What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process of referring someone to a companies product or service and recieving reward of some sort for doing so. These rewards are called commissions and can be in the form of prizes, gifts, products or cash. Most people choose programs that offer a cash commission of some sort. In these cases you are paid weekly or monthly depending on the program. Most of these programs pay their affiliates through direct deposit, check or paypal. All affiliate programs will have a section on their site which explains their program in great detail, often with a FAQ (frequently asked questions) link to answer any questions you may have.
Once you sign up you will receive a unique tracking code or number so that they can track the number of people that go to their website because of you. Some affiliate marketing programs pay you when someone visits their site and some only pay you if anybody signs up or buys a product because of you. Some programs even paid for both within the same program, it really depends upon the program itself. Your tracking number is usually associated with a cookie. When someone you referred uses your affiliate link to go to a site that you are associated with, a tracking cookie is placed on that visitor's computer. This keeps track of how that visitor interacts with the site and this is what they will base your reward on.
In almost every case these are free to join. Now there are some programs that you pay to join, but most of those are what are called reseller programs. A reseller programs differ from affiliate marketing programs because with reseller programs you are usually buying a reseller license with that product or service allowing you certain rights and allowing you to keep 100% of the profit from it.
Network Affiliate Marketing
Network affiliate marketing is slightly different than regular affiliate marketing. A network affiliate marketing program is a program where a group of companies let a service handle their affiliate programs instead of managing it themselves. Sites like commission junction for example would be considered a network marketing program. There companies let commission junction handle all of their affiliates for a small fee. They take care of all of the tracking links, ad banners, pay outs, etc. The great part for those that join networks like this is that you are paid on time generally without any hassles. Also you get a wide variety of affiliate programs all in one place so that you do not have to search all over the internet looking for programs yourself.
When looking for ways to make money online you will come across countless affiliate marketing programs. It is always best to check out the product or service before you join. Buy the product or service as a customer first if you can so that you will know all about it and can give an honest testimony about it. With a little homework you will find just the right affiliate program for you.
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