What Is An Affiliate Program?

by Calvin Larson on Jan 7, 2012

Affiliate programs are probably the most profitable way to earn a living online, and some affiliates even do get filthy rich in the process. But what exactly is an affiliate - and how can the term "affiliate program" best be described?   Well, an affiliate is simply a person or a company that promotes products or services on behalf of someone else - for a commission. In the corporate world, this can actually be a sister company that holds their own legal entity - yet promotes the same services or goods as the mother company. However, in the world of internet affiliate marketing, (which we will mostly focus on here), the term affiliate is best used to describe someone who promotes an already established brand, product or service on the internet for a commission.   Most well-known and established companies on the web offer some kind of affiliate program of their own, and these programs are almost always open for anyone to apply for and take part in. It's really a win-win situation for everyone. The affiliate can promote known brands that are easily converted into sales for great commissions. And the company who provides the affiliate program can increase their overall sales. Most companies with known brands will in fact encourage the use of affiliate marketing - just imagine the potential of having thousands of "independent salesmen" throughout the world promoting their particular products!   The benefits of being an affiliate are also huge. In most cases, the affiliate has nothing to do with the actual delivery of services or products to the customers - all they need to do is to do some marketing and then collect the commissions whenever a sale has been generated! This is something that anyone can do in the comfort of their own home - all that is required is a computer and an internet connection.   So how does an affiliate program work? Well, usually you first sign up for an affiliate program you wish to take part in by visiting the company website and look for links like "affiliates", "affiliate program" or "partners". Many companies will have a separate website or a home page dedicated entirely to their affiliate program. You then fill out a short online form with your personal details along with any information of any blog or website that you might own. In most cases you will receive a login and a password to access your affiliate account area - either instantly, or after a couple of days if your application has to be manually approved (usually no problem).   Some affiliate programs require that you do in fact have a website or a blog to put banners and other affiliate marketing media on, but many do not. We think it's a good idea to start a website or blog anyway - and build it around a theme that you're interested in. If you like to read and write about sports for instance - why not start a blog and use affiliate programs that sell sportswear or sneakers? This is just an example.   We will in later articles discuss affiliate marketing, different revenue models, and how to make money with affiliate programs. We hope that this article has given you some inspiration in order to get started right away!

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Source: Visit our blog to learn all there is to know on how to make money with affiliate programs.
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