Affiliate Marketing covers all potential alliances with other
companies on the internet to help develop your business.
Small companies are unlikely to be able to dominate the web
marketplace - even in specialist niche markets. Working with others gives
you opportunities similar to those traditional retailers enjoy by opening a
chain of stores - but much more cheaply.
If you can find partners with complementary products, it make sense for both parties to cooperate and sell more
as a result. Where the traditional sales channel was from manufacturer to
wholesaler to retailer, on the net the manufacturer might do all the selling to
the end-user and the retail partner might simply provide a link to the
manufacturers site and collect a commission on any resulting sales.
Some of the biggest websites in terms of traffic do not want
to provide specialist services even though they know they have customers
interested in them. Their easiest solution is to pass that traffic to a site
where the customer will find what they want and collect the money justified by
their strength in attracting the visitor in the first instance.
There are 3 crucial elements for success:
- Choose the right partners. The customer must value the
links you offer. The partner must have a strength that complements yours.
- Measure the flow of
visitors and sales so that each part of the sales chain gets suitably paid
- You must be prepared to promote your partner sites.
This last factor is too often forgotten in the hype about
affiliate links. You need to decide where you are prepared to spend the
effort. As a personal example I can show you the extremes. Look at
my Web Design Tools page and you will see a
link to Amazon for FrontPage software. I have never earned money from
this; but also never promoted it because the value is low and the competition
from millions of other Amazon affiliates is high.
Now look at the effort I have put into the new
Online Backup website. Here I
have created a whole site for a specific partner where I shall do the marketing
and he will provide the service.