Basically affiliate marketing's an agreement between a web site owner and a merchant. The web site owner's actually an advertiser for the merchant or product creator. The agreement is a contract between the two parties that stipulates that the site owner can use various methods including the space on his site to promote the merchants goods. The merchant meanwhile agrees to pay a percentage of each sale generated through the affiliates personalized link.
This benefits both sides because the product creator spends nothing to advertise their goods and the affiliate pays nothing to research and develop new products.
This creates a win-win situation.
The product creator wins by saving money on advertising, which is one of the most costly aspects of doing business, by passing this cost on to affiliates. Basically it's a pay-per-performance deal because the merchant doesn't accrue any costs until the sale's made and the merchant pays the specified commission.
The affiliate marketer wins by being able to sell an already developed product, thus saving the time and money on the front end by not having to deal with R&D and product creation. The product is already developed and proven by the merchant, and all you have to do as an affiliate is find as many prospects as you can that will bring in the profit for both the merchant and yourself.
Another benefit to the affiliate is that most programs are free to join and have pre-made sales material so your marketing experience doesn't have to be that of an expert.
Probably the biggest benefit to being an affiliate marketer on the internet's the internet itself.
Because of the global reach of the internet it's very easy to reach tens of thousands of prospects for almost any type of product line. It's also very easy to intensify your efforts as an affiliate marketer to exploit new and productive strategies such as viral marketing, ebooks, special reports and autoresponders.
Lastly, as an affiliate marketer you get to pick and choose between many different products to promote. You're not married to a specific product or even a specific product type. Your risks are minimal because there are no long term binding contracts so if one product doesn't bring in a profit you can quickly and easily replace it with another.
All in all affiliate marketing's still an excellent way to earn income from the internet. Perform your due diligence, find a hungry market, find a good product and go for it!
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