Try to imagine earning commissions on a popular brand-name product and all you have to do is place a link on your website or in your email. That, my friends, is "Affiliate Marketing"!
It doesn't have to be much more complicated but it's not as simple as it seems either.
A good place to start is with a few definitions. The company who is selling the product would be an advertiser or a merchant. Sometimes referred to as a publisher or partner is an affiliate and this person or company also assists in the promotion of the product and by doing so, they earn a commission. (That person could be you!) In between is the account man`gement service that partners the advertisers with the affiliates and keeps track of the sales and commissions.
Choosing either a product that you want to sell or an account management service is the first thing you should do if you want to become an affiliate. You will end up with both, but the choice of one will determine the choice for the other. If you choose the product first, the advertiser will direct you to the account management service that they already work with. However, they will provide you with a list of merchants that they do business with if you choose the account management service first.
Go to their website and check the menu bar or the bottom of the screen in order to see if your favorite product or company offers and affiliate program. Look around for the word "affiliate". Once you find it, click on that link and read about their program and requirements then fill out their application. There are companies that would require specific types of websites to place their links on. To get started, they will email you all you need to know.
During the situation when you are unsure what specific product you would like to promote or if you want to promote several, browsing the participating merchants on the account management service's website is recommended.
Try to stick to products or ideas that you are familiar with and passionate about. Marketing to your visitors will be a whole lot easier if you can add value to the link that you want them to click on. Personal recommendations or stories will get way better results than just a banner or solo text link. Give them a reason to "click here".
Welcome to the world of Affiliate Marketing! Good luck with your new venture!