How Affiliate Marketing Works

Now you know why affiliate marketing is so appealing, it’s time to look at how affiliate marketing works, both from a technical perspective and from a practical one.

Affiliate Marketing In Technical Terms

Essentially, affiliate marketing relies on cookies. Cookies are small files that you can store on the computer of any online web user. These cookies can then be used to identify that user at a later point or to retrieve information about them. Cookies are what enable sites like Facebook to keep you signed in for example and they can also be used by advertising companies to show you ads relevant to your browsing history.

In the case of affiliate marketing, cookies are used in order to show that traffic came from your website/advert and these work alongside unique ‘identifier URLs’ which are your private gateway to that website.

Affiliate Marketing In Layman’s Terms

So in other words, you have your own address that you use to send people to the product page. They then get redirected to the main site but during the process a cookie is stored on their computer that is basically the digital equivalent of ‘tell ’em I sent you’. Then, when they buy a product, this is logged in your profile and at the end of the week/month/quarter you get paid your due.

To get started in digital marketing then, all you need to do is to find a product you like and you think you can sell, sign up to the affiliate program and then paste your unique link in any form of marketing, advertising or otherwise. That could be a Facebook ad, it could be an e-mail or it could even be a physical flier.

We’ll look into the details in subsequent chapters but that basically outlines how the process works.

Affiliate Marketers for Product Creators

While reading this you might find that your pupils have been replaced with dollar signs as you consider all the possibilities. Truly, the ability to profit from someone else’s product is in many ways an ideal situation and especially when you know that product is a good seller and you’re getting the lion’s share of the profit!

But this might also have left you wondering why it is that someone would put their products up for sale this way and why they’d offer to give you most of the profit. What’s in it for the product developer? Understanding this can help you to better understand how the whole system works and to make even better use of it.

So basically, when you let an affiliate sell your product, it means giving away profit. But at the same time, the first thing to realise is that they also aren’t losing this profit. That’s because they’re still going to be able to sell the products themselves as well – so all the sales that you make for them are extra.

They can then market their product as much as they possibly can and earn 100% profit on all that hard work. But at the same time, they’ll now also have more sales coming in from you. They might only get an extra 40% of those sales, but that’s still 40% more than they would have gotten otherwise and it’s on top of what they can otherwise earn.

Now if the product is popular, there’s a good chance there will be more than one affiliate selling it. Thus you may have a situation where you’re getting money from hundreds of people all promoting your product. And if one of them happens to be a real pro, they could conceivably bring in thousands of dollars on top of your usual profits.

This is obviously pretty awesome from the creator of that product and that is why they’re happy to give away some of their profit and some of their control.

Also worth considering though is why some people won’t offer affiliate programs for their products. More often than not, this is about control of the brand and reputation. If your sellers push too hard and are too forceful in their marketing, they can actually end up hurting your reputation and for this reason, you might choose to ensure that only you are allowed to sell your product.

When it goes well though, this is the ultimate ‘win/win’ situation and a truly symbiotic relationship. Find the right product and the right seller and you can both be rich.

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