Affiliate marketing is an internet-centred sales technique in which a business rewards one or more of its affiliates for each visitor or customer that is introduced by the affiliate's marketing efforts. It may also be defined as an internet version of the well established sales concept of an agent or fee for a referral basis.

An e-commerce affiliate is a website that links back to an e-commerce site, such as This form of internet marketing is also applied by affiliate networks, which act as an intermediary between publishers, which is another name for affiliates, and merchant affiliate programs.

In this way, publishers are able to find affiliate programs which are applicable to their website. It helps websites, which offer affiliate programs, to reach their target audience. Merchants receive access to tracking technology, reporting tools, payment processing, and a large pool of publishers. Affiliates, receive access to new merchants, reporting tools, and payment collection. Affiliates can join these networks for free, whereas the merchant has to pay a fee.

Many affiliate networks charge an initial setup fee, and possibly even a recurring maintenance fee, either monthly or annually. However, not all networks act in this way. It is not uncommon for affiliate networks to charge merchants a certain percentage of the commission that is paid to the affiliates. Some affiliate networks allow the merchant to offer its publishers a revenue sharing arrangement or a cost per action incentive as a form of compensation. However, the majority of merchant programs give preference to the revenue sharing procedure rather than the cost per action method.

Affiliate marketing coincides with other internet marketing approaches, and affiliates, like other internet users, use universally accepted advertising methods.
Such methods include:

Organic search engine optimisation. This is a method of increasing the volume of traffic to a website. This form of traffic is generated from search engines by way of normal search results obtained from targeted keywords. Normally, the earlier a site is presented in the Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPS, or the higher it is ranked by the search engines, the more searchers will visit that site.

Paid search engine marketing, is a form of internet marketing that aims to promote websites by increasing their ranking within the search engine result pages, or SERP’s.

Email marketing, which involves the use of emails to communicate directly.

Display advertising, which is often applied to posters positioned to receive maximum exposure.

Alternatively, affiliates may use less orthodox methods, such as offering to publish a series of relevant reviews relating to various products or services.

The role of affiliate marketing is to drive internet traffic between websites. However, there are other methods that are also effective. These include email, the use of search engines, and website syndication such as RSS, which is a web feed used to publish regularly updated items such as audio, and video. Publishers benefit by using web feeds since it allows them to distribute content over a wide area both quickly and automatically. Readers benefit since they can subscribe to frequent updates from favored websites or to consolidate feeds from many sites into one place.

Affiliate – How To Succeed

Author's Bio: 

Peter Radford writes Articles with Websites on a wide range of subjects. Affiliate Articles cover Background, History, Methods of Compensation, Websites, Various Issues.

His Website contains a total of 146 Affiliate Articles, written by others and carefully selected.

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