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What Is An Affiliate Anyway?

My Digital Genie; Digital Genie; Keywords; Best Keywords; Making Money Online

As you look for ways by which you can make a living online, you are likely to come across websites that discuss "affiliate marketing." A bit of digging will reveal to you that "affiliate marketing" entails linking to products from your website, and receiving a portion of the money people spend as a result of the links you provided. For a more thorough understanding of what the heck an affiliate is, however, you must understand why you - as an affiliate - are valuable to companies that have affiliate programs.

A lot of people take to the Internet without a clear intention of purchasing a product. Instead - because of the fact that the Internet is such a valuable research tool - they go online in order to determine whether or not they actually want to purchase a particular product, after which they will extend their research to determine which specific product they feel they should purchase. If we use Amazon (which runs one of the most popular affiliate programs) as an example, it makes it much easier to understand why an affiliate is a valuable asset to a large company.

If someone is trying to decide whether or not they want to purchase a Bowflex home gym, for instance, they are unlikely to visit Amazon in order to pursue their research! Instead, they will probably take to Google and search something such as "Benefits of a Bowflex home gym." From this search, they will travel to various websites on which they can learn about the benefits of a Bowflex home gym. But of course, they will probably not be ready to make a purchase quite yet.

The next step this person will probably take is to Google something such as "drawbacks of a Bowflex home gym," or "Bowflex home gym negatives."

In this example, we will assume that the "researcher" has decided to become a "buyer" - but before they can make a purchase, they still need to gather a bit more information.

Rather than going straight to Amazon to purchase a Bowflex home gym, most people are likely to instead Google something such as "best prices on Bowflex home gym." If you have an affiliate site set up that targets these keywords, you can place your page near the top of this Google search - which will bring people to your website! On your website, you can detail why Amazon is the best place from which to purchase a Bowflex home gym, provide an affiliate link, and - boom! The person who visited your site in order to discover the best place to buy a Bowflex home gym will now be on the Amazon Bowflex home gym page, ready to make a purchase.

Because affiliates are able to filter buyers to websites in an "apparently unbiased" manner, these buyers are less likely to feel like they are being "sold" something, which makes them more likely to make a purchase. And because of your work as an affiliate, the person in this example will be making a purchase through Amazon - rather than through the Bowflex site, or through eBay, or through a brick and mortar store. And this is why Amazon is willing to give you a percentage of the sale - and is also why affiliates are valuable assets to companies!

As an affiliate, you are basically a salesman or saleswoman for the website in question - working off commission. The better you do as a salesperson, the more sales that website will make - and the more sales that website makes, the more money you will make as a result!

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