don’t be discouraged as a beginner: you can try again at a later time or try another network.

While there’s no guarantee of success for beginners, doing affiliate marketing will basically cost you nothing and it’s easy to get started. The most important work you’ll need to do will be to keep your site active with fresh content on a regular basis; that’s the best way to attract lots of visitors. Niche marketing is one of the best basic affiliate marketing concepts, that is, choose an area of interest that is keenly important to you. If your passion is motorcycles, fashion, digital photography, or gourmet foods -- there are literally thousands of topics -- there’s a place for your know-how and enthusiasm on the internet.

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