What is Affiliate Marketing?

Origins of Affiliate Marketing

In the 90’s when the internet was starting to take off and become mainstream, search engines were just starting to emerge and the internet became a massive e-commerce and information machine.

Webmasters as they were called back then were creating valuable content on all kinds of subjects for their website visitors. These same people wanted to be compensated for all the hard work they were putting into content creation.

The concept of revenue sharing is not new and was not created by affiliate marketers. The concept of paying commission for referred business goes way back before affiliate marketing and the Internet. In reality, retailers use this same model except that they usually need to buy their inventory before they can sell it.

The translation of the revenue sharing principles to mainstream e-commerce happened in November 1994, almost four years after the origination of the World Wide Web and since then, affiliate marketers have made hundreds of millions of dollars in commissions from referring customers to products of all kinds.

Definition of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is partnering with brands that offer a commission as a reward for your endorsement and referral. Affiliate marketers or resellers generally act as a middleman between customers and products. Affiliate marketers earn a commission by referring web traffic and sales through their own promotional efforts using a coded URL or web address to track each referral.

How Affiliate Marketing works

  1. The affiliate marketer creates a relationship with businesses that have products or services to sell.
  2. The affiliate marketer advertises the products and services, usually online using various methods.
  3. Internet visitors interact with advertisements and marketing.
  4. The website gets interested users from the advertisements and marketing.
  5. The website visitor turns into a customer and purchases products or services.
  6. The affiliate is paid a commission for the referral using a unique code in a web address or ULR.

Next Step: Do people make money with Affiliate Marketing?