Online affiliates are the Internet professionals who do marketing and advertising for the merchants. The merchants here includes all those commercial website owners who themselves sell product or services on their own websites.
An affiliate program is an interface that allows merchants and affiliates to interact with each other and carry forward the desired business tasks. The program is provided by the merchant. Affiliate program gives specifications to an affiliate as how he can access the merchant and what services are desired of him. The program may be designed and developed by the merchant himself or may be provided by yet another party, called the affiliate network.
Even if the resource of website published is ready to carry out the tasks of affiliate marketing, the owner needs to access the merchant in the first place and then understand what requirements are to be fulfilled. Usually what happens, a merchant selling products on his website provides an additional interface on the website. The interface exists as a dialogue box or may be separate web page. This interface allows the publisher to register to the merchant and then establish an account. There are different types of accounts and programs provided by the merchants and also different terms under which they can be availed.
On of the most benefited programs was the one given by Amazon.com. The affiliate program allowed hundreds of website owners to register with Amazon.com and subsequently the chain grew and helped Amazon.com to have a position of its own – the unchallenged one in affiliate business.
What exactly is an affiliate program?
People talk about it but few people really know what they are talking about. For a newbie or even an amateur it is a nerve racking exercise to find what it is all about. You may visit hundreds of websites bragging about it but let us give it to you at one place and in one piece.
Affiliate program is web application software that allows a website owner to reach out to the merchant. The software interface is much like any website form or registration module you might have come across to. It is not only the mere software that makes up an affiliate program but a complete set of components that describes what services are to be expected from anyone registering as an affiliate. Sometimes, provided in the program are various components explaining the terms and conditions like different types of agreements, methods of payment and further services.
Further, the affiliate program offers to define the executing of tasks by the affiliates. The tasks are predefined and so are the methods and means. A publisher may however review it and put forward his own suggestions. It is not like someone giving an online sales advertisement and the affiliate putting in one of his most controversial sections.
How do you make money out of affiliate programs?
Well that is one interesting thing which the publishers and users might be waiting for. There are primarily two ways by which you can earn money from an affiliate program. You either provide one or you just register in one. Providing an affiliate program is for the merchants or commercial website owners who are interested in expanding their business. Joining one is for an affiliate or website publisher interested in providing the space and then meeting the requirements of the affiliate. In many tier programs you can further convince others to join as affiliates and thus earn regular commissions from the merchant. As such you can go for the marketing of the affiliate program itself.