Understanding the Basics of Affiliate Marketing and its terminologies

3 min


What is Affiliate Marketing ?

Think of it this way. Your neighbor needs to buy a laptop from a shop that’s good with customer service. You refer your cousin’s laptop shop to him and your neighbor makes the purchase from there. Your cousin realizes this and offers you money for referring him a customer.

The above scenario is what affiliate marketing really is.  As an Affiliate you get paid a commission whenever you refer someone to any online product and when a person buys the product based on your recommendation.

The commission amount varies from $ 0.1 to $10000, depending on what product or service you promote or recommend.

Incredible isn’t it? Now you must be thinking – How the hell will the company know the recommendation and sale came from me? How do companies track the record of who is sending the traffic and who is making sales?

Actually, there’s a very simple method for it called URL Tracking. Affiliate URL is a unique link given to you by Affiliate Company or Product Company, which is used to keep a track of all the traffic and sales you are making via your Website or other promotion techniques.

Back in the old days, Affiliate programs simply let the buyer answer the question who referred them and then matched it with Email id or referral details, and accounted for affiliate sales. Thank God the industry has simplified it with Affiliate URLs J

Simply put, all you have to do is recommend products and services to your people as an affiliate marketer. Let’s simplify it for you with simple steps:

1.)    Think of which products or services you’d like to recommend.
2.)    Go ahead and find companies offering affiliate program in those products or services category.
3.)    Sign up for their programs and get your unique affiliate url tracking link.
4.)    Write about it in your blog, offer help in communities related to it and slip in your affiliate link in the conversations. If your readers buy anything with your affiliate link, you will get a commission out of it.
5.)    $$ Kaach-ing . Enjoy the money rolling in.

Yep, I know what you are thinking. What if the person I recommended does not make the purchase immediately? Do I lose my commissions?

Well, affiliate programs have their own set of Terms of Standards (TOS), and they specify the cookie period in their TOS. For example, some affiliate programs offer 30 days cookie timeout period. This means when you recommend a visitor, a cookie is stored in their laptop automatically and every time the same visitor visits it for a 30 day period, the website will remember that the visitor was referred by you. If the visitor makes a purchase within 30 days of his first visit after your recommendation, you get paid.

Below is the terminology that is often used in Affiliate Marketing. Make yourself acquainted with it:

·      Affiliates: Publishers like you and me who promote and make the sale for them.

·      Affiliate marketplace: Marketplaces like Shareasale , CJ, Clickbank, works as central exchange for affiliate programs in different niche. Signup on any of these and you can sort and select through various affiliate programs offered by thousands of companies.

·      Affiliate software: Companies use Softwares to create an affiliate program for their product. Ex:  iDevaffiliate is one such company that you can use to create awesome affiliate programs.

·      Affiliate link: It’s a special URL given to you to promote so that the company can track sales and referrals and give you commissions for your rightly earned money.

·      Affiliate ID: Some affiliate programs offer a unique ID, which you can add to any of their webpage on the product site with YOUR affiliate ID to track sales and commissions earned by you. Example: companyname.com/cars/YourAffiliateID

·     2 Tier affiliate marketing: popularly known as Sub-affiliate Commission in this type       you recommend others to join affiliate programs, and you will get a commission out of it, when sub-affiliate make sales. More like MLM (Multi-level) marketing. For example, for the iDevaffiliate software, my sub-affiliate link is : http://www.idevdirect.com/affiliates/idevaffiliate.php?id=14721421&sub_id=ebook

·     Landing pages: A unique product sales or demo page to increase the sales. Most of
the programs that you will be promoting, have many landing pages for you to choose from.

·      Link clocking: Turn your ugly looking affiliate links into human readable links. Example: Turn blogging.co.in/seo-software/best-seo/afflink100.html to bit.ly/best-seo

·     Custom coupons: Many Programs let affiliates create custom coupon, which is also
used to track sales. Also, custom discount coupons help you to increase affiliate sales.
Example : Use BLOGGING50″ promo code on DreamHost and enjoy a $96 discount on any of the yearly or two yearly hosting plans.

Remember all those coupons you see online, most of the time these coupons are affiliate coupons, which generate a commission for the affiliate promoting them. So next time when you make a purchase, remember there is a blogger making money out it  🙂

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