When it comes to skepticism, few things are met with as much doubt as affiliate marketing. We all have heard both sides of the story. There are those who claim to have made millions of dollars merely by being an affiliate online. Others are angry and feel cheated because they have no such thing to boast about through their affiliate marketing efforts. So who is telling the truth? Most probably both!
Like anything else, you will only get results from affiliate if you do it right. Look at it this way: if it were that easy then everyone would be making heaps of cash from affiliate marketing. But the reality is that only a selected few actually make big money from affiliate marketing. Most people never really learn how to do it right. The reason they are not able to get it right is precisely because they do not understand it before they get into it.
The main problem with most people who try a hand at affiliate marketing is that they enter the field without actually knowing what needs to be done. There is only one reason why people become affiliate marketers: to make money. But making money is the end result. But before that, there are a number of things you need to get done in order to ensure that you get there.
So being a good affiliate marketer is not entirely possible without a good amount of training. Many affiliate marketers believe that it is all about common sense. Again, if it were as easy as that, everyone with access to the Internet would be rich. It is not enough to have an affiliate marketing site, you actually have to work on it before it will give you results.
Maintaining a good relationship with your merchant is key. Over the years, merchants have started becoming stricter about who their affiliates are and are revising policies in order to regulate affiliate marketers’ actions. As an affiliate marketer, you need to realize that anything and everything you do via your affiliate marketing site reflects on the merchant. Merchants take this very seriously and it is not uncommon for merchants to cut out affiliate who do not behave according to the merchant’s policies. Many merchants have also started tracking their affiliates’ actions. For example, there are a number of merchants who keep an eye on the emails that affiliates are sending out. Most merchants do believe that all these types of communications by their affiliates have a direct connection to their standing. Merchants are, especially, careful to ensure that affiliates do not send out any spam.
However, keeping track of affiliates is not an easy job. A merchant might have quite a few affiliates and the team that manages these affiliates might be made up of only a few people. Most merchants do not have the time or the resources to ensure that all affiliates are tracked all the time. This, of course, does not mean that you can afford to be slack as an affiliate marketer. The merchant might track your actions for the sake of its own reputation, but your success or failure as an affiliate marketer depends purely on your efforts.
You can look at affiliate marketing from the merchant’s or the marketer’s point of view. At the end of the day, both parties need the other to sustain. While the affiliate’s goal might be to earn money, the merchant values the affiliate’s participation just as much. Not only does an affiliate get merchants increased sales (read: profit), but the affiliate also gets the merchant new customers. Keep in mind that the cost of getting new customers is much higher than retaining old ones so merchants would be more than happy to have these new customers through the affiliates efforts.
As for what affiliate marketers actually have to do, your main priority should be to promote the merchant’s product as much as possible. Of course, there are costs for keeping a website up and running. Affiliate marketers keep their site running by getting advertisers. That is usually the best way to cover the costs that you will be faced with.
It is safe to assume that there is no such thing as a free lunch and that is exactly what affiliate marketing will teach you. Affiliate marketing thrives on idea of being mutually beneficial. Though it might seem that merchants are overly stern about an affiliate’s behavior, the truth is that merchant’s need the affiliate just as much as the affiliate needs the merchant. Merchants are often caught between letting affiliates have some leeway and holding them back.
Affiliate marketing is definitely not an easy task and getting success is not a guarantee. The affiliate has to put in a lot of marketing efforts to get commissions in return. At the end of the day, affiliate marketing will give to you only as much as you put into it.
Jeev Trika is a principal at azentec, Inc.,. an e-business consulting firm, based out of South Bend, Indiana. He possesses extensive experience in sales methodologies and holds over 9 years of experience in assisting organizations with their online experiences. His professional services have been garnered by organizations like IBM Global Services, Siebel, Jordan Industries, Cayman Islands Government, and more. Jeev holds a Bachelors in Computer Science and an MBA, both from Purdue University.