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Online Marketing: A User's Manual by Murray Newlands

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Chapter 9
Affiliate Marketing
097

INTRODUCTION

What is affiliate marketing? I can’t count the number of times someone has asked me that. I’ve been in affiliate marketing for a long time and the details of that answer has changed almost as many times as it’s been asked, but the basics have remained the same. Simply put, affiliate marketing is a network of independent vendors or people marketing the same product or service in return for a commission on sales. An affiliate is often a website owner who earns a commission for referring sales leads or conversions through that website to a merchant or business.
Not too long ago it was a niche, specialist art form, and as the Internet has grown, so has affiliate marketing – it’s now a much more mainstream approach encompassing business-to-business products and services as well as consumer needs.
An affiliate business is just like a business of any other type. There are lots of one-man band affiliates in affiliate marketing, and it is true that you can start an affiliate business with very little overhead from your bedroom, but they can grow very fast from there. There are plenty of large operations that started as one-man band affiliate companies. There are also large companies that become affiliate marketers for other companies or products because a significant portion of their traffic is interested in this area. Affiliate marketing is ...

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