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Professional Affiliate Marketing Online Primer

If you are new to the professional affiliate marketing Internet business playground, then you are no doubt wondering what affiliate marketing is all about. In most cases, it's marketing and promoting another firm's products/services on the Internet. You, the pro affiliate marketer, promote through whatever means is available to you (your ezine, website, email, online marketing, etc.), which then sends visitors and clients to another company's site, who subsequently does all the work -- develop, sell and support the real products and/or solutions; near the sale; process the orders, accept payments and earn delivery; etc. -- to the paying client. You, as the marketer and source of that company, are subsequently paid a commission for the work. That is it!
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The whole business arrangement is basically revenue sharing. The company that provides the item or service being marketed is generally referred to as the affiliate merchant, and he shares the earnings they generate with you, the affiliate marketer, for sending business their way. In most cases, the affiliate marketer drums up that business through various sorts of legitimate marketing techniques on a vast array of online avenues and platforms.

Note that normally, the affiliate retailer doesn't cover anything for your "advertising" and marketing before a sale has actually happened. This way, the merchant can diminish both expenses and risk. Theoretically, the affiliate can then be rewarded more handsomely for carrying on this advertising risk and cost. But because the affiliate marketer does not have to take on the risk, investment and expenditure of creating and encouraging a product/service and administering a sale, the connection is very much considered a win-win arrangement, with each party focusing on the component of the business they are good at and interested in.

Tracking, Calculating and Paying Affiliate Income

How the affiliate marketer basically gets compensated for his work depends completely on the affiliate merchant. In practically all instances, the arrangement is wholly handled through an automated system, with the retailer using Internet server-based applications that gives an affiliate marketer a unique link code or ID that the marketer must then use to spot all of the traffic and customers he sends to the merchant. This is actually the only way the retailer can correctly recognize, credit and compensate the right affiliate for any business created.

In some cases, an affiliate merchant employs the resources of a much bigger affiliate network service (including Commission Junction, LinkShare, etc.) to administer its own affiliate program. Various other retailers, on the other hand, opt to run their own in-house affiliate system, keeping their program independent from everyone else. In practically all cases, but the basics of how an affiliate program tracks and computes affiliate commissions follow what is outlined above.

The retailer generally specifies the financial terms beforehand (pay intervals, minimum payment thresholds, when cash is paid and, etc.), if it uses the help of a 3rd party service or runs its affiliate program in-house. The way an affiliate is finally paid will depend on these predetermined specifics, and they can run the gamut from being paid online through services such as Paypal, having capital wired directly to an affiliate bank accounts, to using a physical check printed and mailed directly to the affiliate.

Even though there's obviously a degree of trust in the merchant involved in this arrangement, it works because not only is it into the affiliate merchant's advantage to keep up a good working relationship with its affiliates so as to cultivate its business and ensure its continuing success, the community of professional affiliate marketers is quite tight-knit with extensive communications channels that quickly reports any shadiness and unfavorable company transactions. In addition to that, affiliate programs that run on third party community companies offer an extra layer of protection and hope to the affiliate, with the networks helping guarantee that all trades are appropriately monitored, calculated and compensated. This is one reason that lots of professional affiliate marketers often embrace a policy that they'll only utilize affiliate programs that are administered through these third party affiliate network services.

Affiliate Program Selection

You, as the expert affiliate marketer, are totally free to choose whatever affiliate program you want to join and promote. To put it differently, you essentially choose which products and/or services you're going to be promoting (through your site, web site, ezine, advertisements, etc.). It is not a light decision, because your income is quite much influenced by how well you meet your overall "provide" to a "audience" or "market." That, however, is essentially your occupation and is a part of what you as the professional affiliate marketer is paid richly for.

Oftentimes, what affiliate programs you do choose is usually dependent on your preexisting markets and audiences, as an example, in the event that you already run a gardening website, then obviously the applications you'd seek out will be gardening associated or ones that you have decided would be of interest to the viewers demographic your gardening website attracts. If you are approaching this affiliate marketing firm as a real estate marketer, yet, where the decision on the best way to market a service or product would be highly dependent upon what it is you actually select to promote, the best way to pick an affiliate program could be based on many different factors.

Some professional affiliate marketers, as an example, select programs based on commission size (high payouts per sale) or market size. These are business decisions you need to make, again, part of what you are getting compensated. Below are some tips for beginners, however, that may help you to get started.

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