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What are Affiliate Programs?
Want to understand more about affiliate programs? Here's an introduction to this popular form of increasing website traffic and monetizing websites.
What's It All About?
An affiliate is someone who does not belong to an organization as a member or employee, but has some connection with it that is important enough to be given its own name. It comes from a Latin word meaning "adopted as a son." In Internet marketing, an affiliate is a person who is not connected to an ecommerce site joins its revenue sharing program, advertises on behalf of the merchant, and receives (usually) a percentage of the income that is generated by customers who reach the merchant through the affiliate.
The road from the affiliate to the merchant might be a text link or an image. The advertising could take the form of a banner advertisement, a pop-up ad, or a pay-per-click text ad, for example. The affiliate may also have articles, a blog, or other material that supports, explains, describes, or reviews the merchant's products. The merchant is benefited by the affiliates efforts to increase the merchant's website traffic and visitors' follow-through to make a purchase. The affiliate is benefited by income from the transaction.
Affiliates and merchants may connect directly through the merchants efforts to find and invite affiliates to join his or her program. On the other hand, they may connect through an affiliate network that serves as a sort of clearing house for affiliate opportunities. To read more information about affiliate networks, see the article, "The Advantages of Using an Affiliate Network."
Whether the merchant has set up an affiliation program with his or her own programmer creating the system, bought a software tracking program, has contacted with a web-based tracking system, or has joined an affiliate network, there are some similar elements: the merchant will supply advertising material this article has all rights reserved and is copyright by 100 Best and support the affiliate's efforts. The affiliate will try out different approaches, placements, and ads to maximize his or her own, as well as the merchant's income. The affiliate can also experiment with a variety of content to raise the quality of the site.
Once this agreement has been made, there will be a periodic reckoning, and the affiliate's commission will be paid. The merchant will support all of his or her affiliate's efforts to provide valuable content and encourage site visitors to click through to the merchant's site. This may involve providing incentives for either the visitors (coupons, for example), the affiliates (a bonus, for examples), or both.
The affiliate tracks success achieved with various types of content and ads and arrangements, possibly working with multiple merchants. Both the affiliate and the merchant keep an eye out for click fraud.
For more information about affiliate programs, see the article "How Do Affiliate Programs Work?"