Q: What exactly is affiliate marketing?
A: You don’t know how many times I get asked this by friends and family. And they usually end up with a blank stare. Hopefully, I can explain it better in writing, since many people have a hard time deciphering my peculiar manner of NJ speed talking.
Affiliate marketing is an online marketing channel in which Site A (the affiliate) agrees to feature advertising, in the form of banners, buttons, text links, content, etc. from Site B (the merchant).
Site A (the affiliate) earns a commission on any sales referred to Site B (the merchant).
For example, I have a site that includes reviews of parenting books called BabyLounge.com. One of the reviews is for the popular book, The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy.
When one of my visitors clicks on the title of the book and goes on to purchase The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy at Amazon, I earn a commission for referring that sale.
That is the most frequently used type of an affiliate program, and it is known as a pay per sale affiliate program.
Affiliate programs can also pay affiliates for clicks and leads (filling out a form).