In my last post, I touched briefly on Affiliate Marketing, but I wanted to go a little more in-depth with this topic.Not just because it is my favorite way to make money from home, but because it is one of the easiest ways to get started with an income from your home.

Most of us buy stuff.

Some people are still afraid to buy products online. They hear stories of fraud, or bad customer service, or just are leery about putting their credit card information on the computer.

For the most part, shopping online is very secure.

Customer service ratings of major online retailers like Amazon.com is top notch, and banks and credit card companies have safe-guards in place to protect you from unauthorized purchases.

It really is an easy, risk free way of getting the exact item you are looking for, without having to spend a fortune in gas money to get it.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

As a writer on the internet, you can join affiliate programs with online retailers like  Amazon.com or  Walmart.com to create what are known as affiliate links. These links are created with a unique identifier for the affiliate.  This allows the link to be tracked when a reader has clicked through to their site.  This is where the affiliate marketers job ends and the retailers part in the process begins.

When someone clicks an affiliate link on a site, it will take them to that retailers site. It works much like a trusted friend recommending to you that a retailer’s site has the best deal on diapers or dog food.  You would go to that site and see it for yourself, then, armed with the information you need, you can make an informed decision whether to purchase that product or not.

So what is in it for the Affiliate Marketer?

When someone buys a product on the retailer’s site reached via an affiliate link, the retailers will compensate that affiliate for sending them a customer. Affiliates advertise and promote products on behalf of the retailer.  If an affiliate promotion is successful, they are rewarded with a percentage of the sale.Affiliate Marketing

The customer doesn’t pay any more for the product than they would if they didn’t click on an affiliate marketing link, so you really have no need to think there is anything underhanded about this process.

Some may argue, that prices are inflated because these companies have to pay the affiliates from somewhere?

I say yes, they do.

Actually, retail pricing of products is set up to include all the costs of selling that product.

From storage in a warehouse someplace, to advertising that product, and the display of that product, and the sales force needed to sell that product.

Affiliate marketing writers are doing some of those jobs for the retailer. Advertising and Sales.  First they let consumers know where to find what they are looking for, and then they offer the information to give potential customers enough data to make an informed decision as to whether that product is really exactly what they want or not.

Any fees that are paid to an affiliate would come from the advertising & sales portion of that price calculation.

Online retailers want and need products to move quickly through their warehouses, just as they do in brick and mortar business, they want to be continuously moving and rotating their inventory.

Affiliates who promote these products and draw interest to something that may not be a featured item in sales circulars assist these companies in the cheapest form of advertising that is only paid IF it produces sales.

Customers who choose to buy from affiliates in general have a better chance of finding the best product at the best prices because affiliates work hard to locate the best prices, do similar product comparisons, as well as much more in depth reviews of these products than you may find on a website like Walmart.com or Amazon.com.

In my opinion, affiliate marketing is hands down my favorite form of marketing.

Why?

Because everybody wins.

The customer gets the best deals on products, that, in most cases are already interested in. The retailer benefits by paying cheaper advertising fees and gains assistance in moving inventory.

The affiliate, if they are thorough enough to market the products in a way that customers feel confident in making the purchase, can earn fees for their time and effort.

In future posts I’ll give you some specific examples of how I personally practice the business of affiliate marketing, but if this sounds interesting to you, start doing some homework.  Think about products that you love, have an interest in, or are even curious about. These are the best topics for you to become an affiliate marketer for.

Find a niche that you can be passionate about.  Something that you can write in-depth and informatively about, that is a huge key to being a successful affiliate marketer.

And, the next time you are looking to purchase something online, Please buy through an affiliate marketer!  You help us make a better life for our families and our community, and it doesn’t cost you anything and may even save you some time and money in finding the best products at the lowest prices.