Introduction to Affiliate Marketing – How Best to be an Affiliate Marketer
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a simple as well as a complex term. Sometimes when this term is mentioned, a lot of people are thrown off balance. I will be giving you a basic or simple definition with examples to help you understand the concept of affiliate marketing.
My Definition of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a type of marketing where middlemen (marketers) seek or attract buyers mostly online to a business owner and earn a commission for their effort. This marketing strategy is wildly accepted and cost-effective.
The affiliate marketer is paid according to his/her performance. (Here, an affiliate marketer could be me, you, or any other person that does not own the product). For affiliate marketing to work, at least 3 or 4 parties must be involved depending on the platform.
Affiliate Marketing Cycle
i. RETAILER – This is the merchant or owner of the product/service.
ii. NETWORK – Where the product is displayed. Also takes care of payments.
iii. PUBLISHER – This is the affiliate who searches or links buyers to the retailer. I call him the MIDDLE MAN between the buyer and the retailer.
iv. BUYER – Anyone that purchases a product or service from the seller.
Graphical Illustration of How Affiliate Marketing Works
One thing a lot of bloggers have not pointed out is the fact that affiliate marketing can be done ONLINE as well as OFFLINE. I will be giving an example of an online and offline affiliate marketer.
THE ONLINE AFFILIATE MARKETER: When a marketer (Felix) visits an eCommerce site or an online marketplace that wishes to market their services or products through affiliates, he registers with the site and is given a unique id, link, or banner as the case may be. Felix looks for prospective buyers by placing the link or banner given to him on his blog and most recently social media. Any person that visits Felix’s blog, and clicks on the banner/link, he or she is directed to the online marketplace and if the person goes further to purchase an item from the online store, Felix gets paid an agreed percentage.
THE OFFLINE AFFILIATE MARKETER: The same concept applies to the online marketer; the difference in offline marketing is that the marketer is not online and does not need a unique id or banner to market the sellers’ product. It is assumed the seller and the middle man have met and discussed terms facially. All he/she needs is to physically look for prospective buyers, this could be friends, families or even strangers, take them to the sellers’ store, and if they buy any product from the seller, the marketer is paid his percentage accordingly. You can see this in brick-and-wall businesses.
Most entrepreneurs/infopreneurs are into affiliate marketing. One must not own a product to market it. I will also like you to note that affiliate marketing is similar to referral marketing but there is a little difference.
Difference between Affiliate Marketing and Referral Marketing
While affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivation to drive traffic or sales, referral marketing relies on mostly trust and personal relationships to drive sales.
A lot of networks offer affiliate marketing. However, it is advised that while choosing a network to join, read their terms and conditions carefully. Most networks do not accept marketers from certain regions and most times, the marketer is not informed until it’s time for payment. You can check this article for the best affiliate programs for beginners.
Companies like ebay, clickbank blacklisted some countries, though persons in these countries claim to know how to bypass them using some certain level of intelligence that I call UNNECESSARY RISK that might amount to a total waste of time and even resources as the case may be. Why waste your time on business you are not sure of your pay when there are a lot of others to venture into.
While affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivation to drive traffic or sales, referral marketing relies on mostly trust and personal relationship to drive sales.
I was recently researching the most searched websites in Nigeria using Alexa service, I found out that Nigerians are still heavily logging on to eBay and Clickbank ranking them 100 and 272 respectively among the most visited sites in Nigeria, however as at the time of writing this post, those networks do not accept Nigerians.
Some good foreign networks like Amazon, Commission junction, Firstgrabber (for fashion bloggers) and some CPA networks do not restrict any country from its services.
There are lots of networks and eCommerce sites that are seeking the services of affiliate marketers in Nigeria. And they pay considerably well compared to their foreign counterparts with lower risk.
Many site owners are already benefiting from such networks. I call it making free and cool extra money. Some of the local networks pay direct to your local bank accounts so you don’t need to go and cash any check.
In my next article, I will be revealing some of the few good affiliate networks and how you can generate money through them.
Until then, please feel free to ask any questions on the topic by commenting and I will be glad to reply you. This is an information site; you can share your position on the topic. We are all learning. You should also share this article to your list of friends using the social network buttons below, just one person can learn from it through you.
To join some affiliate networks and start making money, try signing up any of these world brands and promote their products:
NameCheap (Affordable domain registrar)
Also Read: Best Affiliate Networks for Nigerians
Affiliate Disclosure: Please note we may earn some commission from links provided in this post. However, this commission does not affect the price of the product/service to any buyer that chooses to make a purchase.