Affiliate marketing and network marketing – often these two labels seem to be used interchangeably, leaving one to wonder if they don’t all mean the same thing. There is a vast difference between them.
Network marketing refers to the practice of belonging to one company, and selling all the various products or services of that one company through a network of the warm market you already have (i.e., friends and family) and the cold market you develop over time through marketing and advertising. You also are part of a network of other company representatives, and depending on the level you are producing at, you receive residual commissions from both your efforts and the efforts of the team you build up.
Affiliate marketing is a completely different animal. And it is this type of marketing we will be focusing here. I have gathered input here from some rocking experts to help us find our way 🙂
What is Affiliate Marketing?
To give us a thorough perspective on the definition of affiliate marketing, we will hear from two experts.
Affiliate Marketer and Blogger, fromalditoharrods.com
“Affiliate marketing is a really simple idea – you find a product or service that you like and rate highly and you earn a commission when a sale is achieved as a result of your promotion of that product or service. The company are happy to pay you a percentage of the sale to thank you for introducing a new customer to them.”
You can read more of her article, My Guide to Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing, here!
Affiliate Marketer, Author, Blogger, Founder of Affiliate Summit Corporation
“Affiliate Marketing is an a type of marketing which advertisers (a.k.a., “retailers”, “merchants” or “brands”) pay marketing companies (a.k.a, “affiliates” or “publishers”) when a specific action is completed; such as a sale, lead or click …
“Unlike other forms of traditional advertising where fees are paid up front and do not depend upon the success of the ads, advertisers that utilize affiliate marketing only pay for successful transactions that are tracked real-time and measurable down to the click.
“This provides advertisers the ability to analyze everything from the cost of acquisition to incrementality (e.g., of new customers or average order value).
“Affiliate Marketing is a combination of advertising and innovation that helps retailers and affiliates grow their businesses in ever-changing ways. Campaigns are highly targeted for each retailer in such a way that everyone can be successful. Performance marketing done right creates win-win opportunities for both retailers and affiliates.”
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
This quote comes from the good folks at the programming-related technology blog, Programming, Graphics Resources, and Reviews:
“The ideal world of affiliate marketing does not require dealing with customers, refunds, product development and maintenance. This is one of the easiest ways of launching into an on-line business and earning more profits. Having your own website is a definite plus but not required.”
Learn more from their post, Boost Your Online Affiliate Commissions Fast, here.
Our good friend Emma Drew, adds:
“There are so many fantastic benefits of affiliate marketing, the biggest for me is the passive income that I can earn from affiliate marketing. By this I mean income that I don’t have to actively work to achieve. With over 600 blog posts, I have lots of posts that receive daily traffic and generate a sale. I wrote those blog posts once, and bar popping back to update the information every year or so, I don’t have to do much else. That income keeps trickling in whilst I’m sleeping, out shopping, on holiday or even if I am working!”
How to Be an Affiliate Marketer
The Affiliate Platform, Wealthy Affiliate, suggests how to start:
“Choose an Interest …
“What interests you? We all have a hobby or something that gets us excited and motivated when we think about it. There are millions of different ideas that you could potentially tap into online … When you choose a passion, success is much more likely to follow.”
Internationally recognized leader and trainer on the topics of sales, persuasion, and influence. Co-founder and co-creator with wife, Michelle, of the Online Profit Team.
“If you want to know how to be a top affiliate marketer you’ve got to answer these questions.
- Why should someone choose to do business with me?
- What do I offer that’s different?
- What do I bring to the table that others don’t?
…The first thing that top affiliates do better than just about everyone else is they have their own positioning devices… Positioning helps establish your brand identity within the eyes of your audience.
“In other words… positioning devices position you as an authority and an expert in the eyes of your audience.
“This is a HUGE difference between a top affiliate marketer and 99% of all other affiliates.
“Successful affiliates will have their own positioning device on the front end of any funnel or offer.
“The positioning devices will also be woven into their branding and marketing. Examples of positioning devices that top affiliates have are:
- Their own products
- Their own Ebook
- Their own Lead Magnets
- Their own information program
“Basically, by developing their own positioning devices and using them at the front end of their funnels, the top affiliate marketers are creating a competitive advantage for themselves.”
Steps to Affiliate Marketing
Another fantastic contribution by the Programming, Graphics Resources and Reviews technology blog:
“Know the best program and products to promote. Obviously, you would want to promote a program that will enable you to achieve the greatest profits in the shortest possible time.
“There are several factors to consider in selecting such a program. Choose the ones that have a generous commission structure. Have products that fit in with your target audience. And that has a solid track record of paying their affiliate easily and on time. If you cannot seem to increase your investments, dump that program and keep looking for better ones.”
Finding Affiliate Programs
Missy Ward comments:
“The affiliate marketing industry has many core players including advertisers (a.k.a., “retailers”, “merchants” or “brands”), marketing companies (a.k.a, “affiliates” or “publishers”) networks (a.k.a. “affiliate networks” or “CPA networks”), Agencies (a.k.a., “Outsourced Program Managers”, “OPM’s) and many solution providers that offer technology and other services. These companies range from small sole-proprietor businesses to publicly-traded Fortune 500 companies.”
And the final word from Emma:
“Amazon is by far the biggest online retailer, so being an Amazon Associate is a great way to boost your affiliate marketing income. The Amazon tracking cookies last for 24 hours. This means that if you wrote a review about a product and the reader clicked through to Amazon and went on to purchase anything from Amazon (not just the item you linked to) within 24 hours, you will make commission. You can also use a clever little trick to increase the cookie tracking to 90 days. You can earn anything from 1% – 10% of any sales you generate which makes this an ideal program to sign up to …
“If there is a product or a service that you really enjoy using then search to see if they have an affiliate program. Some companies keep their affiliate schemes in house and you can visit their website and look for an affiliate link (usually in the footer) or search the internet for the company name and “affiliate program”. If you can’t see an affiliate scheme then don’t be shy about reaching out to them and asking if they run any scheme – and if they don’t, ask if they would like to! My most successful affiliate program is promoting something that I am passionate about, and they keep their affiliate marketing in house.”