What is affiliate marketing? (Part 1 of 22)


Google the word “affiliate” and you probably have a poor image of what this industry is, and like many things on the Internet, look at little deeper and you may find something surprising.

This series is created for those new to the business of affiliate marketing, and in these simple lessons you may discover a few new truths, that have been around for a long time.

The current myth of the affiliate marketing is based on the uber-aggressive end of the industry, who through flogs, get rich quick schemes, and crazy promises of results from everything from diets to acai berries to colon cleansing to debt help, share a Viking like hunger to simply crush markets, no matter what is left behind.

And it does make money, often alot of short term money.  Because to these affiliates, it’s just business.  Just like hackers find holes in the code, Viking affiliates find holes in the business structures of everything, and exploit them asap.

There’s More than Vikings, There’s Profits..

Now there is another point of view in the industry, one that is also highly profitable, that doesn’t tend to do black hat tricks, and does thrive based on brands and trust.

This affiliate world is also driven by major brands and retailers, AND super affiliates, through the basic concept of joint ventures, working together, or what Fast Companyitis might cause you to call “collaborative business”. 

Because at its heart, affiliate marketing is simply about creating business between two parties that adds value to both.

As many look for answers in this economy, pay for performance marketing, aka affiliate programs, comes into play.

Remember, you can set your own rules,

and those rules better convert.

Because if they don’t, the Super Affiliates who are in front of your customers will go elsewhere.  They are in control, and you have to find them and earn their trust (and convert), before they will grant you that important exposure.

While there are still many misconcepts about affiliate marketing, at its heart it is just good business.
Good in the early days, and good now..especially now.

Why buys ads when you can pay for performance? 
Isn’t that the power of the Internet, collaboration and working together?

Affiliate programs are collaboration with accountability…working together for results

If it doesn’t perform, it is up to you to make it convert for your affiliates. 

What do you think of affiliate marketing, is it really dead or are the thousands of people coming to Affiliate Summit twice a year evidence of something working?